After a bonkers, non-stop six weeks of work, I took three days for myself and bounced up to NYC for a little decompression time. The Mapplethorpe exhibition at the Guggenheim, a photowalk around Harlem, a morning at the Met Cloisters, and time with lots of friends made for a nice time.
When I was a kid I originally wanted to be an architect. I think Frank Lloyd Wright is mostly responsible for that. And even though I didn’t end up becoming an architect, FLW taught me how to see structures, which taught me how to see a structure’s relationship to its context, which means he basically taught me how to see the world. In many ways walking into the Guggenheim felt like a pilgimage to a holy site.
I’d planned on seeing the Mapplethorpe exhibition (which was stunning) and then I assumed I’d walk around for a bit and leave. I’d budgeted about 2 hours of my day for the museum. I ended up staying for 4 hours, much of it spent simply walking the spiral and soaking it all in. Best of all, though, was learning that their are stairs inside the Guggenheim and that they’re incredible, as well.
Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now is sublime and if you can go see it before it closes on July 10th you should.
Harlem with Kim Anderson
Kim Anderson is an amazing photographer and friend and I certainly didn’t want to miss seeing her while I was in town. The day we decided to meet for lunch also turned out to be NYC’s first legit spring day. Actually, 80º is maybe a bit more than “spring”, but it was the first warm and sunny day of the year and we didn’t waste it.
We ate at The Edge Harlem where the menu is divided into thirds: Jamaica, England, and New York, with the food reflecting those areas but still showing some fusion of them all. For example, the Jamaican section has a coconut fish burger but also a jerk shrimp caesar. Oh, they had plantains—the best I’ve had since I left Florida 7 years ago. And damn, I forgot how much I missed them! If you go (and you should) make sure to try the housemade sorrel, “a traditional Jamaican beverage made with hibiscus, spices & love,” the menu says. I had five glasses. Then we walked around Harlem and I pretended I didn’t have to use the bathroom the whole time. 😬
The Met Cloisters
I’d never even heard of the Met Cloisters until a week, or so, before this trip when my friend Peter told me I needed to go. He couldn’t have been more correct. From their website:
“The Met Cloisters, which opened to the public in 1938, is the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. Located in Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan, on a spectacular four-acre lot overlooking the Hudson River, the modern museum building is not a copy of any specific medieval structure but is rather an ensemble informed by a selection of historical precedents, with a deliberate combination of ecclesiastical and secular spaces arranged in chronological order. Elements from medieval cloisters—Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Trie-sur-Baïse, Froville, and elements once thought to have come from Bonnefont-en-Comminges—and from other sites in Europe have been incorporated into the fabric of the building.”
191 Street station
Kim was with me at the Cloisters and once we were done she mentioned that I should see the 191st Street subway station so we ran through real quick. It’s a riot of color and I basically turned into an IRL hearteyes emoji.