Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Little Sister is 30 and I Have One Foot in the Grave

Spent the weekend in NYC with beloved sister, celebrating her momentous arrival on the planet, which occurred 30 years ago yesterday. We saw two plays, walked hundreds of blocks, hit two great museums (the Met and the MoMA), wandered through Chinatown and Little Italy, and had two less-than-great meals. As usual, I got back completely exhausted but sorry to leave.

Question: How many "chocolate bars" can one city support, especially in a recession? Everywhere we walked, it seemed, we passed some little exclusive chocolate shop with a menu of gold-leaf truffles and $8 hot cocoas and chocolate with bacon in it. I couldn't help but wonder what will happen to these places over the next few years, as our need for the chocolate endorphins rises and our ability to pay for anything more than a square of Hershey bar sinks.

Moment with the most "poetry": Eavesdropping on a class of public school 2nd graders at the MoMA as their tour guide sat them down in front of the cluster of Brancusis shown above and had the kids talk about what they saw in them. The kids were amazing: alternately squirmy, entranced, and disgusted by the naked breasts on a Klimt in the room. I couldn't wait to write about them. The kids, not the breasts.

Best New York moment: Eating a bagel in a small diner near the museum and watching our Indian waitress enchange flirtatious banter with the Ukrainian line cook and the Latin American manager. Oddest NY moment: Walking south on Madison Avenue just after the Met closed on Saturday, freezing our asses off in the dark, and crossing an intersection only to realize that the entire area was clogged with cop cars, marked and unmarked, and that every nearby doorway had an officer in SWAT gear lurking in it.

These contest results went live this weekend while I was away ... a nice surprise. The $2000 first prize would have been nicer, but $100 will help me pay for the time in New York!


Gina said...

Last Halloween I dressed as a giant piece of bacon and wandered into a wonderful store run by one of my favorite happy lesbians. They sell only shoes and chocolate there, whick makes it sort of a giant estrogen fest of a place and the most perfect environment to "get you grrl on."

She insisted on taking several photos of me (and Liam, who was dressed as a little pig in a butcher's apron and cap, carrying a tiny BBQ) and promptly sent them off to the owner of the bacon and chocolate company to which you linked. Or so she told me. I never heard back. I had visions of becoming the internationally known spokes bacon for them, but, alas, fame has alluded me, once again. Sigh. . . time for more chocolate!

Did you actually taste the stuff? What did you think?

We need to do a Baltimore museum and goodies fest soon!

M. C. Allan said...

Gina! Oh my god, I even know the store you're talking about. In Hampden, right, near Golden West. That place is a trip.

I think you are meant for higher things than spokesbacon. But the benefit would have been free chocolate.

Anonymous said...

G.D.!!!! I was in New York this weekend, too. I saw Patricia Racette in Madama Butterfly (a great voice actress, she's likely the best Cio Cio San of my lifetime!). Otherwise, the highlights of my weekend were some decent brunches in Morningside Heights and a visit to Grant's Tomb! I was miserable in the rain on Saturday, and froze my ass off on Sunday. I couldn't bring myself to go shopping, much less to the Met or the MoMA. But I would have loved, loved, loved to have run into you! Just the thought warms the cockles of my heart.

M. C. Allan said...

jimbo, we must get better about coordinating! it would have been great to see you. we were freezing too, but at much less classy things (seen Avenue Q?) it's hilarious! doesn't get much better than porn-addicted Cookie Monster.

Anonymous said...

who's funnier, milton or keats?

M. C. Allan said...

Given that Milton accidentally wrote a defense of Satan when he meant to write a defense of God, I'd have to go with him for comedy. But neither of them are much for the laffs, eh? Unless you've dug up some lost Keats poems like "Ode to the Hankerchief Into Which I Keep Coughing Blood" or naughty limericks about Fanny Brawne's fanny ... I think Byron's the only one of the Romantics with a pretty good sense of humor. Am I wrong? I would love to read the Collected Ethnic Jokes of William Wordsworth.

Why do you ask? :)

Anonymous said...

i like my writers to have a little gleam in the eye, even when they're depressing. it's what makes the russians great, and george eliot. there's a sly laugh in nearly every line of tolstoy and eliot. humor is what makes a lot of poets so delightful: bishop, hecht, larkin, frost too. i can't say the greek tragedians are always a barrel of laughs but i still love them.
but for the most part, if they can't make me laugh, or at least smile, i ain't reading em.
-- changing my name to mouse. i can't live up to 'moose'

Sandra said...

How am I JUST NOW discovering your blog? Congrats on the Winning Writers' contest!

When are we going to cocktail at New Heights? I am increasingly convinced of what a good idea this is. Tim et al would be welcome to join. We can always go to Open City afterwards for beers.