Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I left work at lunch yesterday to hit the X-PRESS DMV on 8th and 34th. In and out in less than 45 minutes. Back to work. Then home to make myself and early dinner to make up for the lunch I missed while at the DMV. After dinner, I walked over to the studio. (Surprise.) Sat and read and sketched a few things, drank a few beers and listened to the ubiquitous podcasts--a few episodes of the Sound of Young America. Teddy came in and we had a burrito and we chatted about his ex-fiance's memoir. Overall, it's bad book and the author chose the weirdest possivle narrative point of view: 2nd person. This allows the subject/narrator to say things like, "Your lithe body moves across the floor with your taut belly exposed in a crescent between the bottom of your turquoise tank top and your long hippy skirt." The lauguage is tepid and the pacing sluggish. Best thing? There lots and lots of irrelevant injections of chick-lit-y passages about shoes, outfits, food, cute boys and karaoke. Gosh! How fun, girlfriend! Teddy's mom summed it up best with the following condemnation: it's boring. Really, really boring. (I'd link to her/it (the book) but I don't want to encourage the author in anyway.) Anyway, Teddy and I listened to Fela Kuti's Confusion/Gentleman and then I walked home.

Today: I had to leave work at 9:30a to run down to Williamsburg to pick up some of my drawings. They'd been dropped off another artist's studio instead of returned directly to me. That was a complete pain in the ass. Got back to work around noon.


Top: the magnolia on our block is starting to blow. I'm hoping to remember to take a photo every morning until it pops completely.

Bottom: these weird, wavy sculptures (?) are showing up over the recently replaced subway grates along the R/V lines here in Queens. It only seems to have hit the line from Northern Blvd just out of Queensborough Plaza and also along Steinway.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Friday? I can't remember Friday. I think I watched part of the second season of The Wire.

Saturday: a little yoga in the morning and then I ran to the studio for a hot minute before meeting Anaheed and Julie in Chelsea to visit some galleries: Lisa Yuskavage, Dana Schutz, Simon Evans and a few others. Afterward, we stopped by the Westside Tavern for a beer. We split ways and I walked over to a dance performance near Madison Square Park. Saw that with Patricia and then got some Indian food at the Curry Leaf. Great okra and nan but my lamb biriyani was a little oily. Or ghee-y. Couldn't figure out which. I caught the R at 23rd right when it pulled into the station. I was home by 11 or so and decided to push my luck by watching two episodes of The Wire. Finally headed to bed around 1:30a. Not unreasonable time to fall asleep on a weekend, right? Wrong. I quickly nodded off only to wake up again about 15 minutes later. Then I thrashed around until 6 am.

Sunday: Got out of bed around 9a, afraid to sleep any later. Filled up on coffee and made the weekly batch of lentils. I discovered that my external drive had crapped out at some point over the previous 24 hours. So Jason tried to help me figure out what was wrong: calls were made to Charles and Burt (his father) but no amount of troubleshooting seemed to bring my hard drive back to life. I'm going to price out the possibility of data recovery--I could stand to lose most of the stuff (photos, porn, etc.) but what I really need (and which I took off my internal drive) was the 10+ years of my collected design portfolio. So that's a real problem.

Finally walked over to the studio in the drizzle around 130. Drippy, wet, cold. Worked on the drawing for a bit but mainly stalled and dicked around until 7 or so. Then I walked over to some grand opening thing at my yoga studio's other studio in LIC. Steve and his girlfriend Sarah were there--they take the hot yoga at that studio. Anyway, it was kind of a big party maybe 100 people, food and wine and beer, etc. More than a few cute girls--and the ones I made eye contact with and smiled at quickly looked away. A very New York experience. Kind of a disappointing night. But the atmosphere was nice, I suppose. And a big thunderstorm rolled over while I was in there and I could see purple lightening through the windows.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Did I mention there were horses, too?

After work Tuesday: in to the city to pick up a check from Lyons Wier Ortt--they sold the Ape Machine drawing a few weeks back (I'm positive I already mentioned but I'm too lazy to go back and double check. I'll simple repeat myself.) Got the check (grateful, thank you), dropped it in the Chase at 5th and 14th and then went to my weekly appointment in Union Square. Left and went to the studio. Exited one stop before the studio to fetch a six pack and a bag of pretzels. Teddy was in there when I arrived and we had a few beers and listened to some music--Antony and the Johnsons and the Fleet Foxes. (I'm still largely indifferent to both of them but I could possible see maybe possibly slightly enjoying the former.)

After an hour or so, Teddy and I left, walked back to his place to get his car and headed into Greenpoint to pick up a birthday present. Then we got dinner at Five Leaves. Pretty decent little place--an oddly-shaped room and the corner of a five-cornered intersection with a lovely crescent curve of a copper and zinc bar, lots of faux-weathered wood, etc. The bartender was watching over a turntable and spinning the Eddie Harris / Les McCann album Swiss Movement. It was a nice place but--like most places in Brooklyn--it's tough to overlook the highly-polished "genuine" affect and the bales of ironic facial hair from the young Bonnie "Prince" Billy devotees. We split the baked white bean & white anchovy brandade and had a beer each. Teddy suggested the Five Leaves burger . . . so one for the each of us: grass fed beef, fried pineapple ring, housemade pickled beets, harissa mayo, sunny up egg with a salad or fries. Unfortunately, I'd eaten too many pretzels at the studio so I wasn't performing with my customary gustatory skill. I managed to get down the burger--it wasn't particularly huge but that fried egg really put it over the top--but couldn't make a dent in the fries. (And I didn't understand a salad was an option--I would've gone green-and-leafy had I known.) The meal was great: I'd like to return in the spring with a much heartier appetite. Oh, and with a woman instead of Teddy. Sorry, man. But thanks for introducing me to Five Leaves! Hell, yeah.

Anyway. We hauled our corpulent assess off the barstools and drove back into Queens. Teddy dropped me off at the apartment and I was in bed by 11.

After work yesterday: uneventful. Home for an episode of The Wire, yoga, then dinner and another episode of The Wire and a late call to Britt.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The elephants (and horses and ponies) marched around 11:45. Pretty great.

By the time I got got my photos, climbed back up to the sixth floor, packed up and headed out it was just after midnight. I considered walking home but it was cold, windy and after midnight. I took a gamble that the train would get me home quicker that walking. I lost that bet. It took almost an hour to go the four stops between the studio and home. I could've walked home and back again to the studio in that amount of time. MTA never fails to disappoint.

Earlier: out of work to the studio, worked until 7:30 or so and then headed over to Chelsea to have dinner with Anaheed and Julie at the Half-King. Afterward, back to the studio for elephants, man.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Up on the roof for the first time in what seems like months. I discovered the new, inappropriately-scaled building (10+ stories, I'm guessing) has gone up at the intersection of Jackson Ave and Vernon Blvd. It perfectly blocks the unobstructed view the had down 42nd street. I can still see down 42nd Street through the skeleton of the structure but by the time the weather warms enough to invite daily visits to the roof sure the building will be clad with stone/glass/whatever that that view will be gone. It's still a great view but it's stunning how much it's been eroded over the last three years but new high-rise condo buildings.

Anyway. Arrived at the studio in the afternoon and talked to Eve for a few hours while working. Eve left and I had the place to myself. It was lovely.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Healthy Brand. My favorite!

I spent most of the morning/afternoon at or near the apartment. I had to get my phone replaced because it was a piece of crap and one of the hinges broke. Verizon replaced it for free but couldn't (as they claimed) transfer over my red-winged blackbird ringtone. I wasn't able to find it again either through a search. I'm a little upset by that. I've settled on a Northern Cardinal ringtone but it's not the same. Fuckers. I also walked up to the shoe repair place and talked to the guy about resole-ing a few pair of old boots. Guess what? He doesn't resole shoes. Wha? It seems to me that resole-ling shoes would be 80% of that guy's business. He suggested I attempt to find a place in the city that does it. But that seems like more trouble than it's worth for a pair of $70 boots. So I'm just going to go out a buy a new pair of boots today--I've walked the heels off the pair I bought in December. All that back and forth between the studio, I guess.

I watched the first few episoes of season two of The Wire and left for the studio around 6. Walked, of course. Arrived and worked for a few hours. Etc.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mmmph. Sorry about the last post. Seems like I keep coming back to the same stuff, right? Shocker.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Snowing? SNOWING! Enough already. What have we done?

I'm posting a few leftover photos from Chicago. I'm approaching my fifth year in NYC--the anniversary will fall sometime in August. The 18th maybe? Not sure exactly. I broke Chicago's grip last summer when I was there for five or six days. It was a great visit--lots of catching up and dinner and lunches and drinks and all of that. But I had more than little time to myself and that translated into long bike rides through all of my old haunts, all of the places I'd worn grooves into the street and sidewalks due to my routine-based nature. The breakwater at Montrose Harbor. Argyle from the lake to Broadway through Little Vietnam and then over to Wolcott, south on Wolcott, etc. Ravenswood, Grace over to the lake again, blah. Man, that place is so loaded for me. I can divide my time there into two eras: undergrad and after undergrad. My experiences in undergrad were almost purely internal and dealt mostly learning to see. To see in the sense of how to be observant but, in particular, how to see light--applying the abstract concepts of the color wheel to the real world, seeing how blue or green the shadows were depending on the color of light--honey-colored, rose-color, flat smoldering summer-white--falling at a particular time of day, and how that light varied from day to day, hour to hour, how that light draped itself around/over/across forms--buildings, people, water, anything. (It's funny that I observed all of this stuff so closely since I almost never use any kind of light effects in the drawings these days. It's all packed away in my brain I just never use that stuff for anything but pure pleasure in observing the outside world.)

Content became a real concern of mine during undergrad: what was good work. I spent a lot of time reading and listening to music, going to the Art Institute and consuming artist biographies. I remember being totally floored by Henry Miller's Rosy Crucifixion trilogy, Sexus, Plexus and Nexus, and staying up until 4am because I couldn't stop consuming the words. It was the first time I'd heard my voice in someone else's work. Wynton Marsalis's Citi Movement also got all up inside me as well. (That makes less sense in retrospect as I've grown to actively dislike him and his narrow standards for jazz but I know it was important for me to find a visual equivalent for music and that album--a paean (as I understood it) to the sounds, sights and textures of New York--was as about as illustrative as you could get; I mean that in both a complimentary and perjorative sense.) I also spent a lot of time thinking about symbolism--reading (well, skimming especially in the first two examples) Jung and Freud and all kinds of mythology--and realizing how easy it was to make bad symbolic art. My goal: avoid making bad symbolic art. The result was that I made bad symbolic art for the next six or seven years.

After undergrad: that time more external and I spent most of my time learning to be social. Not really a strong point of mine it turns out. That is, unless I've got a few drinks in me and then usually I can fake it pretty well. My ex, Julie, was kind of my shepherd into the experience of going to parties, openings, whatever and just kind of throwing yourself into the mix without being too self-conscious. Julie knew no fear and it was best to pretend you didn't either so you didn't get left behind. During this time, I met Marlene, Leah, Lisa, Billy, Keith, et. al.--all of the people that made Chicago warm and familial and home-ish for me. And I had a lot of great experiences and very much settled into the kind of life I always wanted when I was stoned and directionless in Indianapolis.

When I return, I feel the weight of both experiences and the clarity of memory that cuts through 8, 10, 12, 14 years and makes me feel weird. Not old exactly but . . . distant? Detached? Floaty? I'm walking in ice shoes on the thin skin of a big bladder full of emotions when I go back. I tread carefully. I toss the percentile dice and hope I make my Move Silently roll if you know what I mean. And I think you don't know what I'm talking about.

(See? This is one of the reasons visiting Chicago makes me leery. I come up with long, rambling blog entries like this one that only make sense to me.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring is springing in very tiny ways. This is a budding tree on the walk to work.

Yesterday, I received a package at work. When it was place in front of me, I caught the whiff of a cadaver's toe which I immediately identified: stinky cheese. I opened the package--inside were three cheeses (Mt. Tam, St. Pat and Red Hawk) from the Cowgirl Creamery. Haroula had sent payment for the album drawings/design. Couldn't be more pleased. I packed up the cheeses in my bag and coaxed Kempin into having a cheesey lunch at the apartment. Apples, oranges, three cheeses and bread while watching the Daily Show. I was actually euphoric afterward.

After work, I had my weekly appointment in Union Square. After, I walked up to Madison Square Park and had a sit for a half-hour or so. Joan As Police Woman on the iPod. Got up, walked the length of the park and saw a lot of daffodil stems poking through the cold dirt. Exit on to Madison, walked along Madison to 32nd and cut over to Koreatown and ducked into Woorijip for spicy chicken and a little package of squid kim bap. On the V to the 7 and back to the studio. I helped Steve move some of the flood-scattered paintings back into his studio then consumed all of my delicious Korean. No drawing last night: sitting and reading and sketching and a few podcasts. Home on the train. Too tired to walk.

Today, I received a package at work. A bottle of red wine and a nine pack of truffles, both from Vosges Chocolates. (I've had three truffles already--one taleggio cheese, one green olive oil and a balsamic vinegar. Mmmmm.) Again, a gift from Haroula. I'm not going to drink that wine at lunch. Well, probably not. I don' think.

(I remember the Vosges ladies from when I worked at the gourmet market during my darkest days at Sam's Wines and Spirits in Chicago--they'd just started Vosges and were going from store to store hawking their goods. (None of them would go out with me.))

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I flew into Chicago for Marlene's 50th birthday. The car service dropped me at the wrong Delta concourse. I had to take the shuttle to the Marine Air Terminal which is the original building dating to when LaGuardia opened decades ago. Lovely rotunda with James Brooks's murals, lots of soothing Art Deco architectural details and the rough-hewn bust of LaGuardia planted in the middle. The flight was packed but uneventful and, unfortunately, I sat directly over the wing which obscured most of the view of the ground as we flew.

Landed at Midway and after some inexplicable strangeness in the afternoon, I headed over to Leah's loft for the party. As the kids say (or used to say) this party was off the hook. Well, as off the hook as a 50th birthday part can get. Which is to say that while things were off the hook . . . they still lingered closed to the hook in case the minds were changed. A hundred plus people over the course of eight hours. Lots of familiar faces from my volleyball playing past: Julie, Judy, Jim, Lloyd, Billy, Lance, Susanne, Vanessa, Baby, etc. Mexican themes, piles of chicken, tomatoes, mole, guacamole, corn tortillas, bottles of tequila, limes, salt, ice, etc. Holy shit. By 1 am, I was ready to go to bed. However, the separate guest condo where I normally stay has been incorporate into the uberloft since my last sojourn in 2007. So I had nowhere to retreat. I found a big couch on the lowest level and buried myself there, stuffed cottonballs in my ears and drifted into and out of sleep--jolted fully awake occasionally by the remaining guests--until the final guest left at 5:30 am.

I staggered out of the guest pit at 8:30 am: groggy. Logy. Oh so much coffee. The guests did a pretty good job of cleaning up after themselves but there were more than a few bags of trash ready to go down the chute. I ran down to the parking garage and hauled up a luggage cart. Two trips with this and the bags were gone. Then we unplugged the unworking garbage disposal and I rooted around in it to find four whole limes down there as well as assorted slimy chunks of crap.

Leah and Lincoln had to leave to attend a birthday party in Bucktown. Baby and I drove over to Marlene's for some breakfast. Oh, and we wanted to check in on the birthday lady. (But we mostly wanted brekkie.) The late morning/afternoon was spend talking with Marlene, Eileen (M's younger sister) and Mark. We ducked into the Garfield Park Conservatory (just down the block from Marlene's house) and had a walk in the various environments--humid, arid, cool, warm, wet loam, dry sand, needles and fat succulent leaves. Then back to Leah's for the unwrapping of M's gifts--they arrived at the party in such abundance that they couldn't be moved as is and where left to be dealt with today. (Plus, Lincoln wanted to help Marlene unwrap that stuff, man.) Marlene created some quesadillas from party leftovers and Leah made margaritas for all of us which I supplemented with some tabasco-spiced Coronas. I slipped away a few times to catch sunset on the roof deck. (See top photo.) After the Unwrappening, we loaded all of Marlene's gifts into her car. Hugs and kisses goodnight and goodbye. Back upstairs to check the emails and chat with Leah. Then bed.

Up early. (I'm always up early, aren't I?) Coffee and breakfast with Lincoln: oatmeal with banana and maple syrup, two soft-boiled eggs and an orange. Leah had to run to SRAM for a meeting so I showered and ran out to hit a few places in the Loop. I ran through the Chicago Cultrual Center to see what they had up (eh, nothing I'm inclined to discuss) and to the Art Institute to just take a look. In preparation for the May opening of the new Modern Wing, they've reordered their collection in a substantial way: the armor hall has been turned into a sculpture hall for Indian/Southeast Asia works (gotta say I think that's a better choice); the Chagall windows are gone, the fabric galleries (where I used to hide in the brutal Chicago summers due to the very cool temps and low humidity in the galleries) are now given over to African art; the Impressionist galleries now read backward to their previous layout and which, in reading chronologically, lead you up to the front door of the modern wing. I only had 30 minutes to kill so it was a rushed gig--more of a refresher than a serious study--but I could see coming back when I'm in town again.

Walked back to Leah's to pack up and meet Lisa. Packed, said goodbye to Lincoln who helped my push the button on the elevator. Lisa and I drove down to Printers Row and had lunch at Bar Louie--a place that is associated with so many potent and loaded interactions that it was almost painful to return. (The Bar Louie in question, however, is (or was) up on Chicago Ave near Franklin.) But it was most pleasant this time with the Pregnant Missus Boyle. After lunch, we (meaning Lisa) grabbed a Boston creme donut and then she dropped me at the Jackson/Wabash stop. An Orange Line train arrived as I ascended to the platform: Midway.

Airport: I arrived too early and so read and exchanged a few texts with Kempin. The flight was delayed but not too much and the plane was half-empty. I choose poorly when I reserved my seat online--the wing blocks most of my view on take off. But is was still delightful to take off and soar out over the lake. I switched seats a few times until I found a mostly unobstructed view of the clouds. I put on Stars of the Lid and watched the sunlight fail on the clouds below. When it was dark, I returned to reading but switched seats again upon approach to LaGuardia. I saw Manhattan approach on the left and even tried to spot the studio as we were on the same approach to the airport that I can see from the studio roof--a dozen planes lined up from the south like wee sparkling citrines on a leagues-long necklace. I couldn't see the studio, however--nothing to identify it from that height at night. Landed, off the plane in no more than five minutes and home in a cab in under fifteen minutes.

Friday, March 13, 2009

This is the inside/outside/cd design for my friend Haroula Rose's Someday EP. I thought the birds on the front would be better but she liked the cages. So. Cages it was. This was my first act of collaboration that involved actual drawing.

Uneventful days. I walked over to the studio after work yesterday. Listened to some podcasts for a bit while attempting to get the studio back in working order--everything was shuffled around after the flood. Brought the big board back over to the drawing table and shut the podcasts off and just . . . stared at it for about an hour. I ended up erasing most of the lines I'd put down previously--this tends to free me up of idea(s) that aren't working and yet I think still can work. I jotted down some notes. I can't figure it out. In any case, I didn't work on the drawing so I've got nothing to post.

Walked home. Well, I got lazy and walked halfway home. I heard a train pulling into Queens Plaza as I walked past the entrance so I ducked down the stairs and shuttle through the turnstiles. Home. I kept the tv off and finished Pete Hamill's A Drinking Life. (Wow. What a crappy-looking website.) Not a bad book but not particularly compelling. Throughout the book, he mentions Hemingway and stoicism and I see the attempt to emulate the style in the prose. As a result, I can't sense much joy or pleasure or excitement in the writing. I've never read anything else by Hamill so maybe this is a fluke. But the lack of juice doesn't particularly make me want to check out any of his other writings.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Work. Barf. In to the city today for the weekly appointment in Union Square. Daylight savings occurred on Saturday and, as a result, it was still light when I got out. I walked over to 234 E. 19th Street. This (see crappy blurry photo) was one of the two buildings where Max Beckmann lived during his time in NYC after leaving Amsterdam. (He lived there in exile after the Nazis came to power and through the entirety of WWII.) The other is on the Upper West Side somewhere. I think Miles Davis used to have a townhouse up there as well. I'll probably get a photo of both at some point this year.

This is what I'm reduced to: photographing the former homes of my biggest influences. Jesus.

It was a fairly temperate, if gray, early evening. After snapping Maxie B's crib I decided to walk up 2nd Ave to 34th and cut over and catch the V at Herald Square. Then 34th became 42nd. Then 42nd became 53rd and Lex. Ah, the hell with it--I decided to walk home over the Queensborough Bridge. So I did. It was a uneventful walk across in the pearly gloaming. However, about 3/4 of the way across, a car passed me. A car. Not a cop car but a civilian car. Some lady in an Echo. Wierd. I can't imagine how she actually manuvered her car onto the path--she would've had to drive the wrong way up a wrong way street and then negotiate a hairpin turn to get on the bridge. I mean, I've seen trucks up there--contractors mostly, installing the anti-suicide fence--but never a car. Huh.

Down into Queens and then home. Tofu and broccoli for dinner. Shower. Now bed. Good night.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

After a bout of yoga in the morning, I walked over to the studio. Steve was in there trying to assess the damage. The place seems to be okay. We haven't quite assessed the damage to our work, tools, etc. but most of the damage seems to be to the walls. It still stinks in there. We've been hitting the walls with fans in an attempt to dry them out as much as possible before mildew/mold sets in.

Ron--our next door neighbor--probably got hit the hardest. Water poured in all over his books, computer, sets, etc. He's got tons of print and negatives he's not assessed yet but it looks tough. He's insured but it still sucks to have to tear down a place and begin again. Thing is? Most of the damage in his studio is along the shared wall that is directly aligns with my part of the studio. I can't believe I didn't get ruined. All of those framed Ape Machine drawings were leaning up against the wall there. Miraculous. Praise Jeebus.

Ah. Left the studio around 4 and headed over to the Armory to meet Patricia. I got off the E and she got off the car directly in front of mine. How perfect is that? Walked over to the Armory. Eh. I think I'm done with contemporary art. I just don't give a shit, you know? I saw a couple of small drawings--Dzama and a few others--that I liked. But I couldn't really steal anything from most of it and theft is the main motivation behind exposing myself to anything arty. We had a quick sit on the river just north of Pier 94 and watched the sun dim behind a fog-softened Jersey. Then we walked over to 9th Ave to Arriba Arriba! to get some of the gayest Mexican food in town. Pulled pork tacos with dirty rice. Good but man was that pork salty. And the non-stop, too loud disco soundtrack was fantastic!

After dinner, I waddled my bloated carcass over to the studio to open the doors and windows yet again in an attempt to air the place out. I also worked on Haroula's drawing--added some birdcages. That should be finished by tomorrow night.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Steve called yesterday around 9:30a. The building management people had just called him: a pipe had burst on the floor above our studio. Flooding. Aw fuck. He tells me he's going in. I decided to go in as well. Grab my coat, tell the boss what happened and walk over to the N. It was difficult remaining calm: I'd just gotten all of the (framed) Ape Machine drawings back into the studio and they were all sitting--still wrapped--on the floor against one wall, as well as the Ape Machine drawing which had just been sold to a collector. I did my best not to assume that is had all had been drenched--18 months worth of work, the frames, and the only piece from that show that sold. It sounds kind of dumb but I spent the train ride over and the walk to the studio working on some ujjayi breaths and pretending I was just about to start some yoga. I fucking ujjayi-ed the hell out of that pranayama.

Climbed to the sixth floor--elevator wasn't working of course--and opened the studio door: it smelled and felt like a dank, rotten sauna in there. Steve, Sarah and his cousin Seth were pulling water-logged drawings off on Steve's shelves. There was at least an inch of foul yellowish water standing in his studio; streams of the same liquid were still coming through cracks in the ceiling; water had settled in sagging blisters on the walls. Eve's studio was wet but contained no standing water. I walked through to Teddy's studio: several inches of the same terrible water--the water had sloshed down into his turpentine / medium cups and they'd overflowed. The standing water in his studio was covered with a film of oil and turp. One of his paintings was standing on end in the water, so was a framed drawing. Water was splattering down onto his guitars, tools, etc.

My studio? Absolutely dry. No water in my studio at all. I couldn't believe it. Miraculous. None of the drawings were effected in any way--the Ape Machine was entirely dry with water pooled not five feet away. So. I unplugged all of the electrical stuff in all of the studios. Moved most of Teddy's stuff off the floor. Cleared off all of the flat surfaces in my studio so Steve could lay out his soggy drawings. Teddy showed up. He was understandably pissed. The super, Nelson, came through with a shop vac and spent about 15 minutes sucking up the standing water. Lots of chaos over the next 45 minutes. Since my studio was dry I could only offer help but no one seemed to know where to start. Steve and Teddy moved a bunch of stuff into the hall. So I ran over to the deli and got some large coffees and some water. Then I just wandered aimlessly around the studio.

Ah. Finally headed back to work around 11:30a. I walked because it was a lovely day and I wanted to just dwell on my good fortune. Worked on some logos until four and then walked over to the insurance office to follow up on our policy. I don't hold a lot of hope that we'll get anything out of that--we're required to carry a certain amount of liability under the terms of our lease but I'm pretty sure we all played cheapie when it came to any other kind of coverage. Then I went to a local hardware store and bought a large box fan; there was an ancient bloodhound behind the counter, Lucy, a retired rescue dog. Went back to the studio and set up the fan at the base of a wall that had the most water damage. I'm hoping to keep too much mildew from setting up. Gabriel came in--his and Damon's shop didn't suffer much at all--and we sat and sipped a little whiskey and talked for a bit. He left and I went back to the studio and just kind of paced and fretted. What a mess, man.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I left work at 4 pm and walked into Manhattan on the Queensborough Bridge. I used to walk over this bridge all the time, three or four times a week--up and over and down to Lex/53rd to catch the V to either school or work. I still walked over frequently after I got out of school and was working at Disney/Hyperion before their move to White Plains. (Jackasses.) When the weather peaked in the spring and I had no obligations other than work (do I ever?), I'd even walk back to Queens over the bridge. It's a good bridge, one of the few places where I can get a little solitude in the city--even at it's busiest, I'll only pass a dozen or so pedestrians or bikers on the 20 minute walk over the span. The view of the East River and the relative isolation of the ped path kinda remind me of the lakefront in Chicago. That is, if I can avoid noticing the non-stop, three lane river of cars and truck passing twenty feet to my left.

I arrived in Manhattan a little too early to go right to the gallery so I wandered around the Upper East Side in the failing light for a bit. Walked over to the East River and up through the park there. Watched some dogs (including a beagle which I heard before I saw) frolick in their little park. Then along 86th to Lex where I slipped into the Best Buy to use their restroom. Then down Madison to the Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery.

Anyway. Negar's opening last night. A lot of handsome, older Persian women walking around. Swank, too: a mini bar and finger sandwiches. Negar's work looked great. She works hard, crazy hard and it shows in the work. Negar and I should have a combined show. We've both got a lot of tiny, interior stuff going on in our respective work.

Sidenote: A crew was filming Life on Mars on our block today. The crew was there when I left for work at 8 am and they were still breaking things down when I passed by at 9:45 pm on my way back from yoga. Parking was banned and the prop cars that were brought in were all vintage 70s machines.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The last 24 hours has been a time of horizontal trees. First, a fallen tree on 36th Ave on the way to the N. You can't really see it in the photo but the sidewalk around the tree trunk is cracked and uplifted--I'm guessing it was hit by a car or something during Monday's slick and icy weather. Second, a building that's recently under gone a significant renovation over the last nine months. Work crews were unloading trees from this truck/trailer with forklift. Exciting, huh?

Work blah blah blah. Then off to the Tuesday appointment in Union Square. Afterward, I met Calista at Heartland Brewery for a talk, a glass of barley wine and a few pale ales. Left, met Steve at the studio and watched him wrap up the Ape Machine drawing: sold! So I'll be putting that money on the loans. (If only I could sell allll of the drawings. I'd be free of student loans, well . . . eventually.)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Another dream of the unexciting variety about SGF. Only there was a third person involved--a mutual friend--and we were sitting around chatting (awkwardly) while watching tv. What the hell, brain? What. The. Hell.

Snow day today. About eight inches of snow, frigid temps and hard winds. So work was canceled. (Thank God these people don't live in Chicago. They'd never get anything done in the winter.) I got up at my usual time but--rather than walking the 10 minutes to work--I watched La Dolce Vita until about 9 am or so and then went back to bed for two deep, blissful hours of sleep. Woke up around 11 and continued watching the La Dolce (I love Anouk Aimee) until 1 or so when I went over for Megan's yoga class. So so cold. Returned, shower, made lunch, and watched a nice little documentary on Alex Toth. Then out the door, over to the N, the N to the 7 and the 7 to the studio. Finished up the last 30 minutes of Dolce and then worked for a few hours while listening to the Savage Lovecast. Walked part of the way home--to Queens Plaza, at least--then got two tallboys at the deli on the way home. Bed soon. After the Daily Show. (Maybe.)