Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Big Apple 2

Jet-lag propelled us out of our heavenly bed early / We crossed the river into Brooklyn and almost had Brooklyn Botanical Gardens to ourselves / We'd missed the flowering cherry trees but a long stroll around the peaceful Japanese gardens made up for it / Then back into the freneticism of a Memorial Day weekend and shopping for bargain Calvin Klein underwear and Acne t-shirts at Century 21 - loads of choice here but most of the stuff is obviously damaged or things other stores can't sell / Into Midtown for a greasy lunch of cheeseburgers, shoestring fries and cream soda at the Garfunkel's-style Brooklyn Diner in Times Square, eating to a musical accompaniment of ZZ Top, Bruce Springsteen and, ahem, Dead Or Alive - the first time we'd seen so many overweight Americans concentrated in one place in NYC.

To the Biographical Landscape: The Photography of Stephen Shore exhibition at the International Center of Photography - I'm always overwhelmed in the presence of Shore's colour photos of the vernacular American landscape but I was surprised to learn that he's worked in Andy Warhol's The Factory / Up onto 5th and Madison Avenues where we shopped for Kiehl's products in Saks and tops in Banana Republic - unlike my last trip to Banana Republic, the service this time round was so poor that I hardly bought a thing.

I left in frustration and sought sanctuary in the Cohen Amador Gallery on East 57th Street, situated on the upper floors of a building with a very interesting Gotham City-style art deco interior / There we saw Osamu Kanemura's Spider's Strategy exhibition - large black and white photos of mangled and tangled Tokyo streets - at first I wished the photos were in colour but the more I lost myself in them the more I saw that the shades of white, black and grey forestalled sensory overload and threw attention to the geometry and shapes of urban landscapes / Apparently, Kanemura is still a newspaper delivery guy / The gallery owner was there and spent alot of time with us showing other Japanese prints and books he had / From him we bought Motoko: The Old And New Guide Of Kyoto and a signed limited edition copy of Mikiko Hara photos / When we are ready to buy art for ourselves, I think we will collect Japanese photography.

Enough art, time for some serious shopping / To DKNY on Madison Avenue where I spent a good hour collecting and trying on clothes - t-shirts, skirts, dresses, blouses, cardigan wraps - everything was gorgeous, everything I tried on fitted perfectly, the service I received was optimal / I love Donna Karan! / And so does my husband's credit card company because, as I was getting out my wallet to pay, he handed over his card instead and treated me to bagloads of designer goodness / I love my husband! / Thank you M.

To Bloomingdales for Ralph Lauren bed linen - high-thread count, Eygptian cotton, all white, bliss / I paid this time - it was the least I could do / Then back to the Rivington to shower and offload the bags and back out into the humid night to eat at modern Spanish restaurant Suba / Baby gem salad with artichokes, lightly fried radishes, anchovies and goats cheese curd / Grilled octopus with apple slices, paprika, black olives, potatoes and a warm walnut vinaigrette / A seafood salad of clams, prawns, scallops, peas, broad beans, green beans, a mint vinaigrette and some teeny tiny purple flower heads / So fresh, so clean, so very green / I can't wait to return.

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