Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Monday weekend

I had such a busy weekend that Monday felt like a Saturday.

On the real Saturday, I met a couple of friends at the MoMA. I never thought I would say this about a modern art museum, but I think I will have to go back. You can't see everything in one afternoon, and I've just found out I missed a lot of stuff I would know about from my art history course, including Dali's
Persistence of Time, and Oppenheim's Fur Cup.

On the top floor was a special Dali and surrealist film exhibition, so five sections were showing screenings of:

Un Chien Andalou - the famously weird one where the cow's eye is sliced open, the ants crawl out of a man's hand, or the man hauls two priests (Dali and Bunuel) attached to two pianos with two bloody dead donkeys inside. Seriously. The music gets a bit stuck in your head too, and like any of Dali's paintings, it leaves you feeling unsettled.

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l'Age d'Or - a longer film by Dali and Bunuel, slightly erotically charged, and with a plot.


Spellbound - a Dali/Hitchcock collaboration starring Ingrid Bergman and a young Gregory Peck. One of the backdrops was on display, along with Dali's sketches for scenes.


And Destino, a short from the Disney studios chock full of iconic Dali imagery. Imagine, back then Walt Disney was so cutting edge that Dali chose him to bring his works to life:


After the museum closed and we were ushered out, we had dinner at a Thai place. I had never tasted plum wine before, but it was delicious. The color of tea, it tasted like sherry and pecans.


On the way down to Times Square later on:

Walked into the NBC store for some quiet during a phone conversation

Public concourse on the ground floor of the Rockefeller Center (GE Building).

A really nice staircase and floor. This (like the Empire State Building) was one of the large public works projects enacted during the Great Depression to give men jobs. In my opinion, it was the last time things were made to last forever - they really knew how to build 'em back then. Black granite and brass everywhere, and great murals too.

And that's not the end of Saturday:

After dinner, I parted with Dan and Laura, and met Chris in Times Square to see
Dark Knight. It was sold out again, so we got tickets for The Stepbrothers, which was good for a wicked laugh. The theater was so full at 10pm that we had to sit on the second row and gape upwards.

When we left near midnight, people were still going in for more shows and the streets were full of people of every description. This is indeed the city that never sleeps.


On Sunday, I met friends in the East Village for brunch at a little Ukrainian spot called Odessa. There was the original little cafe with tiny booths and red bar stools, which is where we met. The newer and larger restaurant next door was packed, but we opted for authenticity.

The East Village is just as you would imagine: tree-lined streets of character brownstones including little old Catholic missions behind ivy covered walls, lively little walk-down basement shops (which I am sure appeared in
You've Got Mail) offering vegan food, tattoo parlors, vintage clothing, etc. I saw a few punks but I guess being right next to NYU, more numerous were young intellectual types who wear hats, glasses, waistcoats with t-shirts, and sit and read poetry on doorsteps or under trees. They exist!

Anyway, at Odessa I enjoyed the Chef's Special as my intro to a hearty Yiddish breakfast: a sweet cheese blintz, four assorted pierogies, and a potato pancake, served with a side of sour cream and apple sauce. You also get a choice of coffee or tea (I chose the latter), plus a mimosa, screwdriver or bloody mary. I chose the mimosa. The staff look Mexican and are very polite and careful, and when you say "thank you" they say, "my pleasure".

After that satisfying
lunch or even early dinner we walked around the farmer's market in the park across the road. Pretty soon a storm blew in so we legged it to the subway four blocks away and made it in time, but I stood outside taking in the wind which nearly knocked me backwards, but boy was it fresh! While waiting to cross the road it was blowing so hard there was dust sandblasting the back of my legs.

Then the sky came down and I spotted a Kmart-Sears so ran across to buy a hand drill because Chris had suggested that before he starts work on Monday he would like to help me assemble my bed which has been sitting in its lovely flat pack IKEA boxes for the past month. And I keep complaining about it. My friends are the BEST.

Because of the cooler weather, roomie wanted to cook some fresh fish she had bought. Pollock, the new cod. Americans are much more familiar with pollock, which comes out of the Alaskan waters. I've noticed some fish n chip shops in London are trying to phase it in during the critical cod shortage.

So, while Chris and I did the building - which according to the instructions needed 3 people after all and we could have done with 4 - roomie helped when needed and the rest of the time prepared dinner.

The pollock was grilled with olive oil and black pepper, and topped with an Italian salsa of diced tomato, chopped garlic, basil, and black pepper. Very yummy. We also had a spinach and rocket (arugula) salad with feta cheese, avocado, and papaya dressing.

No carbs, but we were satisfied and felt better for eating such healthy fare.

So all in all, a wonderful weekend. I am happy :)


meimei said...

I saw Un Chien Andalou in my first level modern art class in Uni. You are right it is indeed a interesting film.

At the ROOMS, (NLs art gallery) there was this multimedia exbit with claymation. The monkey and the deer was the best.

Glo said...

What a fascinating post! Really enjoyed checking out the links, and loved the photos and description of your weekend! Wow ~ AND you got your bed together:) Thanks for all the sights, sounds and tastes!

MattJ said...

Great post liv! That modern art museum actually looks really good! Normally I can only really cope with installation pieces and thats only because they can be so much fun!

I'll keep my opinions on waistcoat/t-shirt combom and the people who wear them to myself :D

Christopher said...

I always love the pictures you post Livvie...such a fun hodge podge of all sorts of different things. I am excited about the prospect of my trip to the coast so I can really give you a good dose of Hippie americana at it's best...(Thank GOD Sephora delivers!)

And I also love all the food ideas...I think you and I should start a blog and call it the "Mixed Bag" seeing as how we both love a decent meal. Honestly, nothing is more exciting than having friends cook with you in the kitchen over a nice Australian shiraz!


Olivia said...

Mich - and I first saw images of it on my art history course, which caused me to look for it on YouTube.

YouTube is awesome.


Glo - so glad you enjoyed! Was a lot more photos than I usually post.


Matt - oh my, installation pieces make me feel even weirder than modern art!

Do you have an opinion on punks too?


Kissie - oh my poor Flickr account, you know?

I can't wait to hear your impressions on your trip, I am sure it will make for diverting reading.

"The Mixed Bag" eh? Sounds great. If only I could pick up my cooking vibe again, I lost it last year!

Anonymous said...

That is one hefty weekend! I have a copy of Spellbound and the Dali sequence is always interesting to watch. Your roomie's dinner sounded lovely! So is your bed put together now?

Pete said...

I really like the look of MoMa, plus I also trust your taste in art, so it's a definite must see. Far better than our wee BALTIC!

meimei said...

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meimei said...

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Anonymous said...

Le chien andalou video was weird.
and ewwwww.......grossss at times


Nabeel said...

hmm, so you are in nyc now. You should try catching Conan O Brian show or Letterman. Don't waste time with Jay Leno. Conan is my favorite. Also check out the Was Museum at Times Square

Flighty said...

Terrific entry which I looked at earlier in the week then forgot to comment on!
I find modern art absolutely fascinating even if much of it is not to my taste.
I hope that this weekend is proving to be just as enjoyable! xx

Olivia said...

Nikki - yes, but I won't post a pic until my sheets arrive from London.

I would like to see all these videos on a real screen, not YouTube. We didn't have the time to watch them all at the museum.


Pete - is the BALTIC your modern art museum oop north?


Mich - I will be over in a few minutes to see!


Vanessa - you watched it? Cool. And that phone conversation I mentioned - it was you!


Nabeel - thanks for the suggestions. I saw Mme Tussaud's in Times Square last week when I was catching a movie, and I would like to visit. They also have a Ripley's Believe it Or Not in there, which also looks fun.

I'm not too keen on Conan O'Brien. Letterman is OK but I always find Leno's pre-show routine quite funny. Why don't you recommend his show?


Flighty - it is indeed a great weekend, but today seems quieter which is why I am checking in online. Glad you're enjoying the posts and am sure you're having a good weekend too, on the plot perhaps. xx

Palm Springs Savant said...

Love love Love the MoMa pics! Its right up my alley. There is something about art museums that makes me feel so free.

MattJ said...

Yeah I ahve an opinion on Punks! Punks rock, anmd whilst most modern punk is a bit pop Americany and tame, some of it is still awesome. Good to see the old early 80s punk look back in too! :D

Little known and contentious fact is that in all likelihood the punk movement started in NY, with amazing bands like The Ramones kickstarting the UK punk scene.

I love punk, but I think I hide it well don't you? :D

Um Naief said...

what a great post!! love all the photos and youtubes! i love dali. we have a couple of his paintings hanging in our house. had no idea that disney and he worked together... you give such great info!!

you make me want to see new york so bad! the city that never sleeps reminds me of bahrain. it's the same here... you'll go to the movies at midnight and ppl are still coming in and the theaters are always packed, and the places on the street always stay open until late hours, especially on weekends.

weekends are meant to enjoy. glad you enjoying yours.

never had yiddish food before. sounds interesting and quite good, actually. the potato pancake w/ sour cream and apple sauce (was it apple sauce) sounds really yummy.

the paddock your friend made sounds really good. i love rocket. you can get it here and it's become my favorite. the papaya dressing sounds really good. how did she make that? will she give out the recipe??? :)