Friday, October 24, 2003

I landed in new york city two days ago, right before my birthday this year. I am doing something atypical here. I am posting images (courtesy of paul) and trying to capture a few moments from the day.

Part I: Morning





By morning, I mean shortly after midnight. Me and PK and others went to the opening night of this new club called Nocturne. It seems every night is an opening night for some club in Manhattan. And as you might expect there is a group of regulars who go from club to club - they know the people in that world, the owners and bouncers and waitresses - and can easily slide their way past a line of frustrated people out in front. I am not one of those people but luckily many of my friends are. So we danced and drank for hours and different crowds arrived, stayed with us a while then moved on.

Note1: A girl who said she would say 'happy birthday!' to me every five minutes for the rest of the night. She didnt last for more than hour which I am thankful for.

Note2: One of the owners introducing us to his girlfriend and then leaning over and telling me in an excited boyish way, "Isnt she hot!? She's a model."

Part II: Late morning- early afternoon



After nocturne we headed out for kind of a post-party party at a smaller club called Bungalow8 which had no line out front but you cant get in unless you have a connection. After being out past 5am we then just headed to Paul's place. I slept until the middle of the afternoon. I had afternoon pancakes at the Pink Pony.

Note1: Herzlichen Gl├╝ckwunsch!

Part III: Evening



PK suggested we go to this artists studio as part of Moma-Ja. So we went to the working studio of Sarah Morris and met up with a few other people here. I had a few small-world encounters that day and one was that one of the other Moma-Ja people turned out to be someone I had met in San Francisco (a friend of another friend.)



After that is when the evening started to get interesting. New York is so dense with activity that you can literally stumble from one affair into another. All you need is to be social and creative and events will spontaneously link themselves together.

Six of us had seen bright lights and heard noise from another party in the building (this was in West Chelsea) and so we all went to investigate. The party was an industry party for John Frieda. There was a guest list but the bravest (and also most well-dressed) one of us walked right up, leaned over on the list and said 'Thats me right there!" He then generously explained that the rest of us were with him and so in that way we all strolled right in to an open bar of Cosmopolitans. We left as soon as the party started getting down to business (pictured above.)



At this point, a woman who had joined us explained that she had several invitations to private gallery parties that night and would we like to join her? (social life is also a tit-for-tat thing)

The first gallery was a slightly surreal exhibition of photos of children in underwear in Times Square. The gallery owner patiently explained how these images were deeply grounded in myth - Times square represented of course media and advertising who, like a bogeyman, is poised to kidnap these innocent things and inculcate them with brands and culture. And so on. We heard that the next exhibition had a rooftop party so we dashed over there...



The rooftop party was a disappointment - it was an ambient sound installation (the erie noise reminded me kind of those strange loops near the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey) and the rooftop was cold and windy so everybody huddled inside.

Inside they had some interesting visual installations (above left) and walking around, PK recognized and chatted with this man with a leather jacket. When I walked over he introduced me to Andres Serrano (top right)



At this point we were starving. A couple people dropped off and calls from other friends meant that another group was joining us at corner bistro. The place was full and the baseball game was on. The photo on the left is of people up against the window next to us, peering at the television screens.

Note1: One waiter there is now "the fry nazi" for arguing with us so vehemently and expertly, he pointed out contradictions in our own version of events in placing our order. We guessed that he was a frustrated ex-lawyer.

We moved on to another art exhibit and party of a friend's brother. His work seemed to consist of kitchen implements (forks and spoons really) shaped and arranged to look like things that resembled animal spines.

The group stayed there, others scattered to other places, I could barely stay awake and went home.

Note1: Feliz cumpleanos!

Part IV: denouement





Friday was mostly sleep, playing piano on Paul's conservatory grand or walking around the city.
The celebration continued over into friday and shows no signs of stopping. This is the city I remember. When I lived here in the mid-90's this was a typical night. The city will exhaust you, maybe consume you if you let it.

And yes, if you dont already know me, that is me in three of those pictures, including my hand in the upper left.

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