Thursday, October 14, 2010

mad city, in the big city

So, I was back in New York a few days ago, this time for a long weekend. And in case of anyone thinks I'm too attached to the Big Apple, I had a legitimate excuse for being there: a conference. A two-day conference, in fact. But despite spending most of Friday and half of Saturday in a big lecture hall, I still got around town and did my share of big-city shizzle. In fact, more than my fair share, since I'm kind of familiar, to a certain degree, with NYC now, and can root out cool stuff there better than your average Midwestern tourist.

I have to confess, I did hit a bunch of my old haunts again: the High Line park, Brooklyn Bagel, P.S. 1 Contemporary Arts Center in Long Island City, etc. Some places you just can't stay away from, I guess, though my hotel was only about a mile from P.S. 1 and so it would've been stupid for me not to go there. But I did explore some new ground too - a quick rundown:

- Had dinner my first night at Fatty Cue, a hip BBQ joint in Williamsburg that I meant to get to this summer but just never did. Not too bad, but not quite up to the hip-hype.

- Visited the Noguchi Museum in Queens. Definitely worth a visit.

- Saw two movies which I figured I'd never get a chance to see in Madison. The first was really good, a documentary called Marwencol. The second was a low-budget sci-fi debut type movie called "Jim," and it doesn't deserve a link. I don't think it'll ever make it out of Greenwich Village; but in case it does, you've been warned.

- Saw "Wicked" on Broadway. Yay! Great production, though the music is pretty ordinary.

- Stopped by the big celebration for what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday at Strawberry Fields, right across from the Dakota Apts. in Central Park West. It was pretty cool: lots of people doing an impromptu sing-along to a band playing Beatles songs. Very upbeat vibe, though I couldn't help but feel kind of down when I considered that John was younger than me when he was gunned down. And that it happened almost 30 years ago. Thirty years without John Lennon.

So, that's about it, other than the conference and some miscellaneous little stuff like getting a tuna melt at midnight at a cool diner next to the 7 line. Oh, and after seeing all that art, I've been inspired to start my own art project: taking photos of the Empire State Building from different places around the city. Pretty cool, huh? Maybe someday it'll be shown at P.S. 1 ...

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