November 30, 2007
The New Museum
I've been to NYC three times in my life. The first trip was as a chaperon for my oldest son's sixth grade class (traveling out of the DC area back in the mid 70's.) So that took care of the touristy highlights... it was a trip, believe me! And I've noted, if not recounted, my third and last NYC trip was with e-friends to see the Christo Gates in Central Park, also very special and worth a full post with lots of pics.
But I don't think I've mentioned the second/middle trip.The reason I bring it up is that the New Museum has opened with a building that challenges Frank Gehry's sensibilities... I'll withhold critique until I've seen it in person, which may be awhile. But I want to review my memories of the original New and the night I visited:
An evening opening sometime in the early '80's... looked more like a gallery than a museum... probably not too long in operation but it's name could be confusing me here. I was with a group of local artists who had flown up together to be escorted around by former local artist residing in NYC and who picked up extra bucks guiding visiting artists in this manner. Here's the history that covers the time when I visited... almost expected to see myself in that photo, looks very familiar. I remember wall to wall people, art I didn't get and the feeling that I was way out of my element but it was all very exciting, no matter. However my strongest memory of the evening came later...
There was a young man in our group who was about the age of my kid-in-the-Navy and when it was time to make our way back to the hotel, we elected to take cabs rather than risk the subway at 10pm. As our group climbed into the last cab it became obvious that the kid wouldn't fit... he was prepared to take the subway alone but I wouldn't have it, climbed out and headed to the nearest subway entrance with him. Me... at a time when NYC was not as tourist friendly as it is today... me, not knowing any better but not about to ride off without that kid. Of course, we made it back to the hotel just fine (despite the dire consequences suggested by the ladies in the cab.) Don't even remember the kid's name but I do recall we chatted nervously, each glad to be with the other for that long trip back to the hotel.
Will have to recount the whole adventure down the road... after I find my notes on the trip... it was a super-duper adventure I will always remember... hope I haven't tossed those that bag of info!
But back to the New Museum... do check out this introduction... take the tour. I owe myself another NYC trip to check it out. Maybe I'd understand the art a little better this time.