It was a relatively nice day, so I decided to spend it wandering the streets. In particular, I chose to go investigate the art galleries of Chelsea. First I had lunch at Bongo’s Fry Shack, which was recommended by last week’s TimeOut magazine, but which was disappointingly overpriced and not very good, as this review indicates.
Then it was off to find the galleries, which took me a while. I had the address of one, and it turned out to be almost at the western edge of the island. The first one wasn’t very interesting (Amy Globus at D’Amelio Terras), but then I found another, which also wasn’t very interesting, but had a map of the local galleries, so I found the dense concentration of galleries on 23rd and 24th between 10th and 11th Ave. That was fun – I just wandered into each one, glanced a bit at the work, and moved on. There were a few art students doing the same, taking copious notes. The Gagosian Gallery had an exhibition of Damien Hirst’s work, called The Elusive Truth. I’ve liked some of Hirst’s other work, but this did nothing for me.
In fact, I really only saw one artist in any of the galleries that really appealed to me. That was Gordon Terry at the Mike Weiss Gallery. I particularly liked “Below the Moon and Above the Clouds”, on that page. He had several relatively large scale paintings in that style of abstract swirls of color mixed together on translucent plexiglass. I wish I could analyze what made it work for me, but it definitely did. Alas, it is $12,000, so it will not be adorning my living room wall any time soon.
I then took the subway over to SoHo, and started walking around a few galleries there, killing some time before my friend A. arrived on the train from New Haven. Nothing really caught my eye, except for a store called Modern Stone, which had all sorts of neat stone products, from bookends to tables.
I met up with A. at Grand Central station at rush hour without a problem. Fortunately, I’m tall and easy to spot in crowds. We wandered around Times Square for a while just talking and catching up, had dinner at Pongsri Thai, which was quite tasty, and then went to see “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” at the Longacre Theatre, starring Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin. A. is in the Yale drama school, so he’d managed to score us free tickets during this preview week (one of the Yale drama professors did the costuming for the show). How cool is that?
I knew nothing about the play going in, other than it had been made into a movie and that it was a well-known play about people being awful to each other. I think my taste in movies such as In the Company of Men has inured me to such things, because it wasn’t nearly as caustic as I’d expected. Then again, given that it was written in the 1960′s, I can imagine it was absolutely shocking at that point. The production was quite good, as would be expected.
A. caught the train back to New Haven, I came home, and crashage ensued.