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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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United Nations
It's Time!
OK, I'm so RIDICULOUSLY behind on my blogging it's not funny! Where was I?

Ah yes. On a Thursday morning in New York. I went for a quick walk past a bike shop (strewth, was that Friday? I can't remember... Ah, it was!) Ah, I remember, having re-read my own twitter stream. I went for a walk through Central Park... No, that was Friday. Argh! This will teach me not to update my blog often enough!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah... Finally! Thank you twitter for replacing my memory! I spent Thursday morning in the International Center for Photography. Funnily enough, they don't allow photographs, so I didn't have any pictures in my Flickr stream to remind me :-)

There was an exhibition of Fashion photographs on. Not something I usually enjoy, but some of these dated as far back as the late forties, so they had a really great old-fashioned vibe about them. Lots of them were shot in Paris also, which must have seemed terribly modern and exciting at the time, but now looks so historic. So I really enjoyed the exhibition more than I expected.

Then I made my way over to the East Side, and ended up at the United Nations building. My hosts, Amanda and Vincent, work for UNICEF, in what sound like quite hard jobs. So they are in fact employees of the United Nations. So they checked me in as a visitor to the United Nations building! And I got to wander around.

It's an interesting and in fact quite old building. The main parts of it appear to date from the nineteen fifties, the decor and even the furniture being quite amusingly dated.

And being a visitor rather than a tourist, I got to go to lots of interesting places, like this one:
UN Security Council
That's the security council chamber. I wasn't allowed to sit in any of the seats - there are all sorts of protocols, as you can imagine.

We wandered the building some more, and my hosts were amused that I'd turned up in shorts and an Einstürzende Neubauten t-shirt - my tattoos got lots of odd looks as well! And so we couldn't make our way into the fairly formal upstairs dining room, and had to make do with the very busy cafe, which did however have a great variety of food.

Eventually they had to head back to work, and check me back out again as an ordinary civilian. I wondered down to the UN gift shop, which had terrible naff trinkets from lots of the member nations.

So that was my morning and my lunch. In the afternoon, I went too... The Museum of Modern Art!

Once again I did my gallery thing - although with lots of breaks because my legs were killing me after nearly two weeks of walking all over the united states. So I dismissed whole areas as being of little interest - but that still left stacks of galleries I had to wander through... And again I had that "Crikey, that very famous original painting is right here before my very eyes!" Including Picasso's rather revolutionary (and quite large) Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, and Salivador Dali's somewhat revolutionary (and quite small) "The Persistence of Memory" on almost the opposite wall.

There were also galleries and galleries of great Pollack's and still more Rothko's, and Robert Indiana's and Andy Warhol's. And also random things like a jeep and a helicopter...

And in all my travels and in all the galleries I've been to, I've yet to see one Australian work. Not one. Not even folks who you'd think might have a following outside Australia, like Peter Booth or Jeffery Smart or even Brett Whiteley. Or Howard Arkley for that matter. These folks are all extremely good artists, but it does make me wonder that maybe they're just big in Oz. It's not like their subject matter is specifically Australian, apart from the odd view of Sydney Harbour. Ah well, maybe I'll come across some in the London galleries I have yet to make it to...

And then I spent the evening in a diner, and then doing bugger all. Which was a nice change. The diner was ace. They're dying out apparently, seen as a bit old fashioned. But the Motzah Ball Soup was great, as was the lasagne and the really friendly guy who waited on my. Manhattan Diner on Broadway, up around West 77th or 78th Street, go there if you're in the town. And it's still there!