New York – Days 8-9: NYC – Museums, Food, and Freelancing

I spent a good part of the morning on day eight trying to get caught up on my blog and planning the rest of the day/week. I hadn’t made it to Best Buy the night before so that was first on my list for the day. I wanted to send my computer to get a new battery so I wouldn’t have to worry so much about finding places on the road with both an outlet and WiFi. Of course, apparently in NYC Geek Squad sees people by appointment only and naturally they waited until there was a line of like five people for a half an hour before telling us this…

The guy called out the next appointment person’s name and she wasn’t there. There was only one more non-appointment person in line in front of me so I decided to wait it out. When I’d stopped into a Best Buy previously to ask about getting my battery replaced they said it would take a few days. So I had to send my computer in when I was going to be somewhere for at least a week so I could get it back without too much hassle.

When it was finally my turn the Best Buy guy said it was going to take two weeks to replace my computer battery! Fortunately, I knew where I was going to be in two weeks and I was going to be there for at least a week so I had a little leeway. I decided to send it in, even though I’m pretty sure if I had waited and done it outside NYC it wouldn’t have taken so long.

After Best Buy I’d planned on going to the Museum of the City of New York, but by the time I was done I wouldn’t have had time to get there and actually see anything. I was near Columbus Circle so I decided to go to the Museum of Arts and Design instead. I’d been to the Museum of Arts and Design a few times before, but each time they had had a different exhibit that I’d really liked, so I was excited and with my reciprocal museum pass it was free!

Since I’d been to the Museum of Arts and Design so many times before, being there felt like going home. It was so familiar. I’d managed to land a freelancing gig for the following day, so with the prospect of work the next day it was like no time had passed at all, even though I hadn’t lived in NYC for over two years.

The first floor of the Museum of Arts and Design was in the process of being installed so there was nothing really to see there. The second floor was a collection of Japanese Kōgei, or artisan crafts. The most interesting part of that exhibit was the blurb about Toshio Ōhi, an eleventh generation potter from the Ōhi family of potters. Eleven generations! I can barely fathom eleven generations, let alone imagine maintaining the family business for that long! Especially since eleven generations ago my ancestors were living all over Europe.

The third and fourth floors of the Museum of Arts and Design were showcasing Wendell Castle’s furniture designs. Castle’s designs were super unique. He made really organic looking furniture using stack lamination. In stack lamination, he would take many layers of wood with a basic shape and stack and glue them together and then carve the stack to create the final piece. There were a couple videos showing his process which were really interesting. The purpose of this exhibit however, was to show how he maintained his handcrafted style using today’s technologies. Basically, now he’s able to make much more complex pieces using computer technology and 3D printing.

It has a door...why can't I open it?! Environment for Contemplation, Wendell Castle, 1969-70, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY.

It has a door…why can’t I open it?! Environment for Contemplation, Wendell Castle, 1969-70, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY.

Next it was pay as you wish night at the Guggenheim. The main exhibit there was Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting. Burri’s work responds to the horrors of WWII. The first few levels of the exhibit didn’t really speak to me all that much, but when I got to the miniatures and could see all his different styles at the same time I understood him and his work better and liked it more. I think I also appreciated the attention to detail on such a small scale. And I liked that Burri made the miniatures as holiday greetings for a friend.

Alberto Burri miniatures, holiday greetings to James Johnson from 1953 on, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY.

Alberto Burri miniatures, holiday greetings to James Johnson from 1953 on, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY.

The rest of the levels up to the top of the museum had pieces I liked more and stood to contemplate. There was a video about Burri’s Grand Cretto of Gibellina, a memorial covering the former town of Gibellina which was destroyed in an earthquake in 1968. The piece covers twenty acres. Burri used the remains of the town and enclosed them in new concrete slabs to make a sort of maze that people could walk through.

I love the Guggenheim and Frank Lloyd Wright. I love how the museum becomes an exhibit of people because you can see everyone on all the levels moving around. It’s quite calming to stand and watch the people as they circle through the museum.

Inside the Guggenheim, the visitors become their own exhibit, New York, NY.

Inside the Guggenheim, the visitors become their own exhibit, New York, NY.

Next, I was off to Astoria to get a veggie burger from this place by my old apartment before meeting up with friends for a couple of Halloween parties. Alas, like Marshall in How I Met Your Mother, the best burger I’ve ever had was not to be found. I knew where the place was and it was still there, but they’d changed their menu and my delightful veggie burger with alfalfa sprouts and barbecue sauce no longer existed. :(. I was super hungry though, so I settled for their Morningstar burger with some lettuce and onions and sweet potato fries. It was decent, just not the burger I’d been craving for the last two years…

I went as Hermione for Halloween. I wore a black maxi skirt and my Gryffindor hoodie and had my wand. I tagged along to a friend of a friend’s house where we saw the end of Ghostbusters 2 and then headed to someone else’s house for a more traditional party. I was exhausted and had to work the next morning, so I called it an early night (at like midnight) and went back to my friend’s house to sleep. Thank goodness it was Daylight Savings and I was getting an extra hour of sleep.

Day nine I picked up a freelance lighting gig working for Lighting Syndicate at  Acorn Theatre in Theatre Row in midtown. It was 9:30-6:30. We dropped some cable from the grid and dressed some cable (made it look neat). Then we moved a few strip lights and that was pretty much my day. I’m not actually sure how that took all day, but alas, it did.

I was really hungry when I left work, so I went to Yum Yum Bangkok for Thai food before heading back to Mary’s for the night. I swear, only in NYC can you have a margarita at a Thai restaurant that’s playing country music…

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