Friday, August 15, 2008
I just returned from a trip to New York City to visit my sister. I consider myself a country girl and choose to live way the hell out in the mountains, and I like it that way. I do, however, very much enjoy the city. I love to see all the people and daydream what their lives are like, and of course in New York the diversity is fantastic. There are so many languages, so many styles of dress, so many colors of skin, and so, so many fabulous foods to eat from all over the globe. I also love concerts and museums and busy excitement, so the city is a great place for me to visit, then I am perfectly content to get back to my crickets and sunrises at home.
On this particular trip I enjoyed a couple moments of great irony. On our first day in town, my sister asked the boys and me if we would mind to help her catch up on her gardening. She has a plot in a wonderful, reclaimed lot full of flowers, herbs, veggies and artwork that is clearly a haven for the community. We dug in the dirt, pulled weeds and helped her harvest tons of green beans, tomatoes, basil, carrots and hot peppers. I love to garden and was so glad to have the chance to help my sister, but I couldn't get over how ridiculous it was that I had to go on vacation to one of the biggest cities in the world in order to be able to garden. At home I have a very small flower and herb garden I keep up, but I am entirely too busy, thus far, to invest in a veggie garden. I hate that I don't have one, and one of these days I will, but right now school, work and single parent homeschooling has ruled it out. Funny, huh?
On our last day in town we visited a P.S.1., a satellite MOMA gallery. It was awesome! There were several exhibits I really liked including one called "Arctic Hysteria" which featured, amongst other things, a stuffed, white, arctic hare perched mystically at the edge of a round, lighted pool of water as if the fellow were in the middle of scrying some future torment for its human adversaries. His colleague, above, holds a small plate of milk and was animated by a motor so he trembled, thus the piece's name, "Trembling and Honoring." How good is that?
There was also a collection of socio-political activist artwork from and inspired by the 60's and 70's called "That Was Then... This Is Now." Naturally, I thought this was great. I love revolutionary artwork and do believe that art is a natural forum for creating social change, so I am always glad to see it in action. I find it inspirational.
Honestly, I am a bit of a museum slut. It does not take much to turn me on when it comes to creative expression because, for the most part, I am just so freaking pleased when people take the time to do anything out of the ordinary to share their own unique perspective with the world that even if the work does not appeal to me personally, I am glad to have seen it.
So the second moment of irony came at the P.S.1. The gallery has an outdoor installation of large, round barrels full of plants and vegetables, again, another constructive way of employing urban space to hold aesthetic and oxygen-providing greenery. But this installation did not stop at plants. Oh no, once again I found that I had traveled 750 miles to the city to indulge in a simple country pleasure. This time it was hanging out with their chickens. You see, I don't have chickens of my own, even though I would really like to, because my husky dog loves to eat them. So at a hip, urban art gallery in Queens, I got to chill with some quaint country fowl. They were cute. It made me happy.
After all, I love irony.