Thursday, April 8, 2010
They are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it
New York, New York."
It could not have been said any better. My time in New York has to be one of the most significant moments in my Stanford career. Not only did I get to revel in the spirit of being in New York, the experience also helped me realize the passion of I have towards the arts. I've reached a conclusion that the arts is integral to my being, its my form of function. New York reminded me what I was missing. If this sounds vague, let me clarify. Too often in college, I have felt the necessity to postpone my art-making in order to complete my academic work. Too often I have felt very disappointed in the lack of integration between arts and academia in Stanford. Being in New York and speaking with alumni reminded me, that the separation is a mental state and if one loves the arts, one will pursue it. I found the panel with the young Stanford Alumni in the Public Theater to be very informative, reassuring and exciting. It was great to see the reality, the struggle each student had as they pursued their art. While they said the work was challenging, they also said they wouldn't do anything else. New York made me dream bigger. It gave me the facts, revealed the complexities of art and economics. And it also offered me a glimpse into a possible life. I fell in love with New York, and I hope to return one day.
New York Immersion Highlights and Reflections
-Definitely having Suzan-Lori Parks answer my question and sign my playbill at the Public Theater after watching and experiencing BOOK OF GRACE. Yes, I will say it, I felt like a jubilant, overly excited 14 year old going to a Jonas Brothers Concert. (Not that I have been to a Jonas Bros concert, this is only a comparison.)
- Walking through Harlem and Spanish Harlem. I found it to be a very interesting site considering the historical roots Harlem has and the future of uncertainty that seems to uproot that history. This is evident by the deconstruction of historical houses that once served as hubs for artists in Harlem. While I found Harlem to be a beautiful neighborhood, I can't help being reminded of its fading history. I was struck with even more nostalgia when I visited El Museo del Barrio. The current exhibition focused on post chicano movement latino art and the continuing thread of a "phantom culture", a culture and people on the margins at the risk of being forgotten. As I walked through the main permanent section of El Museo del Barrio, I saw more history of the Puerto Rican community in Spanish Harlem captured inside glass boxes. They felt like relics, and I wondered, how does one avoid becoming a relic?
-Central Park. Although it was freezing, I couldn't help feeling warm as I hummed Alicia Key's "If I aint got you" and listening to the scattered musicians playing their instruments. The warm Nuts for Nuts concession stand also helped too.
-Jackson Diner. Enough said.
-Washington Heights, Columbia University and Queens. Gorgeous university campus, made me a little jealous. Hearing the different spanish in Washington Heights was fun. My favorite moment was when I bought a pastry from a bakery and sitting down to absorb the movement and language in the small space. Queens reminded me much of home for some reason, although Richmond is not as old or dense as Queens.
-Greenwich Village. I still can't pronounce the name right, but I love this neighborhood. It has everything. Old music record shops, the IFC and Yatagan Doner House shop. Yum. I'm going back there without a doubt.
-Favorite moment: A salesperson trying to sell me a $300 italian by telling me how handsome I was with the hat. If she had gave me one more compliment, I probably would have bought it. Like I told others, I am so gullible I would buy an encyclopedia set.
-Not so favorite moment: Being jiffed by the waiter at Carnegie Deli. Research restaurant's tipping policy before entering. It was a lesson learned.
-Surprise of New York City: I really like the subway system. I found myself loving it more than what I expected.
All in all, New York City inspired me to continue practicing and nourishing my art.
Below I have posted a couple photos and videos that I found interesting, funny, weird, etc. Open to interpretations.
Title: Hurry Up Now, Taxi Cab, My Love is Waiting
Credits: Video by Edgardo Cervano-Soto, Music by Natalia Duong
Title: Elevator N.2
This is a cargo elevator and I love the massive doors that encloses the space.
Brenda and David showing their skills
Chelsea Woman wandering the gallery/construction streets
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
The concentration of art in
Highlights of the trip for me was attending the NY Philharmonic’s open rehearsal, walking through Central Park, and watching Hair on Broadway our last night in the city. I have not heard the NY Phil live before and their sound completely blew me away; I loved the velvety, rich tone of the strings in particular (it could have had something to do with the acoustics in Avery Fischer?). I thought it was funny how much better the NY Phil was than the SF Symphony (my opinion), yet Davies Symphony Hall in SF was so much more ornate (pretentious? just kidding) than Avery Fischer, architectural-wise. Anyway,
I definitely enjoyed the trip and thought it was one of the best Stanford spring breaks I have ever had. The tour schedule was grueling but rewarding; it was essentially a broad overview sort-of-thing and I went to enough museums and galleries to last me the rest of the year. Haha, no, what I mean is, I will never walk into an art exhibit the same way again. The trip made me acutely aware of all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into all the art forms, be it work on the artists’ parts – rehearsing, thinking, planning the piece – or the producers’ and curator’s – choosing the pieces to be displayed, overseeing construction of the exhibit, directing the show, etc – and it really fleshed out the art industry into something relatable and more importantly, achievable. In the sense of “I can do that, too!” and “I can be a part of that!” sometime in the future, after I graduate. =]
Videos of various street musicians/bands to come as soon as I get them all organized and sorted out!
And a big kudos/thank you to Profs Jonathan, Sarah, and Brian for leading the trip!
Monday, April 5, 2010
I struggled with the best way to represent the questions I had during the week, and finding a way to best map-out our journey through the New York art scene such that it best reflects the progression of the discussions I had with my fellow students is something I still haven't quite settled. However, I'll leave you with a few images that struck me from throughout the week, and hopefully I can produce a more coherent presentation in the near future (it will also be easier in a week when I'm no longer relying on a slow Hungarian wireless connection!).
Sunday, April 4, 2010
So here my little wrap up of the city-experience!
I decided to concentrate on how we were getting places: My video montage is an insight into the different atmospheres of the city we traversed.
I was struck by how much ground we covered in that week-- I think all of us, including the alumni that helped us set this up, were surprised. We really made an effort to differentiate between the neighborhoods we walked through, and every day afforded so many things to appreciate about this city. That said, it was all very overwhelming, and so going through all the footage really gave me the opportunity to reflect upon our different exposures.
I realize there are parts of the city we didn't get to see, which only makes me want to take the next opportunity to return to explore further.
Looking down, at our feet, at the passageways, to me reflects how close we were to seeing new york's different stages throughout the ages. Because in addition to seeing so many districts of the City, we also discussed its development. It didn't just rise out of the earth (duh), it grew and changed and adapted to its inhabitants. This I felt was reflected best in the ground we walked on.
I tried every size I could, and this was the only one that would load. For anyone interested, I would be more than happy to provide the larger version.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Lunch: Jackson Diner (Indian Food), Jackson Heights
Dinner: The Odeon, West Broadway
Lunch: Manna's Soul Food, Harlem
Dinner: Thai Food, Manhattan
Lunch: Chelsea, with Cristin Tierney
Coffee at The Standard Hotel
Dinner: Korean Food, Koreatown
Lunch: Chinese Bakery and Gelato, Chinatown
Dinner: Black and White cookie from Junior's Bakery, Times Square
Dinner: Kyotofu (Japanese Food), Lincoln Center area
Lunch: Pizza with Polshek Partners
Dinner: Ramen (two blocks away from The Public)
Day 6: Europa Cafe, Broadway
Dinner: Havana, Broadway