Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Big Apple has its Origins in New Orleans

"These vagabound shoes
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.

Title: AtTheApollo
Brenda and David showing their skills

Title: Musing?
Chelsea Woman wandering the gallery/construction streets

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