Monday 22 June 2009

Williamsburg/Manhattan/Coney Island

If only you could get frequent 'flier' miles from your own legs I'd be eligible for all sorts of gifts, treats and upgrades. Ok, so that analogy got a little confused but the point of it is pretty clear; I am covering a lot of ground.

I even snuck in a run around Prospect Park on Saturday morning, which was great. I really adore the way the parks are such a hub of activity in New York. I know it happens in other cities, but there is a real sense of ownership here and the general public will use that space for all sorts of activities, one man rode past me on a unicycle with his dog in tow. An inventive, albeit dangerous, way of walking the dog.

Friday I spent in Williamsburg, it was my first ever visit and I took a walk down Bedford Avenue before my five gallery extravaganza began. I'm not going to list them all, but my favourite was the work of Steven Brower and his Brower Propulsion Laboratory at the Parker's Box Gallery.

The whole concept revolves around the (fake) aerospace company BPL and the exhibition is designed to operate as a precursor to a 'mission' the company will undertake later in the summer. The space is filled with objects for the mission and the walls are adorned with ironic internal memos and corporate press releases, which are funny and raise some interesting questions about modern society, corporate spending and power.

You can read all of the memos on the corporate site of BPL and it's definitely worth it. The No Parties memo (shown above) is my personal favourite. A great show, really fun and interesting and the inventions and paintings displayed were well crafted and sympathetic to the overall concept.

Friday Night I took a visit to Broadway and managed to snag a last minute seat to the Noel Coward play 'Blithe Spirit' starring Rupert Everett (in his Broadway debut) and Angela Lansbury. Although in my head the full cast ran more as Everett, the lady from Murder She Wrote, Karen Hayes from 24 (Jayne Atkinson) and the blonde lady who I knew I should know but didn't (Christine Ebersole - multi award winning actress!).

But despite my limited knowledge of the cast's theatrical experience I knew I was in for a treat and so it turned out. The play itself is a gem and the sort of thing that I love to go and see, but I also thought the performances were fantastic. Rupert Everett has such a powerful stage presence and had the audience under his spell from the minute he delivered his first line. Angela Lansbury gave a marvellous comic turn as Madame Arcati and the rapport between the two leading ladies was convincing and engaging. A great first taste of Broadway for me!

Last, but absolutely no way least was the Mermaid Parade at Coney Island. I don't want to go into too much written detail as a few simple words will sum up the experience: bizarre, wet but fun.

The pictures below give you a taste of what I experienced stood in the torrential rain on Surf Avenue, Coney Island. It really was an odd procession. Undoubtedly a family event, but just not a family I'd be comfortable being a direct descendant of in some parts (although these pictures are pretty tame and don't show some of the more spectacular sights). But it was certainly enjoyable and worth the trip.

That's it for now. Back to Manhattan tomorrow for a few more meetings and portfolio showings. Remember if you're reading this in New York and want to see my book, just drop me an email.

1 comment:

  1. Great gymnast shot with the backlit flash!

    I'm enjoying the reportage, keep up the good work, and find the time amongst your crazy-busy-exciting days!