Archive for the 'Photo diary' Category

Culture Vulture/Photo Diary: springtime in New York

April 8, 2018

The Spring Culture Season blossoms forth!

March 30God’s Own Country on DVD (I didn’t love it the way many others have — the central relationship seemed more schematic than plausible to me).

March 31Cabaret Luxe at Lot 45 in Bushwick, inspired by Weimar-era German club performance, with maitresse of ceremonies Dorothy Darker…

leather-lunged diva Dee Dee Vega backed by punk klezmer rock band Amor Obscur…

and burlesque performers Lewd Alfred Douglas…

Divina Gransparkle…

and Deity (pictured below with the entire cast).

April 1David Bowie Is at the Brooklyn Museum, fun immersive experience.

While we were there, we strolled through the ongoing exhibition “Life, Death, and Transformation in the Americas,” with its eerie kachina dolls and awesome thunderbird masks.

Afterwards Andy and Tansal and I had lunch at Kiwiana in Park Slope, which serves all New Zealand cuisine, including the irresistible dessert known as pavlova.

April 5Yerma at Park Avenue Armory, Lorca’s play adapted and directed by Simon Stone with a ferocious cast led by Billie Piper and Brendan Cowell (below, photo by Sara Krulwich for the New York Times) and a spectacular set designed by Lizzie Clachan.

April 6Wild Wild Country on Netflix, the riveting six-part documentary about how rural Oregon dealt with the sudden emergence of an Indian sex guru (Rajneesh, aka Osho) and his community of devotees in their midst.

April 7Isle of Dogs at Cinépolis in Chelsea — we loved it.

April 8 — Museum of Modern Art. Final day of the Club 57 show. Ann Magnuson put out the call for a closing day party, so the basement of MOMA thronged with senior citizens who once upon a time were the hippest and grooviest of East Village clubgoers, along with plenty of excited visitors too young to have seen the club back in the day.

This delightful cartoony Kenny Scharf painting (“Escaped in Time, I’m Pleased,” above) prepared me for the colorful figuration all over the Tarsila do Amaral retrospective, with its inquisitive-looking critters and its theme of anthropophagy.

And upstairs a rich, heady, comprehensive survey of rigorous conceptual artist Adrian Piper, with its witty dada performative moments (I loved the idea of the humming room, very Yoko Ono — and I love that a security guard stands by whose job it is to make sure you’re humming when you enter the room).


Photo diary: honeymoon in Hawaii, part 4 (Poipu)

February 23, 2018

After toodling around the north shore, hiking up at the top of Waimea Canyon, and doing the helicopter tour, we were content to spend the rest of the week holed up at our VRBO (vacation rental by owner) in Poipu on the sunny, dry south shore of Kauai. Our cozy one-bedroom apartment opened right out to this spectacular view at sunrise of a gorgeous bay, just a few steps away from our lanai/breakfast table.

The view and the proximity to the water make it sound like a sweet secluded cottage, maybe…but no. More like:

A condo building full of well-off white people from North America. At least we were on the first floor, second from the end. Elsewhere on the island you could see — and hear — roosters everywhere. Not so much here, though we were visited every afternoon by these friendly critters.

The bay offered spectacular snorkeling. Tons of beautiful, colorful fish — Moorish idols, pufferfish, triggerfish, needlefish — and gigantic sea turtles the size of a coffee table.

All we really wanted to do was lie around and read books.

I finished:
The Secret Chief Revealed — Myron Stolaroff
Black Deutschland — Darryl Pinckney
Nietzsche for Beginners (ridiculous and incoherent)
The Marrying Kind — Ken O’Neill
The Spell — Alan Hollinghurst
The Child — Sarah Schulman
Swords in the Hands of Children — Jonathan Lerner

Of course you have to eat, so we checked out the local farmer’s market and stocked up on some fruits new and unusual to us: rambutan (the red spiky-looking balls), chico (the purple ones — they sort of look like kiwi and taste a bit like cinnamon), and dragon’s eyes or langan (inside the thin shell, a slimy pitted fruit that tastes like a cross between a grape and a pear). Plus fresh pineapple and those small, dense, tasty apple bananas.

Right next door to our apartment complex stood the Beach House Restaurant, where people gravitated from miles around to view the sunset.

It’s not unusual to get a brief sprinkle sometime during the day in Hawaii, but you don’t always get a rainbow, let alone a double rainbow.


Photo diary: honeymoon in Hawaii, part 3 (Hanapepe)

February 22, 2018

Our favorite place on Kauai turned out to be the historic old town of Hanapepe, which among other things is where the animated Disney film Lilo and Stitch took place, something we learned from a sign painted on the side of a delightfully funky derelict old stucco movie palace called the Aloha Theater.

We had lunch at Bobbie’s, which serves very local cuisine — which in Hawaii means really fatty pork and spicy Korean deep-fried chicken over white rice with sugar-loaded soda pop in island-fruity flavors (guava, pineapple, lilikoi/passionfruit). Kinda gross, to tell you the truth.

We couldn’t resist stopping in at Talk Story Bookstore, which bills itself as the Westernmost bookstore in the United States. The friendly couple who run the store shelve fiction in separate sections for male authors and female authors, and they told us they’re such book-nerds that when they traveled to Iceland and discovered a cache of ’50s pulpy paperbacks they left clothes behind to make room in their luggage for the books.

Clearly the town tries hard to stay in the game with a string of art galleries, but the number of boarded up or abandoned buildings gives it the feel of a ghost town, which I found perfectly charming. I also learned that there is such a thing as a movement for Hawaiian independence.

From Dave Seminara’s “36 Hours in Kauai” feature in the New York Times’ Travel section last November, we’d caught wind of “Jacqueline on Kauai,” aka The Aloha Shirt Lady, who will whip up a custom-made Hawaiian shirt for you overnight. Jacqueline Vienna is a character, a tough-cookie hippie grandma with great taste. We met her Wednesday afternoon and went back Friday morning to pick up our shirts, which we’re thrilled with.

Photo diary: honeymoon in Hawaii, part 2 (Waimea Canyon)

February 22, 2018

They call Kauai “the Garden Isle” for its natural beauty, which shows up in the lush greenery along the north shore, the striking cliffs along the Na Pali Coast (along which there is no roadway), and the colorful ridges that make up Waimea Canyon, Hawaii’s miniature version of the Grand Canyon.

We dutifully drove to the top of Koke’e State Park to have a look at both the coastal views and the canyon.

We encountered a local family scattering Grandma’s ashes in the form of five big balloons they tossed over the side of the cliff, which struck me as ecologically insensitive for Hawaiian natives, but whatever.

And inevitably we booked a one-hour helicopter tour, which is the only way you’re going to get a glimpse of the Na Pali Coast in all its splendor.

Our honey-voiced pilot, Marty, also flew us into the otherwise inaccessible crater of the long-dormant volcano.

Photo diary: honeymoon in Hawaii, part 1

February 21, 2018

After a brief overnight stopover in unseasonably balmy San Francisco, Andy and I arrived in Kauai for our belated honeymoon. We spent the first two nights at a lovely Airbnb in Kapaa hosted by a couple of yoga teachers and healing practitioners (one of whom lived in the same Upper West Side apartment as me in 1993).

That gave us a perch from which to explore the north shore. We sought out Secret Beach, the secluded stretch of sand and rocks favored by clothing optional beach fans, which was so secret and secluded that we had it all to ourselves.

We stopped for a macaroon and tea at the Kilauea Bakery and then drove all the way to the end of the road, past the lush fields and gorgeous beaches made famous in the movies (South Pacific, Jurassic Park, King Kong). Then we doubled back to the schmancy St. Regis Hotel in Princeville for the obligatory sunset photos over cocktails on the balcony.

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