Category Archives: culture

When the loser is the winner

It has come to my attention that for the past few years, whenever it comes to contests (American Idol, and, um, other more important ones) I have a real ability to root for the one that loses.

It has come to my attention that sometimes, the winner is the loser, and the loser is the winner.


And lately – there has been villification from New York Magazine, yay!

“Travesty – ‘People’ Names David Cook one of the Worlds Hottest Bachelors”  [There is even a Clay mention.]

“The Fall and Rise of Hillary Clinton – what she won by losing”




Murakami & Brooklyn

Last Sunday we trekked into Brooklyn to see the Murakami exhibit.

I lived in Brooklyn until I was 3, then visited the grandparents in Flatbush every weekend for the next 10 years until they moved to Florida, and have rarely been back since.

It was well worth the field trip from Manhattan.

I found Murakami’s art modern, commercial & huge in scale, with interesting characters and themes that reappear throughout.

There were statues.

This girl was great.

And whole walls of art.

Whole rooms of art.

He also designed some Louis Vuitton bags.

Plus a whole lot of commercial items popular with kids.

Afterwards, we took a taxi to Park Slope and walked around some, hung out at a coffee shop, and had dinner.

I have friends that used to live in Park Slope but I had not been there since they moved – years ago. It sure has changed. Mostly it was the strollers all over the place.

Also the eco-terrorists – waving their hands and fake coughing as they passed us on the street because of the [gasp] cigarettes in our hands. [Did I mention this was outside?]

Ah, well. We still enjoyed dinner, and I highly recommend the Murakami exhibit. These pics don’t show the scale of it all.



We did the gallery thing in Chelsea the other day.  [This after fortifying ourselves with lunch at “Rub,” a barbeque place that advertises “the best butt in town.”  Their thing is “burnt tips” – barbequed brisket ends – they were heaven.]

So we end the afternoon at an exhibit called “Masks.”  

ny4.jpg This caught my eye.

Hair of fake cranberries.

Mouth of plastic chattering teeth.  Fluttering open & closed.

The next piece looks like my shoe closet.



Oh, we bought something that day at a design gallery – these placemats.   



Some days, when I want to blog and find, well, I have nothing to say today, I peruse the New York Times.  To learn something new.

So, I perused today.  And learned some interesting, but all-in-all useless, bits of information – okay, I mostly browsed the Style section, call me superficial if you must.

– This sleeping ceramic pig is a best seller.  It’s by Renata Bokalo Auto.


There are some strange ingredients in perfume. Civet, for one. From the anal gland of a civet cat. Apparently used in many French perfumes. Chanel No. 5. Shalimar.  Hey, if it smells good…

– The word “vajayjay” is taking the world by storm.  Guess what it stands for?  Used in “Grey’s Anatomy,” picked up by Oprah, and well, there you have it.  Me – I don’t like it.  Just say the damn word. 

Fortune cookies are getting meaner.  Hey, I do not need a nasty fortune cookie, okay?  Unless it’s funny.  But is has to be damn funny.

A busy week

So we met some friends in D.C. midweek for a couple of days. 

First, Peking Duck for lunch at Peking Gourmet Inn, in Falls Church.  The best Peking Duck I’ve ever had [except in the cavernous Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant in Beijing, but that was 10 [15?] years ago and on the other side of the world.]   

Then to the Edward Hopper exhibit at the National Gallery.  I love his paintings, so this exhibit was a great thing to me.  There were the “famous” paintings, and ones I have never seen.  Two of my favorites are “Automat” and “New York Movie.”



This was the first time I had seen “Eleven A.M.”


The exhibit is at the National Gallery until January 21, 2008, and then moves to the Art Institute of Chicago, Feb 16 – May 11, 2008.

We stayed so long we were in danger of missing dinner reservations, so went for burgers at Five Guys instead.  Like I said, best burger on the east coast.

Then to the Kennedy Center to see the St. Petersberg Philharmonic, with music director Yuri Temirkanov and violinist Julia Fischer. I love that concert hall. The concert was excellent, and Fischer can really play that violin.


They played Mozart’s Overture to the Marriage of Figaro, K. 492; Beethoven’s Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 61; and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, Op. 100.

Next morning, onto the Impressionists by the Sea exhibit at the Phillips Gallery. This is open until January 13, 2008. I loved this Monet – “Le Plage de Trouville.” It was interesting that this was painted at the sea and you can see bits of sand that flew in the wind into the painting. The woman on the left is his wife.


Afterwards, we went to an Italian restaurant for lunch, and all got fresh pasta except for me [dieting. Ha.] I ordered shrimp, which came out with the heads on, cringe. My friend kindly removed the heads for me and hid them away. I still managed to gain 3 pounds in 2 days. Drinking water like a ninja now.

The Gates

img_0014jpg-really-small.jpg  I’ve been meaning to post this picture up for some time now – just because I like it.

“The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005”  was conceived by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1979, and was installed in Central Park in February 2005, where it remained for only 16 days.  This was huge-scale – 7,503 saffron gates dotted the park. 

I was lucky enough to be there.  Husband took this picture. 

For more information, go here

King Tut in a museum

home_tut_image.jpg Last Friday I saw the King Tut exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. [I also went to the Barnes Foundation, but that will be another post.]

Before viewing the exhibit, we [husband, myself, and two friends] went to the IMAX show about the history of King Tut, his tomb, and the tradition and beliefs associated with Egyptian burials of the kings and royals at that time.  King Tut died suddenly at the ripe old age of 19, cause unknown still.  In this film I learned that the kings were given tombs that were hidden so well they would not be found, so as not to disturb them. In these tombs, they were mummified, and surrounded by a whole lot of artifacts – some of their possessions in life, and some things they will “need” in the afterlife.

So. In the 1920’s, this English guy [sorry I forgot his name?] went on an expedition to find King Tut’s tomb. And found it. And removed King Tut, his mask [used on his mummy], his coffins [these were boxed inside each other] and all of the artificats inside his tomb.

The exhibit at the Franklin Institute includes more than 50 artifacts from King Tut’s tomb, all over 3000 years old. Including the crown he was buried in.

While I thought the exhibit was interesting, I kept thinking – I sure wish they would have left this man’s grave in peace and not ransacked it. Even if it is for history’s sake.