after the storm … just eh

That cataclysmic event never really happened where I am. I’ve gone through hurricanes before, so I thought everyone was unnecessarily freaking out about this Hurricane Sandy thing, but I got prepared anyway. Well, where I live things are just peachy. There was some wind and rain, but no flooding or building damage, and no loss of power or water. I’ve seen pictures from elsewhere in the city and wow things look bad! But not so much in upper Manhattan.

Central Park is closed but Morningside Park was open. A few trees were down and there were branches and leaves everywhere, but otherwise not too bad. Life uptown is going on fine, lots of people out and about. Only issue is … HOW LONG ARE THE SUBWAYS GOING TO BE SHUT? Because seriously, that’s going to be a problem. Guess that means no work tomorrow!

the frankenstorm begins

This is the view out my window. It’s only 6:30 PM, but it’s really dark outside, the wind is howling, and I have a feeling a few of those trees lining the street aren’t going to last very long. The storm’s just started, so it’ll probably get much worse as the night goes on. No school/work today or tomorrow, so that’ll give me a chance to catch up on thesis research and give me some time to recover from being sick. Thankfully we still have power! And lots of chocolate!

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central park north

When people think Central Park, they usually think of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, Strawberry Fields, or the Boathouse. Maybe they even think of the Great Lawn or the Central Park Zoo. There’s a whole lotta of stuff in Central Park, but the point is, most rarely think of what goes on at the north end of the park.

Admittedly, there’s not a whole lot and it’s a trek away from the museums and touristy areas, but it’s really quite peaceful as a result. Originally Central Park only went up to 106th Street, but in that added space (106th to 110th) there’s Harlem Meer (seen below), with ‘meer’ being the Dutch word for ‘lake.’ So next time you visit Central Park, keep in mind that there’s a north side to explore.

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how’s that thesis going?

For those who are unaware, I am currently in the midst of my final year of graduate school, which is also known as the thesis year. So yes, I am working on my thesis. And … I’ve been working on it for the last month and I’ve already developed a love-hate relationship with it. I love the topic (because I chose it) but I hate the process (because it’s sucking the life out of me). Just … oh my gosh. Though I really do not like the library, that place has become a second home. There is always way too much to do.

The below pictures are of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an (Shaanxi Province), China, and I am using them to illustrate my deteriorating state of mind and my growing feelings of doom and destruction.

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art, how sweet it is

This piece of candy is art. Or rather, the pile it came from was art. Currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is an exhibition called “Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years.” It’s quite an interesting premise for an exhibit, where work from both Warhol and those inspired by Warhol are all mixed together. Major downside? The exhibit was packed. Packed to the point where everyone was pushing, it was hard to see some of the artwork, and the guards kept yelling at people to keep moving, step away from the art, not take photos, et cetera … kind of ruined the experience for me.

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The pile of candy is an untitled piece by the late Félix González-Torres. It’s just a pile of multicolored wrapped candies in the corner of a room, and everyone can take one (I obviously took a green piece). It’s one of those things where you’re like: Are you sure that’s art? Is it still ‘by’ González-Torres even though he wasn’t the one who threw the candy on the floor? If I stashed a pile of candy in the corner of my room, do I need to cite him? Does that make me an artist?

I’d seen the candy pile in catalogues before, and it always provoked an eye roll from me. But it’s actually kind of fascinating to see the circulation pattern form around the pile as people crowd in, slow their pace, curve around the pile, stoop down, and select just that one … and occasionally cause a little cascade. Or maybe I just look favorably upon anything that gives me sugar. Eh.

warning: you are now entering brooklyn

I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge – again! Last year I crossed it during the Occupy madness, but that was more of a night march. This time I did it on a Sunday morning and it was quite relaxing, only about a half-hour walk. And the weather was nice too! Only downside was that it was somewhat crowded, but since it’s New York, it’s a tourist attraction, and it was a weekend … being crowded was a given.

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And unlike last year, when I landed in Brooklyn, I didn’t immediately hop onto the subway and head back to Manhattan. Instead, I stuck around and explored the Brooklyn Bridge Park and walked around the Dumbo area for a bit. I love that name, don’t you? DUMBO – Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass … it’s such an obviously contrived acronym, but it’s fitting for the artsy area.

Oh, and in the Brooklyn Bridge Park there was a carousel! Acks! I NEED to return to ride that carousel. It’s called Jane’s Carousel, is open year-round, and only costs two bucks. Plus, the pavilion was designed by Jean Nouvel – so there’s an architecture connection for ya. Ever since I had surgery on my back (and was prohibited from riding roller coasters), I have developed a fondness for carousels.

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Last year I rarely ventured into Brooklyn, because *gasp* it was somewhere not Manhattan. This year I’ve taken to exploring beyond this little island, although Brooklyn is still quite the trek for me and inner Brooklyn is still foreign territory. Next time I’ll cross the Manhattan Bridge (seen in the background of the carousel photo) for a change of pace and spend some more time wandering around Dumbo. Hopefully ‘next time’ won’t mean ‘next year,’ but we shall see!

burger joint

I’m not one of those girls who orders a salad at restaurants. The only kind of salads I like are Caesar salad and potato salad – neither of which is very healthy. So when I heard about this supposedly amazing burger place called Burger Joint, I decided that I had to try it. Well … that’s kind of a lie. It’s been on my list of places to try since last year, but I finally got around to it last weekend when a friend was in town and wanted to try an American burger.

Burger Joint succeeds in crafting its atmosphere more than its food. It’s located in the very posh, very sophisticated Le Parker Meridien hotel in Midtown. And then there’s this dramatic red curtain in the lobby, a narrow hallway, and voila … a very divey-burger joint, aptly called Burger Joint. But there’s also a long line, which is annoying because I hate waiting so long for food! The burger itself verged on mediocre and the meat definitely could have used more seasoning. I ordered mine with the works, so when I unwrapped it from its white paper … it looked pretty rough. Still, it was a fun place with a very random music playlist. Will I go again? Not unless someone else really wants to.

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