In Which I Can See How New York City Inspires Creativity

I am here in New York City and I feel like I could easily call this place home. It didn’t take me long to get back into the pace of things and remember subway directions enough to get around, and the hostel at which I’m staying is filled with people from other countries, who I assume are much more interesting than I am because they’re European.

On the subway yesterday morning a crazy guy got on and sat there loudly talking to himself and telling people sitting in the handicapped seat that if someone with a broken leg got on they’d have to move, until a kid got on wearing shorts. “Look at this guy in short pants! I hope it snows tomorrow!” the crazy guy shouted, and I laughed, and that got him going towards me. He told me it snows here in April, and it’s snowed on Easter, and it snowed once here in July Fourth and that’s where the phrase “Christmas in July” comes from. I didn’t believe that last one but I could easily see how it snows here in April or on Easter, especially since Easter can come in March some years. He then told me he was from Canada and asked me if I’d ever been there. I said I had and he listed a few cities he’s lived in, including Vancouver and Montreal (He’s well-traveled if he’s lived in Vancouver, Montreal, and New York City). I then went back to reading the Post I had bought at a newsstand (still just 50 cents, what a deal) and got off when my stop came. I’d never had a conversation with a crazy person before.

I went to The Whitney to see Theaster Gates’ installation in the courtyard there, and then went to PS 1 in Queens to finally see my thesis site. They were running a big show on the whole second floor dealing with the 1969 MoMA show and all the events going on that year, and the collection had a lot of really interesting things in it. They also had a collection taking up the third floor dealing with performance art and video, which I thought was really great. I realize that the stuff in these museums is the best of the best so I can’t feel like “Charlotte sucks when it comes to art,” but it’s nice to see some really creative and thought-provoking stuff. It inspires me to do things I don’t have the talent to do yet, if that makes sense.

In the afternoon I went to visit the New York Times building again (I’d seen it when I was here last year) and get a couple notebooks from a store there, and then since I was close I decided to walk through Times Square and take some pictures. I don’t really like Times Square much, it’s just a huge crowded outdoor mall, but it’s interesting to watch people. On my way through, right in the center where the streets are blocked off, a lady was doing a stand-up for a news station. I got there about 6 and she’d drawn a big crowd already, and since news is something I’m familiar with from college I decided to stop and wait to see what the story was. The cameras had an NBC logo, so I thought it was one of the local affiliates until 6:30 came and I realized she was with the national NBC news. I was excited because I thought it was going to be some big story live from Times Square and I was going to see this lady report it. She took the throw from Brian Williams and then did a quick report about… the census. I quickly left, disappointed.

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