Happy Friday! I won’t be having a relaxing weekend, but I’m excited for it, nonetheless. I’ll be performing in three shows at Ailey, as part of a showcaseВ that features small companies and Ailey’s adult students. (My awesome ballet teacher, Kat Wildish, produces it.)
As someone who never had–or will have–a professional dance career, I love having the opportunity to perform. Until a few months ago, I hadn’t been onstage in eight years, since college. I’d forgotten how much fun it is! Plus, it’s nice to put all my classes to use.
We’ll be performing the waltz from “Les Sylphides.” Here’s ABT’s 1973 version:
I feel like New Yorkers can’t help but be voyeurs.
No matter where you are in the city, you always have the opportunity to peek into other peoples’ lives. At work, I can wave to office workers in other buildings and look longingly uponВ outdoor roofdeck terraces. While walking, I can peep enviously into stately brownstones or check out the decor in glassy, ultra-modern apartments. A few times at ballet, I’ve been momentarily distracted (or almost knocked off balance) from catching a glimpse of someone’s TV in an apartment across the way.
And I wonder if my neighbors across the way know my habits–like coming home late most nights, eating dinner on my living room floor, then spending an hour or so on my laptop. (Although close proximity can be a good thing. I once locked myself in my bathroom and had to scream out my window until a very nice woman in another building heard, spoke to me from her window and got my super to rescue me.)
So I love the concept of the gorgeous book,В “Out My Window.”В PhotographerВ Gail Albert Halaban shot New Yorkers through various windows around the city. It’s a beautiful collection of what we New Yorkers do every day. As Halaban so nicely describes it on her blog:
I have found that many New Yorkers spend much of their window gazing time looking into their neighbor’s apartments. Through this voyeurism, form a sense of community. We are never alone here in New York.
Are you also guilty of peering into your neighbors’ windows?
NewYork-now, a website I came across via Gothamist,В is both cool and nauseating. As in, it literally gave me motion sickness.
Using geotags, the site displays InstagramВ photos that New Yorkers take in real-time. There are snapshots of iconic places (the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty) interspersed with local landmarks (the big pig outside Rudy’s in Hell’s Kitchen), lots of food shots, funny signs, self-portraits and more.
I love how the siteВ provides a minute-by-minute look at what people find worth documenting in this city. But something about the way the photos appear made me a little dizzy.
Check it out here–but maybe take a Dramamine first!
(Photo above by me–I actually couldn’t save a large enough image from the site!)
Happy Friday! I’m spending this weekend doing something I haven’t done in a while–chillin’ in NYC. I’ll be celebrating my best friend’s birthday (happy 3-0, Reen!), going to ballet and watching the Olympics. (I have the parade of nations on as I type–how good-looking are all the athletes?! Also–it’s pretty funny that so many of them, no matter where they’re from, are snapping smartphone photos as they march in.)
Have a great weekend, as well! And enjoy my favorite links from the past few days:
About a year and a half ago, Mal and Peter moved to Maryland from NYC. I went from living and spending time with them every day to wondering what my life would be like with my two favorite people so far away. (Coincidentally, my best friend left for a six-month work trip abroad right at the same time. It felt like all my loved ones were fleeing New York at once!)
But clearly, I survived–and I feel like I became a lot more self-sufficient, too. I moved into my own apartment and found that–surprise!–I actually love living alone. I started taking more ballet classes, reconnecting with other friends, taking myself out to dinner, running, writing this blogВ and, as of late, going to Spanish lessons. And, of course, I made lots and lots of trips down to see Mal and Peter, especially during the summer.
And while I’ve realized that I can more than just deal with them not being in NYC, no one is happier than I am that they’re returning. I’m looking forward to weekend BBQs at their new place, late dinners out with the two of them and girly manicure and shopping trips with Mal. I’m so excited that whenever I want to see the two people who know me best, I can just hop on the train–and not take a 6-hour bus ride!
Welcome back, Mal and Peter! NY–and I–are thrilled to have you here again!
How pretty is this photo? It’s an image of the exhibit “Fireflies on the Water,”В which is at the Whitney through September 30. The artist, Yayoi Kusama, created a seemingly endless space using strategically placed mirrors and tiny yellow and blue Christmas lights. Visitors enter the room alone and experience the effect standing on a small platform over a pool of water. (I imagine it must be beautiful and surreal, enchanting and a little disorienting. I’m hoping to take it in sometime during the coming weeks!)
I hadn’t heard of Kusama before, but she has a really interesting story. She was born in Japan and came to NYC to make a name for herself in 1958. She became part of the avant-garde NYC scene in the ’60s, hobnobbing with Andy Warhol and the like. Then, in the early ’70s, Kusama packed it in, returned to Japan and checked herself into a mental hospital, where she still lives and produces art today. I thought that sounded a little, um, weird, until I read NY Mag‘s feature on her, which contains this explanation:
But whatever you make of her retreat into a psych ward, her mantra was always вЂњself-obliterationвЂќвЂ”to lose herself in the work, or to the work, to save herself. вЂњI fight pain, anxiety, and fear every day, and the only method I have found that relieves my illness is to keep creating art,вЂќ she wrote in her autobiography.
Who can’t relate to that desire to lose yourself in an activity that allows you to escape your troubles? (Even if we don’t go to the extent of institutionalizing ourselves?)
How awesome is this graphic? John Nelson, a UX and mapping manager (and clearly a super-cool guy), mapped out all the tweets that contained the words “love” and “hate” in the NYC-area over the course of a few weeks–which essentially created a pointillistic map of the city.
I love the clear outline of Manhattan, especially downtown, which, not surprisingly, seems to have the densest population of Twitterati. It’s intriguing to see how densely the tweets run along Broadway–you can easily spot the diagonal cutting across the island–and how there’s a gaping void right where Central Park is. Plus, I was amused that a bunch of negative tweets were in the LaGuardia airport area. (Who actually enjoys going through airline security!?)
But most of all, I appreciate there were almost 75% more “love” than “hate” tweets. Here’s to positivity in NYC!