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I Heart NY #41919

Mimi Gross! 

At the Post Office, one of the counter ladies was wearing a church version of rabbit ears—they were fine. She was helping someone else but when I stopped she looked up. Can I help you? Gruff. I have to tell you a joke*, I said. They both liked it & we had that moment of New York friendly: total & then totally over. 


Then a chat with the girl at the library about the DVD I was returning, The Sandlot. One of her favorites & she had been excited last week when I checked it out & was thrilled that I liked it. 


Then the wonderful, colorful, happy-making Mimi Gross show at the Eric Firestone gallery on Great Jones street. 

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The NY Auto Show

1953 Fiat Berlinetta 8V ("otto vu"). For $1.8 million, this could be mine. 

I had skipped it the last couple years & was bored for a couple years before that, but this year's Auto Show wowed me. I felt the old excitement of walking into the Javits Center & seeing millions of dollars of steel & design. There were a whole bunch of Corvettes & a car that made tears spring out of me (see photo). Johnny made fun of me when I told him but this is beauty of a high order. What else but cry? I like the matte finish I saw on a couple of cars, though I had to get close to make sure it wasn't primer (I was there for Press Day so things aren't always completely set up). 

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Another of the Brainards that will be in the show opening Saturday & running through May 24 at Tibor de Nagy. 

Happy birthday to the love of my life. That doesn't say enough. Happy birthday to a man I admire & love beyond the puniness of my small self. Johnny Johnny whoops Johnny-o. 

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Notre Dame

The times I've been in Paris, it seemed that wherever I walked I'd end up in front of Notre Dame. It's magnetic—not surprisingly, given both its beauty & 800-year history. So sad to see it burn. I've been fascinated to read many people's accounts & see their photos, as well as a few sad sack comments (from friends of friends) criticizing having "more" feeling for a building than ["cause"]. There's a lot of that lately: If you don't care as much as I do about X, & express it as forcefully, then you're dead to me. 


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Monday Quote

This is so exactly how I felt. Feel. I fell in love with New York in the first 10 minutes I was here & have felt the same ever since. I'm lucky to be from elsewhere or I might not have gotten the blow of NYC all at once. 

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A poster on the wall at the School for Visual Arts. 

Rob Walker spoke at the 4th annual Phil Patton Memorial Lecture this week on his new book, The art of noticing: 131 ways to spark creativity, find inspiration, and discover joy in the everyday. The part after the colon clearly is there to get it onto the self-help shelves, because when he talked about noticing, it was riveting, serious, not cheesy at all. As an example, he showed slides of "what you're not supposed to notice": security cameras. As with Basquiat, Walker was able to change how I see what I see. 


Phil Patton taught design at SVA but I knew him from our days as auto writers. What an eye that man had. And mind. And oh my, he could write. 

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Still in the neighborhood

Our spring treat. The tulip tree (magnolia?) of the Marble Cemetery. Much as I love winter, this is fun! 

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In the neighborhood

The view from Anthology Film Archives at 2nd & 2nd. I live at 1st & 1st. 

My block was picked as his favorite, for the mix of buildings & neighbors, by a guy who walked all of lower Manhattan & wrote a book called Blockology. I don't have to cross a street to go to Anthology, the incredible Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, the original Lil Frankie's restaurant, the Hare Krishnas, or the Catholic Worker. I'm across from the beautiful & historic Marble Cemetery, resting place of, among others, Preserved Fish, scion of the notable New York Fish family. Every day I walk outside & am grateful to live exactly here.

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Monday Quote

No public man in these islands ever believes that the Bible means what it says: he is always convinced that it says what he means.
~ George Bernard Shaw


Don't think that Shaw is hedging his bets with "in these islands." Shaw was never a bet-hedger, that's for sure. He's not the greatest writer but definitely one of the most quotable. Maybe those two attributes can't go hand in hand—complexity vs. quotability? 

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The Master Printers Building

The Master Printers Building aka Bruno was one of the tallest reinforced concrete buildings in the U.S. at the time it was completed, in 1927. YAI has a couple of floors & it's where I go weekly to teach karate to students with learning disabilities. 


I have reams to say about my students & how much they mean to me, but for now I'm only thinking about the building. It's 20 stories—it would be the most significant building in my hometown but while attractive is no great shakes in NYC. This floor is the most deluxe thing in it. 


The building is being sold & YAI is looking for a new home. 

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