Still and Moving Gaps - I mentioned some time ago that one of the factors underlying my (rather nastily strong) depression is social - I have terribly conflicting urges pulling me away from human interaction (from "they all naturally hate me once they get to know me" to "people are so exhausting") competing with other urges pulling me towards them ("life is worthless without meaning something to people" and "I am so lonely"). This is what I'll call a moving gap - both sides are intensifying and there's no good resolution. A still gap is pulled out by NYC - the big-city versus high-nature feel. I've seen enough NYC (again) to have some part of me fall in love with the city, saying "OMG you must move here NOW". The diversity of people, the endless possibilities for varied experience, the lovable train system, even the feel of the blocks. This is counteracted with the intense desire to be away from this entirely constructed environment. I've never been sure how to resolve this - Pittsburgh makes a valiant effort to be a sizable city without neglecting stretches of nature, but the two urges in this case are always trying to maximise their utility. In both cases, the gaps are not things where I could be entirely happy with any solution. In the first case, any amount of meaningful social interaction is something I both need to be happy and remain sane, and something that would likely make me deeply frazzled and unhappy (this neglects the slight nuance that there are some very rare people who don't make me frazzled or tired, and I generally would like to either date them or make them my best friend but typically fail at both). In the second case, some part of me will always be dissatisfied that I don't live in Paris or London or NYC, and some part of me will want me to live in a cabin out in the woods. I imagine when I leave tomorrow, I will still be wondering if I could live here.
There seem to be a fair number of gals on OkC who might be decent matches - more certainly than in Pittsburgh. As always, I am slightly weirded out that roughly 2/3rds of the gals I find attractive on OkC end up being Jewish or Arab when I click on their profile. There are other general compositions of the face that might make me find someone attractive, but I guess the semitic face composition is one of the more dominant ways I can be attracted to people.
It was interesting seeing people casually smoking pot in various parts of central park yesterday. It was nice seeing the park get so much use by such a wide variety of people in the city.
Oh, also Friday's flight - imagined if texans built all airplanes, they'd all have more headspace for hats. More headspace would generally be a good thing - I almost always have to stoop to get into planes, and for smaller planes I'm stooping until I'm sitting down. Not fun!
Failed to attend Yaffa yesteday - was too tired. Woke up this morning, sadly still with remnants of migraine, jotted down all needed notes for travel today, and took the C down to the Transit Museum. I'm not a train fanatic, but it was really interesting! I also met an older guy who has a daughter at CMU - said guy talked with me throughout most of the museum, but it was interesting because he had seen many of the trains when he was a boy, and had colourful stories about growing up in NYC and seeing its politics. When I get home I need to email his daughter the picture I took of him (after he took one of me). Went back up, took a sequence of trains to make it to The Jewish Museum, but first, because I had not eaten yet and it was after noon, I swung by a place called Centolire, where I had some nice pasta. Service was a bit slow, but the food was good. The Jewish Museum was free because it's Shabbat - also had some content closed, and had a Shabbat Elevator. Exhibits: Apartheid in South Africa, Curious George (and the story of the family that made it), Synagogue architecture, and cultural continuity over the centures. It was a really neat museum.
While I was there, I mused a bit more about a perrenial problem in thought and politics - how we handle statistical events - when good judgement makes bad results.
Anyhow, on to the Guggenheim (by subway)
- Julie Mehretu - 「Atlantic Wall」
- Camille Pisaroc - 「Hermitage of Patois」
- Gaspin (??)
- Renoir - 「Woman with Parrot」
- Picasso - Fernande with a Black Mantilla
- Sarah Charlesworth - 「Herald Tribune」 - philosophically/culturally interesting too
- I stopped at a nice little food area in the guggenheim and had carrot cake and lemon perrier. Tasty!
- While there, I played with the audioguide, punching in numbers randomly that were well above the maximum number of things that had notes. Stumbled on an interesting set of original recordings of Frank Lloyd Wright (and some of his disciples). Wright seemed to be batshit insane, but in an interesting way - one of the things he said was that fundamentally, most architecture was about producing a box, whether it's open or closed, adorned or not. He talked about how the box was anti-democratic, which was a fascinating but odd move. There was quite a lot of this, and I listened to it as I saw most of the rest of the exhibits
- Roni Horn - 「Her, her, her, and her」
- Hiroshi Sugimoto - 「Black Sea」
- There was a neat kids gallery, and the kids showcased there have amazing talent.
- Marina Abumonic - 「Cleaning the mirror」 - creepy but neat piece showing people noisily scrubbing human bones
- Christian Marclag - 「Memento」
- Merce performs silence in three movements - Tribute to the "musical" piece, six projectors, a man not moving much. I had a conversation about art with one of the museum people about this.
- Stan Douglas - 「Der Sandman」 - This was amazing
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Back in the hotel, sketching out travel plans to return to the airport tomorrow. Flight is at 13:10, but I'm not taking any chances given the vagaries of public transit. I'm not looking forward to replacing this rootless emptiness with my old rooted emptiness. Oh what a wonderous thing it would be to have love that would clear the cobwebs out of my head and the pain of unrequiteds from my metaphorical heart. Probably shall never be...
Legs are pleasantly sore - I've done a *lot* of walking here. Sometimes at home my evening walks keep me out for a few hours, but even then this is far more.
Overall, the plan is mostly as I expected - a few elements were surprises, but only to the extent that they were contingencies that I already considered reasonably likely, imagined most of the most likely specifics, and had plans for. I still have the strange variant of Cassandra's curse, where nothing surprises me anymore, and things are far less interesting than they once were as my life-path has a big sheath of probabilities for its future that's often real enough that actually exploring it isn't necessarily worth it.. New York was worth it, I think.
I'm probably going back into radio silence mode - my regular life leaves me too depressed to write most of the time without being tempted to let out things that probably should not be told the world, and it's too tempting when I'm putting it together to emotionally think it represents real, bidirectional communication of the sort I crave - I'm cutting that styrofoam out of my diet until and unless I can get my head genuinely together. Or at least I'm trying.
One last thing - Eat'n'Park is trying to get a zoning variance allowing them to build a store in the nice grassy area in Oakland. There are signs up indicating that this is happening and providing more details, please attend that hearing and do your best to prevent it from happening.
For now, over and out.