"NYC is all Dada so nothing to be accomplished"

Trip Start Dec 01, 2009
Trip End Dec 14, 2009

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Flag of United States  , New York
Friday, December 11, 2009

Early this morning I spent about 25 minutes discussing art and
photography with an art teacher from Melbourn, Austraila. She was
leading a tour of students. She has been to NYC many times. I have met
many "Sheilas" since landing here. ( Sheila, Australian slang for
"woman", is derived from the Irish girls' name Síle.)

Winter has finally arrived! It is cold in the low 30's with a strong
wind creating a knife cutting wind chill. Not good.

I took two subway trains, getting off at Lexington Avenue and 96nd street to go to the Jewish Museum to see the Man Ray show.

On the walk over, around 56 E. 93rd street, The
area is very upscale, similar to the Gold Coast in Chicago. There
seemed to be quite a few tiny French bistros. I saw a Rolls and a
Bently parked on Madison Avenue. I got a very nice photograph of
buildings reflected in the trunk lid of the Bently which included the
distinctive medallion of the Bently B with wings.

I wandered the area finally ending up having breakfast at Sarabeth's at
Madison and 92nd street.I had Lox and scrabbled egges with a croissant
along with hot chocolate for $22 before the tip. Sitting at the next
table was a loving couple holding hands. They had two small bottles of
J. Roge champagne, hot chocolate, french toast, quiche, and OJ. The
bill before tip was $78. For breakfast!

The Man Ray show was very good. For me it was an
insight into his time and activities with the dadaists and the
surrealists and that fertile period in Paris between the wars. Ah yes,
and then there was Kiki! Etc......

They really didn't include enough of his photography in the depth I
would have preferred. Instead featured was an enormous amount of his
paintings, which I personally don't think highly of. Too much thinking
and not good execution. But lots of dada, which I love, and some
surrealism. Also letters to some of the luminary's of the time
including Duchamp and the one to Tristan Tzara
from NYC in which famously he writes: "NYC is all Dada so there is
nothing to be accomplished by bringing it to NYC." Further on he
concludes with "I am doing nothing of interest now to anyone or to
myself. Most Cordially, Man Ray." I found reading these documents of
great interest. There was one knock out mobil hanging from the ceiling,
probably the first, made from wooden clothes hangers with an old suit
case on the floor. It had a spot light on it casting great shows on the
white wall behind it. It was quite complex.

I also visited an exhibition about contemporary interpertation of
Jewish religion and life. A bit of a stretch for me since I don't know
everything Jewish. Never the less it was a great challange.

The museum building itself is something special, an old four or five
story mansion right on the north east corner of 5th Avenue and 92nd.

The museum has an incredible gift shop feature Judica arts and crafts.
A fantastic collection of modern menorahs to die for. I snuck a few
shots, one of which features the statue of liberty for each candle
holder. In brass. How I wished Susan was with me.

I had gotten to the area early, so walked about a bit as I sought out
Sarabeth's, this one at Madison and 92nd street. As I wandered about I
discovered numerous small intimate French bistros along the way. One
was down a few steps into an English basement. I spoke to the owner who
assured me that if I intended to have dinner there that I must make
reservations. -- from Chicago, a bit before coming to NYC, I would

I finally got to the great in depth Robert Frank photo exhibit of his book, "The Americans," at the Metropolitan Museum of Art around 4pm. On
Fridays it is open till 9pm. I didn't hang out there that long.
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