Beautiful footage of polar bears swimming.
One of those weekends wherein I realize once more why I love this city so much. Friday afternoon, we went to the Swedish Midsummer Festival in Wagner Park, on the southern tip of Manhattan. It was lovely, a clear, golden sunset over fields stocked with blonde Swedish women with wreaths of greenery and wildflowers in their hair. We sat by the water and had our picnic - pickled herring, new potato salad, salmon, Swedish meatballs with lingonberries, chopped red cabbage. Then we walked around the tip of the island, back up through Battery Park and the World Financial Center, and got mango and coconut macaron ice cream sandwiches from Francois Payard, and ate them in the park.
The next morning I had breakfast at the NoMad, then went up and saw the Lost Worlds show at the Metropolitan Museum. A beautifully installed show of Buddhist statuary and relics from now-vanished civilizations of South East Asia, it made me want to travel like I haven’t in forever.
While I was at the museum, I also sought out a five painting exhibition of portraits of the family of the Count and Countess of Altamira, four by Goya, one by a colleague. Painted in the late 1700’s, Goya’s canvases are utterly charming - you get the impression Goya would’ve been a great guy to hang around with. The portrait of their son Manuel is one of the museum’s greatest images of childhood; beyond the formal aspects of the portraiture, the canvas throbs vibrantly, from the boy’s pet magpie dragging Goya’s business card across the floor to his hungry cats, watching the bird with blazing eyes.
The first image in the series was a portrait of the boy’s father, commissioned by the bank for which he worked. Goya makes no attempt to flatter his subject, a notoriously diminutive man - he has him sprawl inelegantly in an oversized chair, rather than standing up in a more commanding position. From the catalogue: “The English politician Henry Richard Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland, claimed that Altamira “was the least man I ever saw in society, and smaller than many dwarfs exhibited for money.”“
Breakfast again at the NoMad - the sandwich of chicken breast with foie gras and truffles. Then we screwed up on our movie times, and ended up getting gelato at Eataly, and watching the World Cup in Madison Square Park, kind of. All in all , a great weekend.
The Jesus & Mary Chain, “Never Understand”. Featuring Mr. Bobby GIllespie on drums. “Combines Beach Boys’ melodies with the distortion of White Light/White Heat" - the most accurate thing ever published on Wikipedia.
Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love. Claude Monet