Thursday, November 30, 2006

Despite the resounding silence here, I did actually see some art over the long Thanksgiving weekend - Americans in Paris, 1860–1900, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Charles Courtney Curran (1861–1942)
Afternoon in the Cluny Garden, Paris, 1889

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Another assassination in Lebanon

When I called my father to tell him that Pierre Gemayel had been assassinated, he said "The kid?" Pierre Amine Gemayel was the 34-year-old grandson of Pierre Gemayel, for whom he was named, and the son of Amin Gemayel, a former president of Lebanon. This prominent Christian family has been targeted before.

The choice of victim is also an act of historical blackmail, resurrecting as it does some key ghosts of the 1975-1990 Civil War: A 1980 car-bombing killed the 2-year-old daughter of his uncle, then-Lebanese Forces leader Bashir Gemayel; another blast killed Bashir himself after he became president-elect in 1982. The assailants' identities and immediate demands are unknown, but their message is clear: They will bring the country to - and possibly beyond - the brink of disaster to get their way. -The Daily Star

And the killing crystallized a sense of foreboding, as everyone waited for Sheik Hassan Nasrallah's "surprise."

An impending assassination has been in the air for the past few weeks. We could all feel it -- it stood out from the general sense of dread hanging over Lebanon since the war. It was specific. We didn't know who or when, or whether the attempt would succeed -- but we knew it was coming. - Chercheuse d'Or

Most observers expect today's killing to further polarize the pro-Syria and anti-Syria bloc and shape the country's future.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This weekend

Printed Matter presents the first New York Art Book Fair in Chelsea. 548 West 22nd Street (10th & 11th Aves)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

I feel compelled to post something once in a while, even if it doesn't involve art. Tonight we had a very nice dinner at a restaurant I'd never heard of. You see, there's Giorgione at 307 Spring Street, which I hear is very good, but we went to its cousin Giorgione 508, at 508 Greenwich Street, and it was really excellent.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I love this photograph. From New York Magazine.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Did you ever dream of monitoring the foot traffic in a hip store from the comfort of your home?

Oh good. Because now you can watch people shopping at Uniqlo, Japan's most popular retailer, in SoHo. Surprisingly mesmerizing.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The beginning of Art School Confidential reminded me of one of those Saturday-morning sitcoms aimed at teenagers. And not in a good way. It's too bad, because the insular universe of art school is ripe for a black comedy, and the premise could not have been in better hands: Terry Zwigoff directed the documentary Crumb, about the cartoonist Robert Crumb, and one of my all-time favorite movies, Ghost World. That's not to say that there weren't some truly funny moments in the movie, and seeing John Malkovich again made me want to order all of his movies from Netflix.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

After I voted yesterday, I was treated to a pretty fabulous exhibition of self-portraits in my neighborhood public school. Apparently the art teacher there had taught his grade-school students about Expressionism, and they had learned their lesson well.
Gray skies are gonna clear up,
Put on a happy face;
Brush off the clouds and cheer up,
Put on a happy face.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I haven't been posting much lately because my job has gotten in the way. But that doesn't mean we haven't been engaging with our fellow freaks! Yes, on Tuesday we took in the Village Halloween Parade. Despite a creepy undertone of, well, advertising (how many Borats and Marie Antoinettes do we need in one parade?), I was impressed by the limitless supply of creativity that is unleashed whenever a New Yorker is presented with that most tantalizing incentive - an audience. Here I am thinking of the dude who dressed up as Viagra, or more accurately, the effect of Viagra.

And today was the event that I look forward to most all year - the New York City Marathon. It's hard to explain why this parade of agony has become a favorite of mine. I think it dates back to when I lived in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and we'd cheer the (eventual) winners as they ran by, then go back home and eat bagels until they crossed the finish line a couple of hours later. I think I've gone to see every marathon since then, and I've known a couple of people who ran. It's very moving (and baffling) to watch people from around the world put themselves through this torture. Someone once told me that the most heavily represented profession in the marathon is lawyers; watching the runners today, I find that very easy to believe.

Friday, November 03, 2006

One intrepid reporter rolls up his sleeves to study a single block of 25th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Also in the Times, apparently the lack of available men in Beirut is worse than in New York.