Until last week, I had only been to New York twice, and both trips had left me somewhat cold. It wasn’t about what I did—or didn’t do. It was more that the New York in my mind was so far from reality.
I envisioned a mixture of scenes from When Harry Met Sally, The Warriors, Do the Right Thing, and Billy Joel songs. Despite its many charms, the city I pictured was a cruel, dangerous place, full of stylish assholes sneering at my shoes and laughing when I got on the wrong subway train. And roaming gangs of thugs dressed in baseball uniforms. It’s a wonder I wanted to go at all.
So, a couple months ago, when my wonderful friend, Jessie, invited me to New York for a girls’ trip over Valentine’s weekend, I jumped at the chance, but I was also nervous that I would, once again, be disappointed.
The moment I stepped off the plane at LaGuardia, I knew this time was different. New York hadn’t changed, but I had. The old me, the one wrapped up in expectations and daydreams, couldn’t enjoy the city because she couldn’t even see it. She wasn’t open enough to stop projecting and simply look around. To listen. To smell. To take it in and just allow it to be.
When I stopped thinking and just started to notice, everything buzzed with more magic than my limited mind could ever possibly conceive of.
And now, I can honestly say, I love New York.
The Brooklyn Flea Market was A-MAZ-ING…
One of my favorite pieces (other than the El Anatsui exhibit) at the Brooklyn Museum was this piece (below) by Dotty Attie, titled “Barred from the Studio.” It is a commentary on the painter Thomas Eakins, who was heavily criticized in his day for his progressive attitudes toward gender equality, his sexual liberality, and his graphic depictions of surgical procedures. It references two of Eakins’ paintings, Max Schmitt in a Single Scull and The Gross Clinic.
Walt Whitman said of him, “I never knew of but one artist, and this is Tom Eakins, who could resist the temptation to see what they think ought to be rather than what is.”
(Unfortunately, I lost the majority of my photos as I was trying to load them onto my computer when I got home. C’est la vie. Old Cara would have been PISSED.)