andy and i finally got around to going to new york this past weekend. we were in and out pretty quickly, but managed to cram in some good stuff. here’s the rundown:

Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult
this exhibit (through dec 31) is a catalogue of photographs (most from 1860 to 1950), of attempts to capture supernatural occurrences, inc. spirits, levitation, and auras. highly entertaining examples of photography by the commercially enterprising for less-than-innocent means, these early examples of photoshop-esque manipulation form a nice visit to a not-so-distant time.

Cooper-Hewitt: Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance (through oct. 30)
i agree w/ jeff on this one: much duller than i thought it could be. the information is definitely fascinating, and some of the accompanying film footage is just mind-boggling (inc. one that shows a guy soaring through open air w/ nothing but a flying suit w/ wings, and another w/ a man running w/ a prosthetic foot modelled after a cheetah’s), but the exhibit was sorely lacking in terms of visual interest. in most cases the design was entirely based on practical w/ absolutely no aesthetic considerations, which seemed out of place in a design museum. in both the met exhibit and this case, the material seemed only obliquely relevant as art, and in the former much more appropriate for a children’s or general history museum, and the latter for a science museum. is this a new trend to attract a wider, perhaps more “family”, museum-going audience? i hope not …

openhousenewyork: grace church
knew about the openhousenewyork events, but wasn’t planning on seeing anything in particular. openhousenewyork “celebrates New York City’s architecture and inspires civic pride through an annual program of public access to significant buildings and sites in all five boroughs.” happened to come across grace church in greenwich village, “one of the first Gothic Revival structures in the city”, and stayed for part of a nice tour. a nice series for the city.

light in the piazza (at lincoln center’s vivian beaumont theater).
everyone seems overly eager to proclaim guettel’s merit (grandson of richard rodgers), but the material isn’t nearly as ambitious as people want to suggest it is, and the production and performances do nothing to help gloss over the flaws. still, as one of the few “serious” musicals in recent years, people looking for something more sophisticated than -wicked- will just have to take what we can get as we continue to wait for a real success.


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