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hippy trippin

new york 1 (continued)

USA | Thursday, 14 June 2007 | Views [1132] | Comments [3]


it felt like what i had imagined new york to be like--only a little less--like when a movie gets hyped up for a month or two before opening and then when you see it, you feel like the trailer was better. i´m not saying i didnt like it--im just saying the trailer was better.

we started off at the javits center for the international contemporary furniture fair that my best friend from college, john, was an exhibitor in. it was located on 40th street although i have no clue as to why i made any reference to a street number since it doesnt mean anything for me at all. it was a black building on a crowded corner across from numerous other mid to high rise buildings somewhere downtown new york.

the building itself had absolutely no architectural draw for me outside of the interest i had in what the fuck makes an architect NOT able to see what a pile of shit is going to look like while he is making a blueprint of a pile of shit. i digress...

we entered to find the lobby alive with booths all competing for the catch of a fresh-in designers eye. mine was caught by the non-design related starbucks kiosk and across from that a table full of design infused books--heavy on the photos, light on the verbiage.

i looked around to find the registration desk amidst a field of trendy,black rimmed glasses, red lips and black high fashion. i was definitely "at home" (well...excluding the high fashion bit)--although not completely comforted by that knowledge. funny how seeing who you are by looking at those that surround you can sometimes feel like a brief but blunt kick in the ass. my ass was stinging.

i could feel some anxiety starting to grow as i neared my friend john´s booth. some of it in the good anxious way. some in another weird anxious way. i always wonder how much of the energy between he and i his wife is going to feel the reverberations of--and i always worry that she takes it in a wrong way. magnets just are...you cant change them to feathers or crayons or yarn--none of which would have any inherent magnetism but you can understand that all magnets are not meant to go together. john and i will always be magnets and will therefore always have a field of energy between us. we are not, however, the type of magnets that belong together.

how many times i have pondered over magnetism--it fascinates me and before i get off on a completely useless tangent about that, i will go back to my experience of new york.

i felt like a magnet there at the furniture show...or perhaps a paper clip and the show was the magnet...no, actually the show wasnt the magnet--that´s just capatalism--not the booths...not the very strategically lit and laid out spaces. it was the amount of artistry in the room--the intellect and brainpower behind the countless number of designs and objects. things so innately beautiful that you would swear they grew out of the ground that way. perfectly designed chairs, tables, doors, etc...with the smallest of design gestures yielding something so profoundly artful that to even consider using it in a day to day application seemed sacreligious--like it would taint the beauty of the object to use it for what it was created for.

i personally did not make it around to that many of the booths. i think there were something like 1,000 booths there...1,000+ international designer/creative minds all in one room and i felt like an ant that had just stumbled upon a gourmet picnic. where would i start? the tuna salad or the chocolate cake first? my cerebral antennae were on overload.

i soaked up the literature like a brand new towel and stopped at each booth to speak with the designers personally--picking apart their brains to get to the naked place from which they spawned their ideas. it was a designer orgasm. i couldnt get enough. most of the exhibitors that i spoke to were from other countries--some of which i couldnt understand word-wise but felt like i communicated so directly with them through my eyes and hands--through touching and feeling their designs and understanding the process of it in their mind. it was completely invigorating and enthralling--like an all night first date conversation happening over and over---and yes, i DO realize how much i am romanticizing the whole experience, but design IS my current romance--and other designers/artist fuel that passion so it really MUST be romanticized in my writing. it is the current love of my life.

but ok--enough of the ooey-gooey. my friends, who were not so much into my "moment" at the ICFF pulled me outside and onto the "must have" sight seeing tour of new york, which at this point i had no interest in, but my guilty obligatory emotions took over and i stepped out of my orgasmatron and onto the streets of a very wet and crowded new york city in may.

i have really nothing romantic to say about new york. its "america" in its finest capitalist moment--all happening over and over again in a "new york minute". everywhere you look, there is capitalist eye candy, a savings account nightmare and an entepreneurs wet dream. it dizzied me but i tried to focus on the beauty of the old streets and the sounds that came from the myriads of differently cultured peoples meandering their ways toward something--probably on 5th avenue.

crossing the street became an event instead of just a normalcy taking place in reality. peoples faces would show the inevitable question that each of us wanted to know the answer to: "which way are you going and are you gonna get in my way going there?". i wanted to bury my head in the asphalt--which i could somehow smell every where i went--im sure it was mostly exhaust, but i couldnt get "asphalt" out of my nose.

the little white shoes i had chosen to wear were taking the beating of a lifetime on the dirty, raindrop marked streets of a city that doesnt know what sleep is (or "sweep" is) but they carried on (my shoes) until we had walked from the javits center past and into the chrysler building, grand central station, the waldorf astoria, st. barts cathedral, all over 5th avenue (on a search for socks and a raincoat—found the socks, and later the raincoat) to finally end up in front of a closing museum of modern art.

Michael and jen had given me a pretty decent little tour and now I was being transitioned back to John, Roya and “the clan” for the ICFF opening night gala at the MOMA. Only we had arrived 2 hours early.

Since John and Roya were on their way, Michael and Jen made their way to dinner with their cousin while I took some time out alone to wait on a cold NYC sidewalk for my friends.

It was surprisingly peaceful. I threw my bags down on the concrete inner corner of the MOMA and planted my ass on the cover of one of the fine furniture catalogs (humorously enough, a seating catalog) from earlier in the day. Less than a block away, I could smell a street vendor selling hot candy coated almods and other nuts which caught my nose and drew me over immediately for the purchase of a small $2 vellum made bag of almonds that had each corner twisted up like unicorn’s horns. I love tiny bags. I love that this bag crackled when I grabbed it—and that it was warm—and I loved untwisting the unicorns horns to pull out one perfectly candied almond that smelled like heaven and tasted even better. Everything about that moment was cold with the exception of that almond.

My senses fell in love with that moment there on the cold NYC sidewalk. The drizzle of the rain making my hair misty like a mornings dew on the grass and the sounds of the taxi war going on around me. Here and there the clacking of the multitude of high heels down the sidewalk and the echo of their reverberations off of the Moma’s concrete façade.

It was a good moment—-me there with those almonds. A very nice candy coated moment.

I sat and text messaged some friends for a bit—ya know, the kind that you know will enjoy that kind of a moment with you. She did.

John and Roya and a very blunt “Melissa” arrived. As much as I adore artists sometimes, there are other moments in which I would love to sit and throw my beloved candy almonds in their face—one at a little fucking time. She wasn’t one of those artist—but she was close.

She had red bossy lips that removed me from my candy coated moment of sitting in the Momas concrete crevices. One red bossy lipped demand that forced my umbrella out of my bag and my wailing white shoes back onto the pavement so we could ogle her hew presence in the Museum of Modern Art’s gift shop (she designs jewelry)—and while yes, I will admit that I would want to revel in this moment myself should I ever design anything to artistically profound that it is being sold at the MOMA's gift shop in New York City, there is just something to be said for Humility. But it wasn’t being said about Melissa.

I rather enjoyed the perusal through the gift shop artistries. I’m always fascinated at the never ending creative ways in which you can design a salt and pepper shaker and a flower vase. Really—there’s an obvious market apparently—perhaps I should retire from being an architect and design table top trendies instead.

I bought a designer raincoat. It’s white. It’s made of a soft rubbery material. It has small white plastic buttons that snap just like regular small plastic buttons. People might think I bought it at a gas station. I was happy for a moment because I bought it from the MOMA. “Artist capitalism”—the oxymoron that made me laugh out loud as I handed the lady $50 for my designer raincoat. I better look fucking cool in the rain.

We were shoo’d out of the gift shop for again, it was closing time. For a city known to always have something going on, I seemed to have caught the tail ends of most of it’s “goings on”—at least the ones that I had any real interest in.

We made our way down the street (with a courtesy guide from the ever soft-spoken Melissa—soon to become my new best friend, no doubt). In between belting out which turn to take at which street we got a full on description of her impending blister and even had to stop a few times along the way to see how it was progressing. Someone should come up with a phrase like “A watched blister pops faster” or something like that so people quit focusing on them. The thought of her blister made me think I was getting one. I think I did get one just thinking about it.

“Fellisimo” was the name of the bar we went to and upon reaching the door, we were met by 4 very sveltely dressed women with the inevitable clipboard and the down-the-nose looks that go with them. Luckily, we were on “the List”, but I had that icky feeling that makes me stomach churn everytime I realize that I am standing in a “list” related radius of any kind. “Am I about to be told that I’m not “on the list’ and have to retreat like a downtrodden dog with it’s tail between it’s legs, or instead will I be accepted into this vanity hole and there recognized as a worthy individual because my name—tiffany allen—was written on some god-damned and forsaken club list”? Yeah…you could say I hate “Lists”.

Of course, once found on the “list”, the looks of the gate keepers changed from one of questioning to that of a very fake “welcome”. “We’re so glad you’re here”. Yeah, you’re so glad that you had to double check the spelling of my last name—that’s how “glad”.

We walk into the pristinely painted white room—the new “trendy” white look where the very elaborate frames of the mirrors and crown molding all meld together in one white milky surreal space where the intricacies and elaborations are supposed to disappear into the ivory abyss. Hmm..felt like an asylum to me, but I walk on to where the very handsomely selected staff of bartenders are mixing mojitos to mushroom jazz that is being spun nearby by a Dj that looks like he came down only long enough to shower and dress for the party. Ok, maybe not at all.

I get eyed by a couple of older black-rimmed glasses wearing, obvious designer types in their early to mid 40’s. I’m like a crack pipe for these types and they were fiending for a fix.

I quickly side-step one of them whose mouth was half-way open to spit out some undoubtedly clever pick-up line. I always love to peripherally watch their head turn and watch in dismay as if stupefied by the idea that a woman of my stature could possibly not be enamoured by the presented opportunity to speak to someone with their caliber of wit and wisdom. It made me laugh a little on the inside, and then I felt a little bit bitchy and laughed out loud. His head still turned.

to be continued....

Tags: Adventures



I think you should abandon architecture altogether and become a writer.

  Tarah May 26, 2007 2:37 PM


I'll second that. Being both a designer and one who has been through NY a few time, this was one of the best reads I've had in ages. Certainly beats (another) wet day in Sydney!

Now I'm off to read the follow up!

  simon_monk Jun 26, 2007 3:08 PM


I'll second that. Being both a designer and one who has been through NY a few time, this was one of the best reads I've had in ages. Certainly beats (another) wet day in Sydney!

Now I'm off to read the follow up!

  simon_monk Jun 26, 2007 3:09 PM

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