Juxtapose Your Day

Juxtaposition is when two contrasting items are placed in close proximity to one another for heightened effect. In concert, a band will play a raucous song followed by a quiet one. Springsteen does it a lot. It’s Beethoven’s favorite device. His music is ether bombastic or delicate. Movies, literature, art—it’s everywhere. Juxtaposition is used to tweak your perceptions.

After the humiliation of watching a derelict violently berate two young girls and not lift a finger to help, the rest of my day unfolded in a narcotic euphoria. It was like watching a sped-up film of a flower opening.

I unpacked the guilt I was carrying for calling in sick (when I wasn’t), and the guilt for not helping those girls and left it on the marble steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Forgiveness is a snap under the right conditions. I came out of the subway at 86th Street and a gentle snow was falling. It was purifying.

Curves within curves.


The key to a museum visit is to get there when it opens. You float through the quiet corridors and empty galleries unmolested by crowds and noise.

The empty Met Café with snowstorm outside.


People have their churches and cathedrals. Their synagogues, mosques, ashrams and shrines. I’ve visited a few of those places with an open heart and have never experienced any of the things you’re supposed to—an epiphany, a swelling of the spirit, becoming flush with joy. Mostly, they bore me. There’s only one place that fills my empty cup o’ essence to the brim and that’s an art museum.

Lovers steal a kiss in the Temple of Dendur.


Art museums restore my faith in humanity and fill me with hope and forgiveness. It’s the only evidence I’ve seen that there might be a God. Listening to a sermon has never convinced me. They’re all slick-haired, television evangelists to me. Art museums are filled with kindred damaged souls.

“His fleece was white as snow…”

snowI never understood Cubism but this exhibit was an historical gathering of paintings, so I felt compelled to see it. I did a smart thing. I bought an audio tour. If you stand in front of a jumbled mess and someone carefully explains the artist’s intent, the mess dissolves into a new clarity and a deeper understanding. Its meaning is unearthed and something that, at first glance, you never thought you could like, much less understand, suddenly makes perfect sense. It turns out I love Cubism very much. What a surprise! I can’t tell you what a relief it is to know that an old dog like me can still learn a thing or two. It makes me sad that I didn’t have any teachers in my youth. What else have I missed?

Looking down into Central Park from the 2nd floor of the Met.

Central Park3

I took a walk through Central Park. Walking through a snowy Central Park will make you glad to be alive. It’ll make your heavy heart light and put a big, stupid grin on your face that will make you look disturbed to people walking past you. And that thought will please you.

“Have I gone mad?”
“I’m afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are.”

Lewis Carroll
Alice in Wonderland


Beyond those trees, some of the most expensive real estate on the planet.


After the Park, I saw a movie. Bridman, with Michael Keaton. It’s about actors. Then I saw an off-Broadway play. A one-man show presented by a guy who spent 10 years in prison. He performed 18 different and distinct characters he met there, oftentimes in conversational clusters where you had four or five individuals coming out of one mouth.

All that happened within a 15-hour period. A near mugging, an artistic revelation, a stroll through a wintery Central Park, a move and then a play. During that entire span, I was alone. I didn’t talk to a soul and do you know what? I loved it.

I love my wife and daughters. Read the back-posts if you don’t believe me. But I’m content in my own skin. I always have been. I’ve never been lonely a day in my life and I don’t look to anyone to supply my happiness for me. I hang on my cross for lots of things. [Here’s one nail: Though my father lived with us until I was 16, I never had a conversation him.] But I’ve got independence, and that’s an awesome weapon to have in your arsenal.

Darla recently announced that she just obtained her 10,000th follower. A few days later, Elyse said she hit 4,000. Congrats girls! Well done and well deserved. I’d like to announce to the world that my follow meter just clicked to:


Pretty good, right? And I’ve only been doing this for seven years. Just wait until I pick up a head of steam. The sky’s the limit, bitches. [EDIT: I just reread this. Yikes. I’m not directing “bitches” at Darla and Elyse. Do a search. I call my audience bitches. All apologies if it was taken the wrong way.]

All kidding aside, I have a small, but vocal, following and I’ll take that any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Thank you, one and all.

Bonus track

This magnificent window was made by Louis Comfort Tiffany in 1924. NO PAINT was used in its production. Instead, the color comes from tiny bits of colored glass—he called it “glass confetti.” It throws light and is luminescent in a way paint is not. The water’s mist was made by layering thin panes of glass on top of one another. Other textures were created by wrinkling glass in its molten state.


Now do you believe me?

135 thoughts on “Juxtapose Your Day

  1. I never thought about listening to audio in a museum. I think that would help me appreciate it more. I’m not a huge art museum fan, but maybe if I understood it better, I would be.

    I love how you can do such a variety of things in a short time span. New York may have its issues, but what a great city for experiencing life.

    As for the blog followers, remember that Twitter followers fall into the number of blog followers if people have linked their blog to Twitter. So if they have 6,000 Twitter followers and 500 blog followers, it will say they have 6500 blog followers. I don’t think you’re on Twitter, so that should help put things in perspective. 🙂

    • Carrie, you have to do it. Some of it is rambling, pretentious garbage. It can be a real turn-off. But sometimes things are revealed. Things that you’ll never see on your own. Best $7 bucks you’ll ever spend.

      Not all of my days are like that. They’re usually pretty mundane. But once in a while the universe throws me a bone, I’m lucky.

      Thanks for the heaping helping of perspective. Yeah, no twitter. No facebook, either. The cards are stacked against me.

  2. I don’t know that I’ve seen a Tiffany window live. It’s spectaular. I’ve been to many cathedrals etc in Europe and they are pretty awesome too.

    I can’t imagine 4,000 or 10,000 followers. How does that happen? But you are right about engagement. I care less about my number and more about the commetary and people who are supportive. It’s wonderful.

  3. The Tiffany window makes my day, Mark. Now that’s art that’s worth my long stare.

    Interesting juxtapositions all the way through today, my friend. I’m surprised you didn’t intervene at the start of the day, with the girls reminding you of your daughters (my assumption here) but the mean vagrant could have been dangerous all the way around.

    Your lone wolf day made for good art, pictures shared and watched by you.

    And 10,000 followers for Darla and 4,000 followers for Elyse and 385 for you, and hell yeah you do get a lot of passionate comments. I’m glad to be one of your 385 and vice versa. Community, man. You learned about pacing from Bruce and admit it. Now I’m just Waitin’ on a Sunny Day myself but it’s more like Open All Night.

    • That mean vagrant would have kicked the shit out of me. He was huge. I was supposed to be home sick. Imagine if I went into work the next day with my face smashed in! I’d have lost my yob!

      I think if you can learn to be by yourself, you’ve won the game. And by not telegraphing desperate need, you become more attractive. Science!

      I see what you did with those titles. Did you think you’d slip those by me unnoticed? Not bloody likely.

      • I agree. The beaten-face look and pink slip are a deadly combination.

        I’ve always felt comfortable doing the one-man show when circumstances dictate, so I agree with you there, too.

        Slip Springsteen imagery past you? Never.

  4. The Tiffany window is glorious. I tried to find a word for the beauty but glorious is the best that I can do. Your blog posts are always educational and I like that. The photos of snow filled Central Park are excellent. However, why do you post the pics in small format?

    Three hundred plus followers is very good. I think I have 130 maybe from about 3 years of blogging.. I don’t do FB or Twitter yet and have sworn not to go there. I follow about that many folks in return but generally don’t go looking for any blogs to follow. I comment on the ones that I like. I found you purely by accident and I was intrigued by your blog title. 🙂

    • That’s an interesting comment regarding the photo size. I always uploaded small pics because I thought they load faster in browsers. Do you happen to know the proper size I should be using? As an experiment, I replace the photo of the Tiffany window with one of a higher resolution. How does this new one look? Is there a problem with it loading?

      I don’t FB or Twitter either, which probably accounts for our not having thousands of followers. I’m glad you found your way here, despite my lack of effort to promote my site.

      • There is no problem with loading the photos on your blog. I have looked at them again. Some are adequate size and some are smaller but maybe that’s the way they were cropped or it is your intention to break up the sameness of one size fits all.

        The Tiffany window appears larger now and looks really good. I’m not a pro photographer but the resolution also looks good. Photos don’t need to be perfect to be good. But in my humble opinion they almost always look better if one does not have to strain to see what one is looking at. That is just my personal; taste so my opinion does not account for much.

        For what it’s worth or not- I post everything in full format but sometimes the pic comes out looking smaller if I have done lots of cropping.

      • SOME photos don’t need to be perfect to be good. But I would argue that if you’re trying to show the beauty on the walls of an art museum, you’d better get it right or your point won’t be made.

        I’m a changed man. I’m using higher-resolution photos from now on. They don’t take THAT much longer to load! And the results are noticeably better. Thanks for the tip. I’m a work in progress.

  5. I have to stop reading your blog, it makes this old New Yorker in exile sad. How many, many times have I seen that Tiffany window? Too many to count. And once upon a time they had a smallish room chock-a-block with Monets and Gauguins and Van Goghs and Seurats and I called it the ‘Happy Room’ because that’s where I always headed when I was feeling blue. I once asked a guard if I could live there – in that room, the man didn’t even blink. Sadly they relocated these artists and it never felt the same. Some years ago I made a special long-distance trip to the Homeland just to see a special exhibit – Caravaggio – oh be still my beating heart.

    On another trip home, I was walking along 5th Avenue, having just left The Met, late afternoon, late-October, sun setting over the park, the trees – I have no words to describe them or the light that played on them – I walked and wept. And no one even blinked.

    • I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings! lol! I didn’t want to say it in the post because it sounds kind of snobby but you really have to see that window in person to fully appreciate the amount of work that was involved in its creation. It’s huge. You turn the corner and it washes over you.

      There’s still a Happy Room. It’s full of all the great Impressionists. They have a small room full of some pretty impressive Degas on the wall with his Little Dancer in the center. You should come back for a visit.

      I see people weeping and laughing out loud on the streets all the time! Not so strange an occurrence here, is it?

      • You didn’t hurt my feelings, you make me home sick and nostalgic. You didn’t sound snobby, that is a glorious work of art and yes, must be seen in person. The last time I was there some 7 years or so ago they had moved the Impressionists to a much larger area and spread them out more, a different feeling from the one I remember. I’m sure they are re-arranging the collections all the time. The Remingtons were always in a strange spot. Sorry I was being being poetic or whatever. Writing about feelings. I could re-arrange it into a poem. Or perhaps that would be like dancing about architecture.

      • Homesickness and nostalgia is a nice thing. Where would poetry, music, painting, literature, etc., etc., be without nostalgia? It’s a compliment to say I could pluck those strings, so thanks!

  6. I think it’s better to have 50 people who actually read you than 5000 who don’t.
    And maybe I should try the audio tour sometime. Maybe cubism and abstract art in general will start making sense to me.

    • None of that stuff made much sense to me until it was explained. How can it?! It’s easy to love the Impressionists. Their paintings are all obviously–which isn’t a criticism at all. I love that stuff. But if you keep your mind open and listen to and have a good teacher, some of it starts to make sense. You can develop a new appreciation. If a marginally-educated dolt like me can do it, anyone can!

      • On unrelated note, if you continue writing about taking sick days to blow off work, I think you should consider changing the e-mail associated with your blog, just to make it a little harder to find your blog by your name. From what I see, your e-mail is your full real name.

  7. I agree with what has been said about followers, sure it looks impressive to have large numbers, I’m up to 2,300 followers on my main blog, but really, how many of those actually read what I write? It definitely is the interactions that count. I see other blogs with thousands of followers who get barely any comments. Aside from obviously writing good content, the interaction comes from commenting on lots of other people’s blogs, and replying to comments on yours – you do those things, and you have plenty of good interaction going on around here.

    Sounds like a great day (aside from the cafe incident). I’m with you about being perfectly happy to spend time on my own, in fact I need regular time on my own. I grew up in London, and I would regularly get the tube into the centre of the city and mooch about for hours on my own, perfectly happy, and that was from pre-teen onwards. Or just having a day at home alone, love it. With my kids, my son (13) is more like me in that way, quite happy to have time alone, whereas my daughter(16) has always hated it, and will quickly look to arrange something with someone if there is any sign of having to spend some time alone!

    • Ah…but you have 2,300 potential readers. At any time, one of them can click on an interestingly-titled post and dig in. But I think we all agree it’s about the conversation. Strangers. But not.

      It was a great day, INCLUDING the cafe incident. In hindsight, I realize how it actually added something. It made the city appear real. It’s not all art museums and walks in the park. Some of it is ugly and dangerous. That has an allure for me. Because I’m demented.

      I do like my quiet time. You can put me in an empty room with just a piece of string to entertain myself and I’d be fine. There’s a constant party going on inside my head, but it’s just for me. I’ve seen people suffer through terrible relationships just because they couldn’t stand the thought of being alone.

  8. A day in which you unearth the meaning of cubism is a day well spent. Do you really love it though? Understanding doesn’t necessarily lead to love. I think you’ve discovered the secret of spirituality without religion. Sam Harris has written a book about this which I’d be interested to see you review. Maybe I’d then read it myself!

    • A day in which you unearth your missing car keys is even better.

      Since my appreciation for Cubism is so fresh and new, I have to say that today, as I type this, I really do love the stuff. The artists are telling stories with these paintings. I needed it explained to me in order to understand it. I wish someone would explain politics to me. I don’t get that at all.

      Isn’t Sam Harris a singer? Am I thinking of someone else?

  9. Wow, spectacular sights! I took an art appreciation class a few years ago and my favorite part was spending the afternoon by myself at the Bowdoin College museum. No kids, no noise, just me, the art and my thoughts. I love being alone and I’ve always been this way. Too bad there aren’t more museums around here…

    I agree, the number of followers really doesn’t matter at all. I still have the same exact stats/views for each post I had when I first started out five years ago. Without readers engaging in the comment section, what’s the point of having a blog? This is why I hate twitter. I feel like I’m talking to myself in a crowded room.

    • First and foremost, apologies for the “bitches” comment. That wasn’t directed at you guys. A poorly placed snark. I’ve added an edit for clarity.

      I wish I had taken an art appreciation class when I was younger. It’s true, it’s better late than never, but I mourn the lost years. This stuff should have started when I was a teen. I’ve been brainwashing my daughters for a couple of years now.

      My comment about followers is mostly wry. What can you do? Force people to the table? Just put it all out there and the’ll come or not. I couldn’t stop posting if I wanted to. That’s an astute observation about Twitter: No feedback. Maybe that’s why it’s on a slow decline. The stock is tanking.

      • Oh no, I knew it wasn’t directed at us! (well, me….but Elyse? Super bitch. Am I right, Elyse??)

        And yes, I’ve tried to quit blogging countless times but what can I say, I am addicted.

        by the way, how was Birdman?

      • Birdman was great, but it played to my interests. I see a ton of plays and have dated a few actresses in my past, so some of it had a documentary quality for me. But even without the associated interests, it’s still enjoyable. As good as they say it is (for once).

    • Darla, the war is on. I couldn’t comment on your response below, because Exile’s bitchin’ website didn’t allow me to clarify that while, yes I can be a bitch, unlike some I know how to not be as well. Unlike some others with their damn 10 K …

      • Fun fact: Back in 2008, someone told me I should sign up for Twitter. That my e-mail sound bites are perfect for that platform. I got an account and posted for about two weeks. I decided it was stupid and not going anywhere. What a visionary!

      • I have some engagement on Twitter, but like any social media, you have to work at it. It feels a lot more vast than WordPress, but then there are more possibilities! Not that I’ve felt it ever. Maybe I need to be more visual! I keep tweeting my stuff anyway. Here, I’ll tweet you, too!

    • “Without readers engaging in the comment section, what’s the point of having a blog?”

      My sentiments exactly from way back when I started.  Followers don’t mean jack if they don’t engage.  Only a tiny percentage are dedicated.

      Unfortunately, the answer to the ‘point’ would be: you have it to input thoughts; you have a “semi-private” blog.

      You have to be open and engage as much you can with a sense of humor to get back.  Anywhere.

  10. What an exquisite ceiling that is.

    Oh the Tiffany window….I could look at that all day long.

    What a great day. A mixture of all things of beauty. Now that is good for the soul, my friend.

    How the hell do people get that many followers? I think that would traumatise me.

    Love from one of your vocal bitches. 😉

  11. Nice writing: your long sentences punctuated by short punchy ones are a perfect example of the power of juxtaposition.

    I’ve always loved Cubism (in the hands of Picasso or Braque especially) for its quirky, fun-like quality, and the colours are always so good; but I only came to fully understand it on reading Patrick O’Brian’s biography of Picasso, which I can’t recommend highly enough. I’d trade five years of my life to see that exhibition, unfortunately airlines don’t take years as currency, bastards.

  12. It’s recently come to my attention that those bloggers with thousands of followers have been receiving notices from WP that they can no longer follow or “Like” other blogs. Two of them are “Storytime with John” and “Opinionated Man”. I’m not sure why, or what the exact limit is. But maybe you should be grateful you’re still at the relatively small, simple stage of blogging.

    • The numbers game can make me crazy. I’m too weak to ignore them so I wish they’d put a block on my meter.

      Believe me…I am grateful for my small but active following. You folks grace this place with your presence and comments, and that beats the hell out of counting followers every time.

  13. I recently hit 4000 followers. I was more excited when I hit 100. I even wrote a hundred-word post about it: https://rossmurray1.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/100/ . (Now I see that that was just 2 years ago; DAMN I’m good!) Like, the others have said, the follower count is a fraud. I have, like 15-20 loyal readers I interact with. And that’s great. I think the follows number only matters if you’re marketing the sucker, and marketing turns you into a whole other motherfucker.

    Thanks for this post. It was a beauty, uplifting and made me yearn to get to a museum. The lovers kissing, boy, nice! My one time at the Met, we must have done something right, because it was virtually empty. We saw the other extreme when we went to the Natural History. Eek. I blame Ben Stiller.

    • From 100 to 4,000 in two years! Well done, sir. That’s because you know how to play the game. You write great posts and you don’t overwhelm us with a content dump. You have to have a LOT of traffic in order to really make any meaningful $$$. I’ll never get there and I’m okay with that.

      Museums aren’t for everyone. Neither is theater, for that matter. But they float my sinking boat. You have to find what works for you and stick with it. And for what it’s worth…I find the Natural History Museum a crushing bore. I’ve tried and tried and tried. Nothing.

  14. Reblogged this on Drinking Tips for Teens and commented:
    Mark is an excellent writer who richly conveys life in and around New York. He’s a tough guy with no-pulled-punches opinions and he also loves theatre and art. Juxtaposition, indeed. Read what he has to say about museums today and then follow him. He doesn’t feel bad about it, but he definitely should have more readers.

      • Reblogging is weird, and I rarely do it. It’s like getting credit for someone else’s work. It can be a spambot thing to do.
        Now prepare for the tens if not elevens of readers swarming your page from this account…

    • Welcome aboard. I wish I could say that I enjoy many days like that, but they are few and far between. No matter. I’ll take ’em as they come and be grateful. Ross doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I want more readers. My Bride is tired of hearing about it.

      I am ashamed to say but, since you’ve asked, my Bride and I are going to the doggy behaviorist next Wednesday. We are in a trap. My daughters will never forgive me if I throw it off a bridge but I’m tired of cow-towing to a fucking canine. To the shrink! Go ahead and ask me what it costs if you want to laugh and feel grateful you’re not me.

  15. Here in DC, we have lots of museums, but I don’t go as often as I should. Mostly because, like you, I really prefer to do it alone, and, well, that doesn’t happen too often. I really like being alone with my own thoughts in a museum — every time anyone around me comments, I feel like I’m in that scene from Annie Hall. [The huge and wonderful exception is going to a museum with my brother. He has two masters in Art [studio and history] from the Chicago Art Institute and taught Art History in college for many years.]

    As to followers, I think everyone’s comments are correct. The numbers totally lie. I average about 50-60 comments on a post, and half of them are mine. I think that’s a better indication of readership. The vast majority of that round number are either folks trying to sell their wares or trolls wanting to keep track of what I’m writing about gun control (hey, I’m due …).

    But I love your blog — I never know what to expect. You’re a real person and you come across as if we’re sitting down to lunch together.

    As to Darla, why do you even bother with her?

    • DC has KILLER museums! You are very fortunate, little missy, You should take advantage. Going to a museum with someone who doesn’t want to be there is painful. You can see their life-force being sucked out of their bodies. Alone is better but it can’t always be arranged. I’ve dragged The Daughters though plenty of times and I think they’re actually starting to enjoy it. Heh.

      On the other hand, going to a museum with an artist or someone who has studied art is the BEST. You force them to lecture. You get so much more out of the trip.

      People always forget to do the comment math. Half are from the site owner! I once considered answering comments one word at a time to jack-up my numbers.

      Thanks for your kind words. I’m going to bring you and Darla together. I’m a regular Mahatma Coat.

  16. Mark, I’m happy to say I’ve been your bitch for a while now. Loved this piece — the photos, honesty and insightfulness. They are all reasons I will gladly stay your bitch.

  17. Mark, you’ve inspired me to go to an art museum. I’m sure it can’t equal your experience in New York, but nevertheless, we have one in Sacramento I really like. The Crocker Museum. I’m going now because of this post, which I loved! I should be so lucky to have a walk in Central Park in the snowy winter. It belongs on my bucket list (don’t have one, but if I did…). The followers, etc is a strange thing. People who have lots and lots of followers don’t have half the engagement you do on your blog with all your wonderful comments and your commenters. Your posts are always a treat!

    • I consider it a major accomplishment that I got under your skin. You may think that’s one of my clever sarcasms but it’s NOT. Glad my words can have that effect on you. What a thrill. If you do visit the Crocker (and you should) do a post about it. I wonder what’s on the walls? In fact, I think I’ll go Google it and find out for myself.

      • That photo exhibit might suck, and you need to prepare for that, but you should make the effort anyway. And if it’s not to your liking, don’t swear off museums forever. Exhibits come and go. Sooner or later they’ll show something that’ll ring your bell. Your ah-ha moment. Your epiphany.

      • Hey, we’re neighbors! Who knew! I went to the Crocker when they reopened with their new addition. That was four or five years ago. How the time passes! Yes, the present is here and now. I think you would really enjoy it.

  18. You have a way of presenting that really makes me envious. That window is breathtaking! I read a lot but rather than follow I just pop in like a close relative.

      • I just hope someone tells me if I become the annoying Aunt that makes everyone turn off the lights and be real quiet hoping to trick me into believing no one is home….. If it makes you feel any better, I have no one following me.

      • We welcome the annoying, the bent, the slightly off-kilter. Not only will we not turn off the lights, we’ll spread the word.

        You’d have followers if you started a blog and you know it.

      • 🙂 You’re too kind. I don’t think my daughter should count..besides that would only make it follower.

    • Hi there. Nice of you to drop by. Same for me! 20 years and then…WHAM…out to New Jersey! At least I still work in the city. Still hang out in the evening once in a while. (My Bride keeps me in a loose leash.)

      We should form a support group. I’ll bet there are more of us out here.

  19. Reblogged this on The Bumble Files and commented:
    This post makes me want to see art! Should I then be so lucky to go for a walk in snowy Central Park. Go read this and then FOLLOW him. Mark’s posts are always a treat – authentic and insightful!

  20. Awww… lovely post… and lovely pictures.
    Same here, I rarely feel alone, even when on my own… but then again I have the whole of Mogwash yakking on at me.

  21. Awesome post Mark. the pictures are amazing – especially the stained glass window.My computer loads slow and it had no problem with the increased pic density. Such a beautiful place and with such beauty inside it. It really is peaceful to recharge with some time alone and a day to pursue what ever your heart desires. Thanks so much for the walking tour. There is no chance that i will ever have an opportunity to see it myself. Hey, congrats on your two reblogs!

    • Hi Paul. You’ve put your thumb on it. I felt recharged. I don’t knownuf everybody would be as affected as I was but that’s what works for me and I’m sticking with it. It’s an inexpensive ano harmless way to exhale.

      Thanks for the congrats. It’s very satisfying. I’m humbled by everyone’s generosity.

  22. What Ferris Bueller did in Chicago on his day off has got NOTHING on how you spent your day! Would make a rather entertaining film, i think!

    And thank you for the tour you gave us last year at MoMA. i remember that window. it stole my heart…

  23. Sure, small but damn vocal and awful dedicated following you have. Take it and run, my son.

    A museum just as it opens… snowstorm… the bad taste of that coffee shop from your last post… 15 hours without saying anything to anyone. I know that last feeling, totally get it. I think I’ve spent years being alone but not lonely. I crave being alone now, but never really am – ever. I’ll take that museum and the park and boy would I take the art. This sounds like a perfect 15 hours, flaws and all.

    Your posts are an odd mixture of capturing images that I could write around and writing that I could just steal… that’s a neat trick. Juxtaposition as a means of modifying your perceptions… Wilco did a song called At Least That’s What You Said from A Ghost is Born, that goes from zero to hero in a heartbeat. It kicks my ass in the way that Neil Young’s Like a Hurricane does.

    I’m still not sure I know what cubism is… I’m going to go look it up now.

    • I wonder why our lives can’t be this interesting all the time? Day in and day out? Why the relentless grind of the normal with occasional exclamation points like this one? Who set up this bad system?

      You look up Cubism. Meanwhile, I’m off to YouTube to check out the Wilco song. What happened to those guys, anyway?

  24. I found your site because of Amy reblogging it on the Bumble Files. I am very grateful she did that! Your writing style is beautiful, as are the pictures of the museum and park. I’ve always dreamed of visiting New York. I love getting lost in museums. We have a great one way over here in British Columbia…I am now motivated to go visit it. Thank you for the inspiration. Cheers.

    • Hello, Holli, Thank you for stopping by. I’m going to send $1 to Amy for every reader who lands here. She could be in for a giant payday.

      New York isn’t for everyone. It’s as beautiful as I describe, but it’s also kind of dirty and sometimes dangerous. Read the post prior to this one for the other side of the coin. But everyone should see New York at least once. Even if you decide it’s not to your liking, it’s something to behold. For a few days, anyway.

      I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about BC. It’s supposed to be beautiful up here. Wouldn’t mind visiting myself.

  25. It has been awhile since I visited a museum. I will have to see if there are any worth visiting in this area. Spending time on my own is something I crave. I don’t get it much but I welcome the opportunity any chance I get.
    We’ve been blogging the same amount of time and have the same number of followers. I find comfort in having someone in the same boat as me. Thanks for that.
    That stained glass window is absolutely amazing. I would love to see that in person.

  26. I followed Amy’s advice and ventured over here. Lovely, well worded observations about my mostly wonderful city. Don’t beat yourself up too much about not donning your Superman suit to save the damsels in distress. If it was that ugly I probably would have just called 3-1-1 or 9-1-1. It sounds like no one died, and maybe the girls learned a valuable NYC lesson: avoid eye contact with crazy people; something my brother advised me to do when I moved here on my lonesome from San Francisco back in 1982. As for all that is great about NYC, this is a place that is never boring and it is my oxygen. I love it when Central Park looks picture perfect. The museums, the films, the theater are all top notch. I saw “Birdman” last fall at the New York Film Festival. I enjoyed it immensely and the great soundtrack with the drummer appearing on camera brought to mind Godard. I’m single, but I have my posse, predominantly writers with day jobs. I welcome solitude in the same way that you celebrated it while playing hookey from your grind. It sounds like you had a very productive mental health day. As for only having 365 followers, I’ll be your 366th.

    • Howdy. I owe that Amy. I’ve had quite a few new visitors because of her. How nice is that?

      Wasn’t New York fun in 1982?! Criminy. What were we thinking?

      Those girls who were molested were trapped behind the counter at a Starbucks. Please read the post prior to this one. It was a dispiriting episode, but my day got better, to put it mildly.

      I need to see more movies. Birdman was great and I’m glad it got nominated. I spend all my free time and capital in theater. Lots and lots of theater. I’m not sure how that happened but it’s been going on for a long time.

  27. It was only yesterday Mrs. M commented on how comfortable I am in my own company, she went as far as to say I’m a bit of a loner. Always have been. Isn’t it funny, I can get up on stage and the bigger the crowd the better, but in ‘real life’ I prefer one on one or small groups.

  28. The NYC museums are on my bucket museum list so this was a nice way to see them without leaving my bed. The MOMA is probably the museum I most want to go to right now…The Hermitage would be nice too, but going to Russia lost its appeal after they shot down that passenger plane. Lovely, quiet post, you just got one more follower.

    • Thanks for stopping by (and the follow)! I gave up hope for seeing the Hermitge years ago. At least I’ve got the NY at my disposal. Pretty good consolation prize. Hope you make it out here one day. It’s worth the trouble.

  29. i seem to spend many of my days alone, so i’ve been doing that in the world, but not of the world meditation. the downside of a small town is there is always someone who knows you no matter where you go, but i may try the telfair museum early in the morning. i must admit, when i read about your free days in the city, i feel as if i’ve taken in the day as well. thank you for that, sweetpea.

    i’m glad lame adventures found you! i’ve been reading her for a while and have her book, too! she’s another of my nyc favorites! xoxxoxo

    • I feel like I stole that day from my employer. Calling in sick when you’re not is the oldest trick in the book but that doesn’t make it okay. I’ll play that card sparingly. Glad I didn’t waste it, though. Not my typical Tuesday, that’s for sure.

      I’ll look into Lame Adventures. I’ll bet her adventures aren’t so lame.

  30. Good pictures. And I hear what you’re saying about never being lonely. That’s where it’s at, and that’s probably why you can be a good father and husband – you’re not counting on them to make you happy. It’s just a bonus.

    • Thanks. I like to fancy myself as quite the amateur photographer. Although, it’s not hard when you have material like New York to work with.

      I’m an okay husband and father. Needs improvement. Just trying to keep it real. Better than my dad was, but that’s setting the bar kind of low.

    • And you can get in for practically free! There’s a suggested fee of $25 but you can give them a few bucks. (Unlike MoMA, which has a $25 fee that ISN’T suggested.) The park, of course, is always free. There’s value out there.

  31. You just gained another follower out here in California. Thank you, Ross, for the introduction! As a former New Yorker, I can relate to much of your post. However, I have never visited the Met (hanging head in shame). I keep saying someday I’ll get my wife on a plane and introduce her to the old home territory, but fate seems to keep conspiring against us for lo these past 16 years. Oh, well, I guess it’s okay to wish upon a star. (A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?) Proud to be one of Exile’s Bitches. Ooo, that sounds like an existential punk rock band. Coolness!

    • Thank you, Uncle Guacamole. (And thank you again, Ross.) I love that name. Uncle Guacamole.

      Look, there’s no need to hang your head. The Met isn’t for everyone. In fact, it can be a pretty dull afternoon. But it works for me for stress release. I’m just glad it’s not whiskey and whores.

      In an earlier comment, I said I was going to design and “Exile’s Bitches” tattoo to test everyone’s resolve. Are you in?

  32. Twitter is bullshit. I don’t need know anyone’s status or random and clever thoughts, first off very few are ever that clever, second the hundred odd characters puked out, to quote Morrissey, “say nothing to me about my life” so fuck it. It takes a bit of ego to blog but to think someone actually gives a shit with this twitter non-sense is more ego-maniacal, people have tried to interest me and they get the flying V… now museums are brilliant but i’ve been over that and think about Tiffanny’s window, the patience and thought and process put into the making of that brilliance… it’s the opposite of twitter…

    • It takes a lot of ego to blog but at least some effort has to go into it. It requires some thought and creativity.

      Oh, my. Did I just imply that people who blog are BETTER and SMARTER than people who only tweet? I just might have. That’s what it sounds like upon reread.

      Did you ever visit the Clevo Museum of Art. They have a world-class collection that can hold its own against the Met. Seriously.

  33. What beautiful photos. You are so right, getting to a museum early is key, those empty corridors give you the feeling of having the building to yourself – mine all mine!

    • Hello, there. Thanks for stopping by. I love the banner on your blog. I’m a book guy from way back. An amateur letterpress printer. No e-reader for me, thank you.

      Generally, I like people. But not in a museum when I’m trying to take in the art. They get in my way. This is my museum. Go get your own damn museum.

  34. Make that 366. Because you just triggered a happy memory of the only day I’ve ever spent in New York City. I was there on the last day of the Gates exhibition (after it was supposed to come down – I was so grateful that someone didn’t do something on time!) I walked through Central Park and I visited the Met. Been longing to get back ever since…

  35. As a long time follower of our mutual friend Lewin, I’ve naturally seen your footprints all over his blog. As well as many, many of those who follow you both. I particularly enjoy reading the comments that turn to conversation on these blog posts (it’s what happens when there is such a strong core of mutual followers). Though I’ve a reputation for being a bit of an extroverted snarktress…I’m actually a bit shy of stepping into another’s convo without introduction.
    That said, I’d like to just add my two cents on this one, though from now on, I think I’ll be adding a nickle or two if you don’t mind…anyway, as to the museums. A HUGE FAN! We (my family) move a lot and the Mr’s first priority is finding the closest library. Mine is finding the museum/art district. Our latest address finds us close to Richmond, VA with a nice variety of places to go within a 50 mile radius. Whether it’s science or history or art or hands on…it’s been fun getting to know the place.
    Oh, but what I wanted to say here was that I was in London for a 3 week span a couple of years ago, staying with a friend who’s a London lifer..that wild and wonderful tour of all the museums and galleries, big and small, famous and not so much, was the best experience of my life to date! I’ve found that buying a City Pass (which most big cities have) is the best way to explore without worrying how much an entrance fee is and often lets you avoid queuing up if it’s a busy day. It usually averages about 1/3 of what it would normally cost a la carte…well worth it!

    On a side note, I just want to add that I love your photos. Not just the content, which is beautiful, but the composition. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but I like the contrast/exposure, the light level…whatever it is, I dig it. Now…off to continue reading 🙂
    (I’m Rhonda by the way…nice to meet you Mark)

    • Rhonda! My new commenting queen! Welcome. Happy to have you aboard. Please wipe your feet. Trent is a good guy, a hell of a writer but, most importantly, a generous soul. I didn’t pay him a DIME to reblog my stuff.

      I’ve always said that posting is fine, but the real party is in the comment section. That, to me, is the best part of blogging. The aimless, endless conversations.

      Washington DC has some killer art museums. It’s a bit of a drive from Richmond but keep your eyes on the special exhibits. Some are worth the effort. London is my favorite, favorite city. I’m a huge Anglophile and if I could have lived in London for any length of time, I would have. New York is a nice consolation prize, but London is as good as it gets.

      I was a photographer in high school–developed my own pics and such–but it got away from me. The advent of the superior cameras in smartphones has reintroduced me. All of a sudden I find myself looking at things in terms of composition and light. A sleeping bear has been awakened.

      • We are the beneficiaries of that awakened bear. I really do appreciate the images you present. I too, to my own surprise, found a kind of kindred spirit vibe when I was in London. If given 1/2 a chance, I’d live there now and forever. I fell in love with it. I spent my High School years in a Baltimore suburb, so I am very familiar with DC. We go as often as we can, and always when we have guests who have never been. It doesn’t get old and I always manage to find something new! Thanks for the welcome…I’ll be sure to keep the shoes (and the language) clean and I believe that you didn’t grease the palm of our canuck friend 🙂

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