Can I take you to the movies? b/w plane crash

Manifesto, currently at the Park Avenue Armory, is thirteen 11-minute films playing simultaneously on thirteen different screens.


The first film you see upon entering the drill hall is a lit fuse. Metaphor amok!



Cate Blanchett is a different character in each film. News anchor. Puppeteer. Punk. Homeless man. CEO. Conservative housewife. etc. She’s heavily made-up and unrecognizable in many of these.

manifesto4 manifesto5

For dialog, she recites manifestos from different art movements in dramatic fashion. Dadaism. Futurism. Pop Art. Surrealism. Architecture. etc.


At one point, all thirteen screens simultaneously cut to a severe close-up of her face as she delivers a penultimate manifesto statement. She delivers these few lines in the same monotone in each film, filling the armory with a buzz of art-speak gibberish. Sounds pretentious and dull, doesn’t it? It’s not.


It’s interesting to see what they do with this giant drill hall space. There’s been some great projects but it’s going to be impossible to top Ernesto Neto’s anthropodino.



March 23, 1992

There was a terrible plane crash last night at LaGuardia. 27 people died. It was trying to take off during a snowstorm. It bounced on the runway a few times and then burst into flames. It wound up half on the runway and half in Flushing Bay. I don’t know where I’d rather come to rest; in the freezing drink where I’d drown in ice water or on the runway where I’d burn up. Probably the former.

I always think about crashing when I take off and land. What a terrible way to go. It was a U.S. Air flight bound for Cleveland. That’s a little too close to home for me. They sent psychologists to Hopkins Airport in Cleveland to deal with traumatized family members. I keep thinking about the parasitic media crawling all over the victim’s families asking, “How do you feel?” Can you imagine going to journalism school and that’s what you end up doing?

The flight number was 405. Everyone is playing that number in the lottery. They always do that in New York. Ghouls.

Candace made dinner for me on Friday. I didn’t think that girl knew how to boil water but it was a very nice meal. The brown rice was a little undercooked but the chicken was good. We both got loaded. I wonder what possessed her to do that? Make dinner for me?

After dinner we saw The Master Builder on Broadway. It was awful. Not even having Lynn Redgrave in the cast could save the production. Ibsen’s work always seems comically outdated to me. The acting was atrocious. We left there laughing hysterically and went down to Continental to see Big Fag. The guitarist never showed up and their lineup changed but I still liked them. I don’t know what Candace thought. After Big Fag, The Funky Knights played. They were polished and dull.

Got a cab and dropped her off at Avenue A and 3rd and went home to Brooklyn. I think she wanted to kiss me in the cab but I was so drunk I didn’t trust my judgment. Plus, I’m exhausted from being turned down so often. If she’s interested, let her initiate it.


Look who’s trying to make nice.


Give me a break. This is the same villainous canine who bit me repeatedly. I know what’s going on. She hasn’t tasted my flesh in a while and is trying to get me to drop my guard. It’s not going to work. I’m not stupid.

Dressed in holiday style

The annual holiday window displays are up at Bergdorf Goodman. My route there took me past Trump Tower. What a circus. A woman was protesting out front holding a ‘Not My President’ sign with a big erect penis drawn on it. Vacationing families with little children walked by.

As usual, the displays are a riot of craftsmanship and design. It takes nine months to create these. Here’s a sampling. My pics look a little blurry but if you click on them, they’re sharp.


This year, the theme is the kind of dioramas seen in natural history museums. This window is done in a jungle motif.


Feathered and bejeweled primates are tucked into every corner.



In this window, we find our femme fatale (they all have a femme fatale) surrounded by gigantic insects.


I like how icicles drip from his pincers.


In this window, a tightrope walk over a swamp.



Watching workers below her rearrange the exhibit.




I dug this out of my journal in honor of Miss Saigon‘s return to Broadway this spring.

February 20, 1992

I saw Miss Saigon with Ann Marie last night. I don’t know what all the fuss is about. It’s not very good. I can’t recall one song. They’re all generic and uninteresting. Even the helicopter evacuation scene wasn’t impressive.The comps had a face value of $100, which tells you everything you need to know.

My mind is whirling with this Ann Marie business. Instead of watching the play I mused on how much she likes me. During the penultimate scene, Saigon was being evacuated but all I could do was gauge my interest in Ann Marie vs. my unrequited affection for Mimi.

I was in a bad mood today and called Ann Marie’s office for a quick hello thinking it’d cheer me up but I got her voicemail. I left a message and proceeded to obsess on why I hadn’t heard back from her. Minutes turned into doubt. Did she not get my message? Is not returning my message, in fact, a message? This went on all afternoon. Finally, towards the end of the day when I was ready to crawl out of my skin, she called and apologized for taking so long to get back to me. She’d been with clients all afternoon. We had a few laughs. I’m sick. I need psychological help.

I’m not sure anyone is doing well. Austin’s band isn’t going to make it. Klinger and Mimi aren’t going to be paid actors. I’m surrounded by corporate cogs. Society considers them successful, model citizens but most of them seem pretty miserable to me. I don’t envy them. Ann Marie wants to be a personal trainer. Melissa wants to be an artist. They’re not going to make it. I wonder what keeps them going? They’re better off than I am. At least they have an aspiration. I’m empty inside. Writing workshops and freelance gigs. Who am I kidding? I sit in this apartment in Brooklyn and have no idea where I’ll be in five months, much less five years from now.

The water was out again all weekend so I couldn’t bathe or wash dishes. You take that stuff for granted. I stank so I never went out. I bought a gallon of water at the corner bodega for my morning coffee, to brush my teeth and for the cats. Who pays for bottled water? It’s ridiculous. The building is united in our collective misery.

I’m dead tired. I’ve not gotten an unbroken night of sleep in a while. The cats wait until I’m asleep and then bat my face to let them under the comforter. They’ll wake up in the middle of the night and crawl out to get a bite to eat. Then they wake me up again to let them back under. They fall right to sleep but I’ll lie there wide awake until morning thinking my terrible thoughts. It’s no use shutting them out of the bedroom because they both sit outside the door and howl all night. Fucking cats. I just love them.

Maureen and I have stopped talking altogether. It’s just as well. I like to think of myself as sympathetic and am sorry she’s having a hard time but I can’t fill her void. The conversations are awful. They’re filled with long, uncomfortable silences. She asks me if I’m seeing anyone just to torture herself. I hope to hear from her again one day (no hurry) but am relieved that she went off to the mountaintop to heal.

Ann recently asked about her and since they are friends, I told her it would be a very, very bad idea to mention anything about us going to Mexico together. Maureen will snap out of it sooner or later. We all go through these things and sometimes it takes a while but it always passes. Don’t I know.



Alexander Calder
John Graham
Estimate: $800,000-1,200,000
Price Realized: $2,527,500

Yikes! They really undershot the landing strip on that one. I like Calder but $2M+ is a lot, don’t you think?