I work in an office tower on 6th Avenue in the middle of Manhattan. As you might expect, there aren’t many residential buildings nearby. It’s almost exclusively pencil-pushing, paper-shuffling edifices. Other neighborhoods—Chelsea, the Upper East and West Sides, the Villages—are more resident-oriented. But that’s not to say there aren’t ANY residential buildings in Midtown.
Directly across the street from my office is an apartment building. Architecturally, it’s a quiet affair; not at all like the soulless glass and steel structures that surround it. Its facade is brick with some flourishes.
Central Park, which is on fire right now with autumnal splendor, is just three short blocks away. Aside from immediately after a gigantic snowstorm, fall is when the city is at its most pastoral and beautiful. People come from all over the world to stroll through Central Park in the fall. These fortunate few, these denizens of the better addresses, can simply walk out their door, turn left, and in a matter of minutes be enveloped in Manhattan’s rustic beauty.
But sometimes, you don’t want to make that three-block walk. It may be too early in the morning. You might not look your best. In that case, you take your coffee and your iPad and sit outside on your sun-drenched terrace.
And that’s no reason to miss out on the splendor of autumn. You can always spend a small fortune to have a landscaper haul autumn up the service elevator and reconstruct it right outside your terrace door.
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Within a 48-hour period last week:
- At a jewelry auction in Geneva, the Pink Star diamond fetched $83,000,000, a record price for a gemstone. At the conclusion of the auction, the auction house played The Theme from the Pink Panther by Henry Mancini. Get it?
- Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud sold for $142,000,000 at Christie’s, the most ever paid for a work of art. Wild applause broke out after six minutes of frantic bidding.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both achieved record highs.
Those first two points are intrinsically linked to the third. I wonder what it’s like to inhabit that ionosphere? Do you think they’re aware of the rare air they breath? Do they possess the proper depth of appreciation for their circumstances or are they blissfully blasé about it? I’d like to be blissfully blasé.
I’ve entered the prices realized from last week’s Post-War Modern Art auction at Christie’s (scroll down). It was a phenomenally successful event. The results far exceeded their wildest, sugarplums-dancing dreams. I read an excellent commentary on how it was difficult to actually see the art through all the dollar signs. The author found the auction…
“…painful to watch yet impossible to ignore and deeply alienating if you actually love art for its own sake.”
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Here’s an interesting little doodad by Camille Norment that was on exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art recently.
It’s an old-timey Shure microphone—the kind that Sinatra and Billie Holiday used—with the guts replaced by a small, slowly pulsating light.
The shadow cast is supposed to be a “luminescent rib cage” that calls to mind the absent performer; the pulsating light reminiscent of breathing. Well, I don’t know about all that but it was mesmerizing to look at.
Museum of Modern Art, Wednesday, October 30, 12:55 p.m.