I've Already Been Pretty Cultural This Year, So Far

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Here are some of the highlights:

1. Participating in the New Year's Day Marathon at the Poetry Project. I performed/read with Clif's trio, Secret Orchestra. Here's an article that gives us a special mention as one of the "musical highlights." (!)

2. Visiting my friend Wendy in Boston. We sat around watching a Monty Python documentary and playing Angry Birds. One day we went to Cambridge and ate at the Indian buffet I like. She also gave me a cup of powdered green tea that I was skeptical of, but highly enjoyed. (We are sometimes more "cultural" than this, but we were in the mood for a low-key New Year visit.)

3. Finally going to the Moth storytelling event. The one I went to was hosted by Mike Birbiglia, and storytellers included Christian McBride, Rachel Dratch, Walter Mosley, Todd Bush, and Tina McElroy Ansa. (This one was at Cooper Union, where Sojourner Truth and Lincoln and Frederick Douglass spoke, as well as the striking shirtwaist factory workers, shortly before the Triangle Factory fire, as I just learned on PBS.)

4. The Met, again. The Stieglitz, Steichen, and Strand exhibit is still up.

5. Watching Clif play at a benefit for "class war prisoners." Leonard Peltier and etc. A man who spoke there predicted that the revolution in Egypt was about to occur.

6. Going to get my hair cut and studying the old Creem magazine covers in the bathroom of Mudhoney on Sullivan. Joan Jett, David Johansen, Mick Jagger. Lots of shag hairdos.

7. Seeing my former student, Devin Alberda, dance for the New York City Ballet. We saw four short works. "Glass Pieces" (set to music by Philip Glass) and "Plainspoken" (which was choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, Natalie Portman's baby daddy) were my favorites.

8. Visiting Beacon: Dia, huge contemporary art museum in Beacon, New York. My favorites were, I think, the enormous metal sculptures you can walk into by Richard Serra, the paintings by Agnes Martin, and the interactive exhibit by Franz Erhard Walther that Clif and I "activated." (We chose one of the pieces called "Koerpergewichte (Body Weights)" and then stood in the middle of a large carpet and unfolded a large loop of cloth, which we then put around our waists. We stood there balancing and looking at each other while people watched us. Then we folded it back up.)

9. Looking out the window at all the Weather.

10. Going to the launch reading for my friend Ross Gay's second book of poems, Bringing the Shovel Down. The book includes kundimans, love poems to the nation: "Love, you got me standing at attention. Clutching my heart. Polishing guns." [RG quote and photo courtesy of Jessica Cullen, my new pal I went to the reading with.]

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