Spree pundits opine on the local
Oct 31, 2011
12:42 PMRandom Rants
The Monday After
Can it be that I haven’t been to New York since the orange curtains? That’s what I was thinking when we touched down Friday, for a weekend of really bad weather and really good dinners in Manhattan.
First stop was the Occupy Wall Street site in Zucotti Park. According to the pundits, there is a weather-related turning point approaching for this and many of its offspring throughout the world, but with freezing rain, wind, and snow as about as bad as it gets when we visited, OWS was still an impressive—and moving—phenomenon. It’s very serious and—for an unorganized movement—curiously organized. The OWS participants we saw were as friendly and accommodating as everyone we encountered in NYC, a city that seems to have finally—and warmly—embraced its identity as a tourist destination.
Political weirdness aside, Buffalo is still basking in the afterglow left by the National Trust for Historic Preservation conference that ended a week ago. We got an email from a conference participant, Jane Marx, with a link to her blog NewYorkTourGoddess. Her post starts out like this:
Sherlock Holmes, when he solved a crime he'd exalt to his friend, "Elementary dear Watson." That's what I wanted to shout when I returned from spending four days in Buffalo with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. There I was in New York State's second largest city, with 2,500 others, wondering why we were there. All I knew about Buffalo was that is had a lot of snow and it had lost its luster. So I assumed it had to be because it had been the western terminus of the Erie Canal, finished in 1825, 363 miles long, with 36 locks, and a 7 million dollar price tag. Now Albany on the Hudson River was linked to Buffalo on Lake Erie and Buffalo became rich, acting as the linchpin between the west and east coast trade route. The Canal also made New York the nation's premier port, moving more tonnage than Boston, Baltimore and New Orleans combined. Arriving October 18 I thought I had the answer. Leaving October 22, I changed my mind. The meeting was in Buffalo because it smelled like Cheerios.
As we discuss in the November Spree, The Albright-Knox’s 150th birthday celebrations start this week with the first of three collection-related exhibitions. It’s a shame the museum’s space is so limited; I doubt many WNYers realize exactly how tiny the percentage we ever see of the AKAG’s massive holdings really is. Nonetheless, the staff are to be congratulated; given those limitations they always find fascinating and unexpected ways to install the greatest hits we’re used to with a sampling of works that are seen much less often. I wish that NYC’s Museum of Modern Art could do so well. My visit there Sunday was an inexorable canonical march from era to era, from movement to movement. I had to bale midway through the eighties.
Check out the AKAG’s Long Curve anniversary show when it opens this Friday, and see where it takes you.