grey marble

July 31, 2008

Met encounters

Last Thursday, armed with Herodotus, I left the house in the afternoon to explore the city. I had ceramics class at the 92nd Street Y in the evening and decided to slowly make my way uptown. I met friends for lunch in midtown, saying goodbye to one a week before she was to return to Korea. We ate at a Thai restaurant in midtown. My friends gossiped about people we all knew from a previous job. I listened, not having been there as long.

Afterwards, I made my way to MoMA. The galleries were surprisingly crowded, and after quickly walking through one exhibit, I escaped the museum and found myself back outside surrounded by the hot afternoon. I continued north until I reached the Met. I had heard about the photography exhibits they had recently hung, and browsed the modern photography gallery. I wandered quickly through the history of photography exhibit; I recognized all of the names and a number of the photographs, but I couldn't concentrate. I went to find a quiet place to read.

A sign called attention to the Jeff Koons works that had been installed on the roof. I wandered through the museum in search of the elevators and soon found myself face to face with a giant balloon dog fashioned out of high chromium stainless steel. Tourists collected around the sculpture, taking photos of each other reflected in the surface or standing before it. A woman removed an earphone from her right ear and asked me to take her photo. She handed me an old digital camera, the pixels in the display window all faded to almost the same color. I did my best and handed the camera back to her.

We ran into each other in the elevator heading back down into the museum and we introduced ourselves. She was visiting from St. Petersburg, though her parents lived in a small town outside the city. I told her I had almost decided to visit Russia this year, but that my plans were in flux. She told me that if I were to go, I should definitely visit her adopted city.

I asked her how long she would be visiting. She said she was supposed to be here for a week but had enrolled in a program to find work so she could stay longer. She said she had an interview later that day for a waitress position. She told me she liked my name as it was shared with a character in her favorite work by Pushkin. She pronounced my name, and I told her I liked the way it sounded better in Russian than in Englsh. I would later look for the book at the Strand. They had one copy in stock, but when I found it, it was a prose translation. I wanted to read it in verse even though Julia told me that no English translation could do justice to the Russian.

She asked me the way out of the museum, and I pointed the way. She seemed uncertain, and so I offered to walk her there. I had time to spare and no plans until my evening class. The main entrance was under construction, and we took a turn into an exhibit of superhero fashion. Uncertain where that would lead, we backtracked and I took her through the medieval galleries (upon entering them, Julia remarked that she loved medieval art) and I pointed to the entrace. Julia thanked me and walked east, towards the afternoon.
Posted by eugene at

July 18, 2008

Blow wind blow

I don't use air conditioning at home. I've never had it, really, so I don't miss it. I tend towards the use of fans.

Last year, after watching An Inconvenient Truth, an email went around the office that explained how we could change the source of our energy I went home and requested of my utility that all of my electricity come from wind energy. Now, it appears that I'm capturing the the wind from somewhere and releasing it at home in an effort to cool my apartment down.
Posted by eugene at


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