. . . and the representatives of the English-speaking world being (from left to right): our own Dear Commentor Elizabeth (from London) , Moi (from Missoula, Montana of these United States), and the holder of the title of our Longest Distance Dear Commentor, who you know and love as Kirra (from Adelaide). This is us on our culinary leg of our cultural tour of NYC last week, after stopping at a typical New York coffee shop for lunch . . .
. . . before fetching up at the Lexington fora dessert of New York delicacies — egg creams and malted milks. Note to Kirra: I should have explained that a malted milk is like a liquid Tim Tams.
We had begun our ramble through the Isle of Manhattan at the Jewish Museum on 92nd Street to see the Florine Stettheimer exhibit. I love her work and this show is the largest ever gathering of her paintings and costume designs.
I love that her pictures are about something, most usually her life as a wealthy, sophisticated New Yorker with friends from all over the art and theater world.
Her use of color is exciting — she does not shy away from committing herself to richness (above) or froth (see: portrait of her sister). I love that she uses framing devices such as drapes — which appear in the picture plane as if from no where — and gets away with it! And it takes supreme control over narrative to put in the large quantities of information that she succeeds in putting in her paintings:
See how there is a LOT going on, but you the viewer don’t feel overwhelmed, confused, or disgusted? [cough * Hieronymus Bosch * cough]
I also like how she doesn’t overlap any of her figures as if she were a primitive/outsider painter, which she is not.
If I painted, I would paint like Florine Stettheimer. Which is not to say that I won’t be knocking off some of her brilliant ideas in the future — I steal from the best.
In fact, there is one picture I’m already dying to paint. It’s about something that Kirra told me about her daily life in Adelaide (Australia). She happened to mention, as if it’s just one of those normal things you get used to when you’re a music teacher in Adelaide (Australia), that the school where she teaches is situated on a nice plot of land that has a nice grove of eucalyptus trees on it. And, oh, yeah, those trees are full of koala bears, which you can see every time you look up.
Mind you, Kirra has been a Dear Reader her for a few years now, and we’d been chatting in person in New York for about 2 hours before she happened to mention this thing about the koala bears. Now, if that had been me, I’d be all, “Hello there, My name is Kirra and I am surrounded by koala bears at work, that’s right, KOALA BEARS, so yeah, my life’s pretty awesome compared to yours.” I mean, being surrounded by koala bears would be something people would know about me within the first 5 seconds of our meeting. KOALA BEARS, people.
Yes, I definitely want to paint a forest of koala bear-bearing eucalyptus trees, with me in the middle, like Carie Stetheimer, with a big fat smile on my face.
Apart from the breath taking news that there are people in the world who get to go to work in a koala forest, the rest of our Modern English Summit passed in companionable merriness as we walked down 5th Ave, past the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Museum with its staircase . . .
. . . which is famous for something but I can’t remember what. And we strolled past the Guggenheim . . .
. . . and then we took a bus down 5th Ave. to the Public Library:
Kirra and her husband Neil headed on to Boston, thence to Ann Arbor — I hope this is just the first of many return visits, depending on der Drumpf not being the harbinger of the End Times that he seems to be.
One pic, thousand words, eh? Because I am running out of words to deal with the human turd that is der Drumpf. But thanks to Commenters Fan in Vt and Vicki in Michigan, one word I won’t use is “girly“. I get it.
I also want to apologize to pigs. Calling der Drumpf a pig is an insult to pigs, animals that I like very much.
Melissa: Mike Nesmith’s mother invented Liquid Paper, and she made pots of money from it. Mr. Nesmith writes quite movingly about his relationship with his mother, which had its ups and downs. He was her only child. Mr. Nesmith also made a lot of moola on his own.
Alex: You saw the Monkees IN CONCERT?! What a lucky girl. You must have had nice parents, ones who actually noticed what was important to you.
Book news: Well, my old publishers, Bloomsbury, don’t get my new book. Which is understandable, since it’s a one of a kind thing: I even asked my agent if we could put it out in the world without a title. . . she said that was a stupid idea. NOT IN SO MANY WORDS, mind you; but I got the impression that it’s a thought right up there with rescuing a raccoon in my backyard.
So now I have to do something I haven’t had to do in ten years: I have to sell myself to a new house. This is the worst: it’s like going on a job interview and a date at the same time. Ew.
Well, with that in mind, you know that I’ll be enjoying extra big cocktails this weekend.
Nobody here has to sell themselves to me: You are the finest Dear Readers any blog can have. Thank you all.
Here’s to You!
**THIS JUST IN**
I just got a text from a fellow cat rescuer: She has three babies ready for forever homes! These boys were found with their feral mother and have been living with a foster mother (and mama cat) and raised to be cuddly, calm little critters that would make great lap cats.
They are currently here on the North Shore of Long Island . . .
. . . but these fellas are willing to relocate out of state!
If you need more info, just leave me a comment —
— and one, two, or three of these golden fluff balls could be yours.