Merry Christmas from New York
New York City at Christmas time is total hustle and bustle. The lights, the store windows, the shoppers, the tourists… some people want to avoid it, this year I embraced it.
My daughter Emilie has been a BFA Dance student at Marymount Manhattan College now for over a year. She met her boyfriend Sam her freshman year and they have been inseparable ever since. Time flies, I cannot believe she’s half way through her sophomore year already.
Oh, to be young again.
Emilie has learned her way around The City, navigating like a pro, recommending places to eat, things to do and places see. While we were there she took us to the New Museum, the Brooklyn Bridge, Astor Place, Village Tattoo…
One of our first stops was the New Museum and Blick Art Materials. My daughter is very good to me, both where her suggestions for our first day. The New Museum is dedicated to introducing new art and new ideas, by artists who have not yet received large exposure or recognition. The current exhibition was “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon” which investigates gender’s place in contemporary art and culture at a moment of political upheaval and renewed culture wars. The exhibition features more than forty artists working across a variety of mediums and genres, including film, video, performance, painting, sculpture, photography, and craft.
Art Stuff is Good Stuff
A trip to Blick, well all artists love a trip to the candy store! In this age of online ordering, I never really get the opportunity to just look, touch, examine, and play with art supplies that might be slightly out of my repertoire. I have a one-day painting workshop coming up in February where I am the student! The instructor has asked us to bring flat brushes in a variety of sizes. I typically use filbert, so this trip was an excuse for me to examine some different brands of brushes, up close and in person. You cannot feel the bristles online.
I purchased a few brushes, a couple sheets of decorative art paper, and a roll of Japanese rice paper and got to do some exploring. The kids were very patient as I shopped, much better than the days when they were both in the shopping cart at Target.
Eighteen and nineteen is a whole new world.
My favorite place we ventured into was Gucci. The wild crazy color combinations, mismatched patterns, creative patterning, glitter!…. At one point I overheard my son Connor say to Emilie “I feel like if Mom could afford it, she’s wear everything in here.” They laughed. I guess it was the mismatched patterns and the vibrant color. We tried on sunglasses, took selfies, felt the fabrics, gasped at the price tags, explored the shoe department, and went up all three floors. I think that goofing around in Gucci was the most fun we had all day. Just being together in The City was great fun with my family.
One of the many great things about my kids as adults is that they aren’t afraid to have fun; gone are the middle school years of award self consciousness. Above, Sam and Connor are outside the store window on the street posing for this photo taken from inside the store. My daughter is an incredibly creative and gifted photographer, she composed the shot but it was Sam’s art direction for he and Connor to look through the glass from the other side. I think the Lululemon model had no idea that she really wasn’t the subject of Emilie’s lens. Too funny.
Christmas morning we hung out and opened presents at Emilie’s place. Connor brought her a great thrift store find, 1980’s vintage warm winter coat. I brought her what every kid in NYC asks for… money. Emilie had something specific in mind for that cash. We made a trip to Village Tattoo where she got the ink she had been pining for, and she used the balance of her Christmas cash to rescue a cat from the shelter. “You got me a tattoo and a cat!” Emilie exclaimed. “Best Christmas gift ever.”
That kid is too cute.
The 9-11 Memorial was a somber day trip. The line for the museum was really long and the weather was really, really cold. We decided to save that line for a trip in the warmer weather. We stood and looked into the cascading water and list of names that are where the base of both towers once stood. I had tears in my eyes, I could not fight back. This tragedy always stirs up emotions from my connection to the bombing of Pan Am 103 for me. My son is very emotionally sensitive, extending a warm hug without words.
St. Hilaire Visit
My brother, his wife, and their three boys made the trip from Massachusetts to join us in The City for my last day. It was so cold once it got dark that even my Western Massachusetts family couldn’t take it for long. The kids enjoyed the Lego store, the lights and the window displays, not seeming to mind the ever increasing crowds. I was pretty proud of myself for lasting as long as I did, since I couldn’t feel my toes or fingers.
New Family Traditions
Most of all this trip was really about being together. It was a wonderful adventure for Connor and I to fly up and meet Emilie and Sam in The City. She and her roommates were very generous to let us stay with them in their Upper East Side apartment on York Street.
I’m really going to miss those great bagel egg sandwiches…
for being a part of my