My best friend from childhood once decorated her college dorm room in vibrant blues and oranges. From the moment this sea of complementary colors enveloped her room, she wondered aloud whether the oil-pastel drawings covering the walls and swaths of patterned, Indian fabrics draping the bed and windows would make her dizzy with the way the hues buzzed off each others’ surfaces. But, I loved everything about them and came to associate orange and blue with my home away from home. I would take Amtrak to visit her for long weekends on her campus, which was just outside New York City, and we would stay up far too late listening to piano-driven pop music and talking about art, what little we knew of love, and our dreams. Everything about our futures seemed so limitless back then, and – the funny thing is – merely thinking about this friend’s pastel drawings and our endless conversations makes my future feel similarly boundless even now…
New York City
While kitsch is often defined as something that panders to lowbrow/popular tastes, it can also simply mean art that appeals strongly to sentimentality and emotion. Going off this latter definition, I’d say Will Ryman’s current public-art instillation on Park Avenue is the most glorious display of kitsch I’ve seen in a while. The installation features 38 giant rose sculptures that loom on steel stems about two stories above this famous Manhattan street, and the artist himself calls the work his “love letter to New York City.” The roses crawl with painted insects and there are also 20 larger-than-life petals scattered along the Park Avenue Mall between 57th and 67th Streets. It really is a sight to behold on a chilly winter’s day, and I loved the contrast between the biting New York cold and the surreal images of blossoming springtime. If you find yourself in the big apple before March 31, I highly recommend checking out these steely blooms.
New York is a a city of dreams, and I’m not just talking about the ones that belong to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. I, for one, always dreamed of living in the big apple and becoming a Broadway actress, and – although my aspirations eventually changed – the city has still played a pivotal role in my life’s dreams. About six years ago, my mom and I traveled to New York City for one last breath of roasted chestnuts before my big move to live in Texas as a bartender and aspiring novelist. That was a tremendous time for me because Austin turned out to be where I became an adult, learned to rue 80-hour work weeks, discovered the art of screenwriting, earned my MFA, and found true love. For this reason, it is only fitting that just one day after officially deciding to build a life for ourselves in California, my fiancé and I spent a sweet Valentine’s weekend in NYC…It seems dreaming does indeed come full circle in this city.