Tag Archives: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I Say A Little Prayer- Dionne Warwick

Well I haven’t been here since last year and what a time that was. Wow seems like only yesterday or at least a few days previous since I last saw you all. How was your New Year celebration? Did you have one or were you in bed early and under the covers when neighbors started clanging pots and pans? I’ve done that once before, in the early 1980’s while apartment sitting in Inwood. That was an adventure in itself. Didn’t do much of anything then and was in bed a little bit before midnight. That must have been 1982 I think.

On Sunday I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with my niece Corinne. We had a great time, opting to drive in, instead of relying on public transportation. It was too cold, and I have to admit I was a bit cranky. Corinne cheered me up and we enjoyed the Regarding Warhol exhibition. It was crazy crowded since it was about to end it’s run. I was able to explain the stories behind some of the art work and I think Corinne enjoyed herself. We made it back to Hoboken and had a late lunch at the Malibu Diner. A mellow night in was in the cards for me. Bill was home and was not driving to Atlantic City.

On New Year’s Eve I got a phone call from Shlomo. It’s getting to be a habit with him. Cheap labor, paid in cigars and I am dependable and trustworthy and they probably won’t find anyone like me to work for them at such a low rate. I headed to the cigar shop and as I told Shlomo a week earlier, it will probably be crazy on New Year’s Eve. And it was. I called it. I knew groups of guys would be coming in to buy cigars for the night and I knew they wouldn’t know what they wanted.

It was busy and the time flew and I was glad for that. Cigars are generally mild, medium or full bodied. I like full bodied cigars myself, but I’ve been smoking cigars since the 1990’s. An occasional medium might come my way as well as that mild cigar, so I know what I am talking about when describing cigars to the newcomers. Sure enough within about 5 hours most of the mild cigars were sold. I explained that to the customers and would steer them to the medium cigars, something not too overwhelming. Sometimes they would understand what I was saying.

And when you smoke a cigar, like a medium cigar, it would start out medium but as you puffed further and further it might start to get full bodied. They knew what they were getting and by the time they would light them up while being well lit themselves I would be long gone and probably forgotten. Brandon came in on time and I was explaining to him what the deal was. Shlomo was around and seemed pissed that I didn’t replenish what was sold, and I explained that I couldn’t find the cigars to refill. At that point I walked out with a bit of a chip on my shoulder.

Shlomo looked for the cigars to replenish and couldn’t find them either. I came home and there was Bill happy to see me. The usual plan was to go to dinner at Arthur’s Steakhouse at around 8:00, I had somethings to take care of and hoped for a nap but hope was all I got. Bill was busy doing his thing, music, headshots and stuff like that. I did my best to get in the mood. We headed to Arthur’s at 8:00 and ordered our usual steaks and Guinness, followed by chocolate mousse cake. We’re so predictable. We got an Arthur’s gift certificate for Christmas and put it to good use, thanks to the Garfield relatives.

After dinner we walked home, puffing on cigars. We relaxed once home and chilled out until it was time to go. I baked some cookies, bought some Guinness, got my Bass together and some photographs I had printed out for Rand and Lisa and Lois and Fred. Mike from down the street was going to be there so I printed a picture for him and his girlfriend Sarah. I used a gig bag for the bass as we walked to Rand and Lisa’s around 11:00. I forgot the reason why I don’t use the gig bag. I goes on your back and it’s really constricting. Plus it adds a few inches to your height and me being 6’2”, I got snagged in a tree branch once or twice.

A young woman saw me getting snagged and expressed concern if I was OK when she saw it happen. I wasn’t happy about it but I trotted onward with Bill and thanked the young woman for her concern and Bill and I wished her a Happy New Year. We got to Rand and Lisa’s and met Rand outside his apartment. We walked in and saw everyone I mentioned, plus Chaz but no Sarah. The group was all watching a Godzilla movie since that was the theme of the night.

After unloading my stuff I plopped down on a couch next to Chaz and not seeing the window ledge jutting out, leaned back rather quickly and hit my head loudly on the windowsill which caused everyone to stop and watch me. We checked for blood a few times but it wasn’t bleeding. Just a dull pain and anticipation of a bump or a knot. It’s a good thing I have a thick skull having hit my head several times throughout my life and needing stiches on three separate occasions.

I announced that I had giving up smoking cigarettes which didn’t get the reaction I had hoped. I got ‘but you’re still smoking cigars’ instead. Lois was more impressed when I told her at Maxwell’s the week before but no one was more impressed than my sister Annemarie who stated that I didn’t need to get her anything for Christmas, my no more cigarettes was enough. And I am sticking by her edict.

Midnight came, Mike left before that so he can ring in the year with Sarah who was home sick with a bug she picked up while visiting her family in England. Champagne, pots and pans and kisses for Bill and everyone else was in order and then that was over. Rand had set up a keyboard so Bill could play it. I brought the bass, Lois was on Rand’s guitar, Rand on trombone and Lisa on shakers. Fred and Chaz were not into it at all and watched TV in the next room.

It was a sloppy jam but it was fun. I played what I knew on bass, which was Talking Heads Warning Sign and Psycho Killer, Liquid Liquid’s ‘Cavern’ and something that I think I based on How many More Times by Led Zeppelin and something that could have been by Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn from Booker T & the MG’s. Bill played some Stevie Wonder, I Wish, Sir Duke and a few other songs, but we were all politely buzzed and kept messing up the words.

We had a great time but I was tired though and very sweaty and Bill and I left around 2:00AM. I was wary about having a concussion so I stayed up a bit later once we got home after Bill went to bed. Slept really well that night and woke up feeling OK. New Year’s Day is a nothing day really, at least for us. We were invited to parties, but neither one of us wanted to do anything or go anywhere, so we stayed in all day.

We had enough food and if we wanted Guinness we had that too. But we stayed with the food, saving the Guinness for another time, perhaps Chaz’ party this upcoming weekend. Bill napped while I watched a marathon of Bunheads. Bill woke up by the time the marathon was almost over and I explained how similar Bunheads was to Gilmore Girls.

After that we decided to not watch the bad news and watched ‘The Music Never Stopped’ which I wrote about before. Guy with brain tumor comes alive from a catatonic state when he hears music from the 1960’s. His dad reconnects with him after not speaking to each other for decades.

We also watched Prick Up Your Ears, the Joe Orton movie with Gary Oldham, Alfred Molina and Vanessa Redgrave. Good and brutal but still enjoyable. I saw that in the theater when it came out and I think I wrote about that last week or last year. I hit my head last night and today. I think I will wear a hard hat for the rest of the year, just to be safe.

Overall, despite head injuries it was a good New Year’s Eve, spent with good friends.

And I love Bill so much, it just keeps getting better all the time.

I’m a lucky guy.

Corinne with Warhol's Cow wallpaper.

Corinne with Warhol’s Cow wallpaper.

Corinne with a Picasso

Corinne with a Picasso

Oxidation painting!

Oxidation painting!

New Year's Eve panorama

New Year’s Eve panorama

Winding down with Chaz

Winding down with Chaz

Every day this guy walks up and down Washington Street singing Madonna at the top of his lungs like he's walking a catwalk.

Every day this guy walks up and down Washington Street singing Madonna at the top of his lungs like he’s walking a catwalk.

09 My Lover’s Prayer

Hold Your Head Up

Back from a lovely day spent with Juan in Manhattan. Specifically the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was in town on a school thing, bus transportation arranged by his school.

I got a call from Juan as he was headed up north on the Turnpike. Most everyone on the bus were enthralled with the Lincoln Tunnel helix and the view but Juan grew up around here and for him it was nothing resembling awe inspiring.

He called and I decided to get it together and forgo my daily routine. Got my stuff ready and headed into the city via bus. Walked over to Grand Central, one step ahead of the rain, literally. Lucked out and hopped on a 5 express train to 86th Street.

Missed most of the rain while traveling underground and walked over to 5th Avenue and walked to the museum with Juan waiting in the lobby.

Paid $2.00 to get in. Not as snooty as has been in the past. The suggested donation is $20.00 but you can basically pay what you wish. With all the school trips and tourists I’m sure my $2.00 donation was offset somewhat by the full price paid by others.

The Met is a cool museum. For the longest time I didn’t much care for it, but I think it depended on who I went with. I’ve been there with Bill and with Pedro and both were good times, but Juan made for a perfect companion today. Also had a moment at the Met 30 years ago, but it’s quite tawdry and I won’t get into here.

We wandered around through Egyptian and Byzantine winds, past the Sub Continent and some of the deities worshiped therein.

Juan and I wound up in the Picasso exhibition which just opened a few weeks ago I think. It was crazy crowded and I remarked that if I were to come back to see this exhibit, it would likely be early when the museum just opened.

Went out for a break in Central Park which was breezy and sunny. Lot’s of catching up with Juan as a jazz cigarette wafted through the open air.

We walked back in had some lunch after that in the Met’s cafeteria. A bit pricey but had a nice salad and a Viennese Iced Coffee. More art to check out, religious figures and myths.

We decided to head out after that, Juan wanting to visit Urban Outfitters. He looked one up on his Blackberry and we opted to walk down to 60th Street and Third Avenue. He found a nice shirt and I found some nice things too.

Alas Juan is working and could afford things, I can only gaze. It’s not too bad as I do have enough clothes anyhow.

We walked down to the Path train after that, me stopping in a newsstand to see if the new Mojo or Uncut magazines were on the stands yet, Juan stopping into H&M.

I waited outside and chatted with Bill on the phone who had a surreal experience at work. Bill was helping out another attorney earlier in the day and the attorney mentioned that he knew another William Vila back in the day.

Bill asked how, and the attorney mentioned it was when he lived in Spanish Harlem in the 1950’s, where Bill’s father used to live. With a few more questions from Bill, it turned out that Bill’s father had done the attorney’s wedding invitations in the 1950’s.

Bill also asked what did William Vila look like and the attorney basically described his father. He also said that judging by the looks of Bill, his father did a fine job. I can’t help but agree with that.

Now, the sun is setting, Juan is here hanging out before he heads back to Union City to see his folks. That’s about it, I’m tried from all that walking.

I had a great time with Juan today. I miss him being around all the time, but then again, he has a life.

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The Smokers

The Smokers

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