Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Leave-taking -- official & unofficial -- & my return to New York

It's been more than a month since I posted here -- though not for lack of news or material. It's not as if I've entirely stopped going out or taking notes -- just posting them; though it's worrisome when first my editor, then my friends begin to ask where the hell I've been. My cats have wondered the same thing. They've been acting out for a week straight -- even before I was getting ready to take to the sky, which is when they either go out on the neighborhood warpath or shut down entirely. A few of my pals have known to look for me in the Flynt Building neighborhood where it seems I've been cooped up far more hours than usual. The result is greater than usual exhaustion; but I plod along.

Last week-end, I dug myself out of the rats nest of my apartment only for an Easter lunch with two of meinen deutschen freunden. I wanted to post a few notes about the Figures show up at David Kordansky and an interesting show by a local artist who calls himself elow at the Lawrence Asher Gallery, but was more than a little preoccupied with the logistics of getting out of my apartment and over to that of my pals here in Riverside Drive. (Besides, do you really need to read those pages of notes written through the anxiety of sequential panics over the last few weeks?) It's now been a full year since I began posting these notes and I am back once again where I started: here in Manhattan for The Armory Show and the many ancillary art fairs that will fill the island for the next week. Frankly I feel like continuing my hibernation -- well supplied with books in this magnificent apartment, distracted only by the view over Riverside Drive and Riverside Park -- windswept, warmer, but still a bit wintry, and beautiful as always. I'm indulging myself with the pleasures of the text -- all the 'texts' I have set down and never finished. (A copy of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections is open on the pillow next to me. I forgot how beautifully written it is. There are entire paragraphs that read like prose poems.) I read Colette on the plane over. Colette -- you can see I'm regressing. I'm not sure if I'm ready to plunge into that visual maelstrom on Pier 94. But plunge in I must -- and in just a few hours. And yes -- I promise you will be hearing all about it.

My editor's arrival in New York was less auspicious. No sooner had she parked herself on a barstool for a well-earned martini than her wallet was lifted from right beside her martini glass in a scenario straight out of Bresson's Pickpocket smoothly translated to Murray Hill. I am hopeful SOMETHING may be recovered simply because at least some of it was caught on videotape. But what a rude welcome. If you see her on the Pier or elsewhere in Manhattan over the next few days, I beg you to kindly overlook her caustic envoi. (And to think I usually make that sort of apology for MYSELF.) We're feeling a bit rusticated just now.

Speaking of my editor, I'm being pressed to submit an idea for an L.A. piece for the magazine -- and I'm still slouching towards Bethlehem with no destination in sight. Feel free to share any suggestions you might have with me. In the meantime, though, I must say it's great to be back in New York. Anytime in New York -- it's great to live it again.

Ezrha Jean Black, in New York

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