Immigrants On A Plane

They better not be asleep on the job!

AB: For a variety of reasons of which I will not describe here, it is oft that I wonder, oft out loud if a dark cloud should be following me. And as I was making a culinary departure by  nibbling on a McNugget at the airport, awaiting my actual departure to England, I got word that a plane had crashed in San Francisco…As is the cultural wants of my people, call me superstitious and knock on anything I can get my hands on but I think i’ll go buy a bottle gin at Duty Free just to keep the nerves at bay on the plane. The good gin, because what better time than when you’re staring at the possible apocalypse in the face and there is no tax on the booze. And I hope to be composing and sharing on my travels to London and Paris in the coming days. Farewell!

Social Studying

AB: It’s been a busy week of event going and I’m looking forward to the holiday weekend. But socializing is a totem of New York high and low society. And i’m all too eager to oblige.

Music appreciation at the Wooly, 11 Barclay Street, The Financial District

At the Wooly, the bar lounge event space in the Woolworth Building, Music Dealers was holding an event as apart of their Downtown Series showcasing emerging musical talent including the bands Tiger Love and The Canon Logic. Free drinks were being tibbled in a dark and brooding atmosphere filled with antique accents like we were in some old fashioned speakeasy. Truth be told, i walked right by the entrance of the Wooly where a bouncer stood with a clipboard, not realizing it was there. And the music, the new New Wave kind of music was ethereal as was the light shows that accompanied the performances.

Few things get New Yorkers like me out like mood lighting, music, comp drinks, and Mili Marcetic of Music Dealers. Heeeeeyyyy!

From top left: THe Q&A, after party revelrs including Will Johnson doing calistthenics, a scene from, Triptych, Mos Def conversating and looking like an imam, Terrance Nance is a brightly colored jacket. Art appreciation at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Flatbush, Brooklyn.

At the Brooklyn Museum, Afropunk productions and The Tribeca Film Institute presented, Triptych; a film by emerging director Terrance Nance highlighting the work and voices of  3 prominent artists, Sandford Biggers, Wangechi Mutu, and Barron Claiborne. The film was colored by the different personalities of the artists and itself was a little gem of a film. I’m not sure if it was the southern Baptist convention or a film screening but everyone came out dressed to impress. Mos Def was looking almost religiously formal and didn’t seem to mind all the attention. And now with the weekend upon us, the social activities take a backseat for a bit. I think I’m just gonna decompress and de-socialize and listen to some Maxwell and let that take me over. Woo0000!


Men In Faded Black

Performing art in Lower Manhattan, LMCC 125 Maiden Lane, Financial District. photo by Yeni Mao

AB: It was a battle of attrition this past weekend. Not only did the New York Knicks finally win a playoff game after a 10+ year drought, I was also in the throws of performing art at The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Open Studios, for 5 non stop hours. That’s right; no bathroom breaks; no snacks; NO HOLDS BARRED! It was more than just an immunity idol challenge on, Survivor, though. It was more intellectually substantive and part of a body of work, that of one emerging artist, Jessica Ann Peavy that examines with charm and acute intellectual veracity, the misgivings of cultural perception, the rap-like intensity of shit talking, and the oral traditions and myth making of story telling. It was a mixture of Charlie Rose meets Marina Abramovic.  You may just see me streaking through some controlled space or hip neighborhood street some day soon.


I wore an angry expression and a Burberry trench coat & Oliver Peoples sunglasses at The Momenta Spring Benefit. Photo courtesy of Yeni Mao

AB: A dear friend of mine hustled me into purchasing a ticket to the Momenta Art Gallery Spring benefit. There would be a raffle of prominent artworks for all attendees and so I was notably excited to exercise my inner Gertrude Stein/art collector. Over 200 works were being offered and as the raffle began, I had already compiled a list of works that I coveted. The anthropology of the order of the works that went was something interesting unto itself. One after another, conceptual and abstract works by Sternfelds or Wassersteins went first and foremost. My works up to that point were still unselected. An hour passed and I patiently crossed out the selected works. I was not kee-kee-ing it up when one of my more distinguished choices, a Kiki Smith work got selected. After two hours and several glasses of cheap wine, my facade of artistic refinement began to erode significantly as I started to curse like a sailor as more and more coveted works were selected and my raffle number had not yet been called. We were in Bushwick after all and I think at that point, I might have been trying to remind all the art patrons that this arts community used to be the hood. By the 3rd hour of the raffle, I was ready to body slam some people. All of the pieces I wanted were gone and by the time I was called which was something like second to last, I was stuck with a work that was…okay. The Buddha had decided to teach me a lesson about investing in the arts though, as the work was by an artist I had been in an exhibition with 10 years ago! Hungry for some form of sustenance and comfort, I decided to go get tacos and guac at the 24 hour Mexican diner in Williamsburg. Few things make you feel better than carne asada and swaying to Cumbia beats  from a jukebox.

The Metropolitan

Visit The New American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 6 East 82nd Street, Upper East Side

Gertrude Stein and her family collected Picasso's & Matisses like QVC bric a brac.

AB: Going to the Met is like riding a bike. You never forget how and you always get into disputes with people who stand in your way. You pay your suggested fee of a quarter, you enter and you go to your favorite sections; European Paintings; Asian Arts; The Temple of Dendur. On a recent trip to the museum, there was an exhibition of Gertrude Stein and her family’s art collection. Gertrude who shares a name day with me and was a person of great taste, collected the art works of Matisse, Picasso, and Braque. We have more than just a birthday in common, ahem. The exhibition was crowded as if people never saw a Matisse painting at the Met before. But you can’t help but feel an impeccable sense of connoisseurship when considering that these artworks all belonged to the Steins. I’ll have to reconsider those deluxe edition paint by numbers still in the boxes in my attic.

The opulently lit courtyard in the New American Wing.

Also of note at the museum was the redone, New American Wing. The wing is highlighted by a sky lit exposed courtyard that is something like a breath of fresh air compared to crowds of loud European children and sloth moving grannies. Rows of glass encased American pottery line the terrace of the courtyard. But if you’re looking for something animated you can always look down into the courtyard to see someone taking a picture of them self motor boating a bust of Betsy Ross.

Go to the museum to appreciate American blown glass and pottery.