As promised, here are more pictures from Wednesday’s snow fall. I decided to take a trip to the Brooklyn Bridge, which I thought would be really lovely in the snow. It was; however, it was also extremely cold and windy since it gets the air blowing in from the bay. I only walked a little way to get this picture. As you can see, it wasn’t too crowded.
I then walked through DUMBO to the Brooklyn Bridge park for another view. The snow was still falling pretty heavily and I was glad I wore water-proof boots.
Immediately after the most blizzard-like snowfall, almost every building in Brooklyn had someone with a snow shovel outside clearing the sidewalk. I heard on NPR later in the day that the garbage collectors can give out $150 tickets if your part of the sidewalk is not clear within about a day of the snow falling. The sidewalk in front of my building is still not cleared, so either my landlord does not mind paying or is expecting one of us to have a snow shovel in our apartment.
The next day we celebrated Elizabeth’s birthday with dinner at Frank restaurant in the East Village. It’s a very narrow Italian restaurant with a somewhat surly staff, but excellent food. It was difficult to judge what would be vegetarian, so I went with the safe quattro formaggio ravioli. Afterward, we went to Solas, where we played the bar’s Jenga game and I got a hot toddy.
I had the day off from work on Friday because of Lincoln’s Birthday, so I spent most of it working on freelance writing and running errands. However, that evening was the Olympics Opening Ceremonies, which Eszter and I made a party out of with red wine and Archer Farms products. I was a little underwhelmed by Vancouver’s opening, although can anything compare after China? I think I’ve watched every opening ceremonies since I was quite young and plan on watching as much 2010 Olympics as possible. What can I say, I love world-wide competitions and winter sports.
I spent some more time exploring Park Slope this Saturday and came upon the small and quiet Mount Prospect Park. It is adjacent to the larger Prospect Park and the area was used as a lookout point for the Continental Army in 1776. The larger park also got its name from the little hill. When I visited there was still a covering of snow on everything, through which someone’s Australian Shepherd was running.
I then met up with Eszter at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. I had never visited before, even though it’s just behind the library I frequent. I was really impressed with how bright and open the Beaux-arts building was inside. The most impressive parts of the collection were the Egyptian and contemporary art galleries.
We had come specifically to see the new Kiki Smith exhibit, Sojourn. It was a combination of two-dimensional works with graphite drawings and glitter, three-dimensional sculptures, and installations. There was so much detail and cohesion between the different media, and although I didn’t understand the story, it was still moving. There was a second part where she had installed her sculptures into some of the museum’s existing decorative arts displays that I didn’t think was as impressive. The exhibit centered around an old woman sitting in a chair, one foot raised, with a bird flying above her and ended with drawings of a woman on her deathbed with a coffin in the middle of the room. In the small coffin were delicate glass dandelions.
We also saw the recently opened To Live Forever exhibit of Egyptian artifacts dealing with death and the afterlife. It was interesting to contrast the end of the Kiki Smith exhibit with the Egyptian exhibit and their separate, but linked, ways of dealing with death. I really liked the paper objects that were in the Egyptian exhibit, hidden behind heavy panels that you pulled back for a glimpse at their ancient colors.
I am sadly lacking in my art history knowledge, so the Brooklyn Museum was my first contact with “The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago. It is a huge, permanent installation of 39 place settings for influential real and fictional women, like the Snake Goddess, Saint Bridget, and Virginia Woolf. On the floor are tiles with an additional 999 women’s names. I know now that this is an icon of feminist 1970s art and tons of artists collaborated on it, celebrating traditionally female-dominated arts like ceramics and embroidery with the history of strong women.
After the museum, we went to Prospect Park and attempted, but failed, to build a snowman. The snow had become too grainy and icy. However, some earlier snowmen creators were kind enough to leave behind their snowmen that we could claim as ours in posed photographs.
Prospect Park was created shortly after Central Park, but is smaller and much less overwhelming. It was still mostly covered in snow, that was unfortunately turning to ice on the sidewalks. From the park, we walked towards the Brooklyn Flea for apple ciders to warm our hands.
On the way, we happened to pass the beautiful Montauk Club, that looked like it belonged more in Italy than Brooklyn. It is a private social club started in the late 19th century and the friezes on the three sides of the building show the exploits of the Montauk Indians.
Unbelievably, there is a first-floor apartment for sale in the Montauk Club right now that I imagine is gorgeous inside. And probably costs many millions more than I’ll ever have in my bank account. Anyway, after warm drinks a the Brooklyn Flea and a pain au chocolat, which wasn’t bad at all for being purchased on this side of the Atlantic, I went back to my apartment and spent the rest of the evening watching the Olympics. Today, I’m temping at a hotel to make up for only have worked three days last week. Besides, this will keep me out of the way of the Valentine’s Day insanity that is sure to take over every place selling food or drink.