A Ben Cohen Ink Comic


By Ben Cohen a “legendary master of the left field.” -BRP!

“Unintentionally misunderstood since 1975.” –Anonymous

“A big f@#k you, to the audience.” -B. Pendarvis

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Friday, January 2, 2009

NYC: A first Impresion

We walked 12 miles in two day's on concrete...for our feet a novel experience. We had the wrong shoes for this and it was unseasonably warm and we were over dressed. So once the pain in our feet and legs subside we will think of it as one of the times of our lives. For Erin it was an amazing surprise and she had a great time, other then crankiness about sleep and pain. I was underwhelmed, grossed out and annoyed by some of it, but think it was a special time and something I do not regret. I should explain. When you take a photo of a place you have been it usually does not capture the grandness of it all. Visiting NYC for the first time all I know of it are words and pictures...

anyway where was I...oh yeah underwhelmed...ok on to grossed out. That is an over statement, but it had just as much grimy slimy dirt as Mexico City. I was thinking that the dirty level was equal to the broken down level of the barns we have in Vermont and how you could just as easily die from the dirt in new york as from a barn collapsing...with exception that you are aware of precisely what killed you in Vermont...the barn collapsing...not some mysterious illness hidden in microbes of a layer of dirt. The annoying aspect is how insular the culture is. We spent all of our time south of the park so the rest of new york is very different I expect. When you see all this money, expense and gaudiness in buildings and on streets that are so grimy you begin to wonder. Then when people do these little things that make them seem oblivious to your existence or disdainful. Then you look at them and see that their fashion and style are not forward thinking, but more stagnant. Then you go to the "New Museum" (a great museum even if the art in it is not so great) and you see art that reflects the shallow, insular, stagnant world of this neighborhood...not the reality I or anyone outside of New York and LA live in...well as an artist and art teacher you get annoyed. I mean these are the people who dictate what is "good" art, what is of value, what is remembered at this time in our culture...and yet you have this feeling that their concerns are status, being thin, being cool. All without a view of the broader world they claim to reflect with insight only accessible through their privilege. All that being said and the strong impression it left...I still thought aesthetically there were some amazing things, and it certainly was cool and important to see. The art we saw was only remarkably in its consistency and reflection of the aesthetics of this neighborhood (even though it depicted people all over the world) over time, not in its reflection of the world, its craftsmanship or its innovation. I will go back for the art...there is so much more to see. We did not make it to the Met, because I forgot about it, the Whitney because it was to far to walk, the Moma because the line was to long, the Guggenheim, because Erin and I are not interested in the art there or Mocca (the best comics art museum in the world...I am a member) because it is only open on Saturday from 12-5 and we were in Midtown during that time. So we saw the New Mueseum...which has a clean, smart, funny building with an interesting view and currently bad art in it. But at least it is art was made currently, by people who are alive and getting notice.

We did see some sights I had not intended, because we had time...The statue of liberty (from the shore), ground zero (which I was glad to see before they closed up the hole and fixed all the buildings...it is also interesting that is surrounded by the offices of all the wall street companies that created the current crisis), Grand Central, Time Square, The Empire states building (actually it was from afare and we faild at spontaneously seeing it up close), and we took a carriage ride through part of central park.

The best intentional activity was the Broadway play 39 steps. Not a musical, but for Erin it was still great...and because it was not a musical for me it was great and affordable. It is a comedy based on the work of Alfred Hitchcock. It basically is a brilliant humorous piece that makes fun off and utilizes stage performance (and error), physical comedy, play with words and all of Hitchcock most memorable moments all performed on the framework of a espionage through accidental romance.

The highlight the entire time was the food...We had an amazing southern style breakfast at Norma's. No Belgian food, but a real new york hot dog. We had amazing authentic sushi (the eel was the best) at Sushi Yashida. We had a real New York bagel (which reminded me of bagels Al Shapiro use to serve) at the famous Katz's. We had a light health conscious lunch at cool little tea house (did you know raw beets are good). We went to a less then impressive, but still good candy store and we finished it off at an amazing freshly prepared Italian place.

All and all it was well worth it, despite my critique. We will remember it fondly.

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