A few weeks ago, I managed to catch the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met, two days before it closed. In total, approximately 660,000 people visited the show during its run, and in the final weeks, some waited as many as six hours to get in. My total wait time of 1 hour and 52 minutes was modest in comparison.
I was struck by the ambiance of the main atrium of the Met, around which the massive line wrapped twice, so I caught some of the noise on tape. It got me thinking about the mental experience of hundreds of people waiting in a line:
Using a modern accessory (a mirrored iPhone case) to touch up a vintage ensemble. Credit: Spike McCue
This June, there have been lots of celebrations in New York that had its attendees trotting out some of the greatest, wildest and (in some cases) naked-est costumes all year. Between the Pride Parade and Governors Island’s Jazz Age Lawn Party (both this past weekend), and the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, there have been many opportunities to dress up, show off and mug for the camera.
I wasn’t able to hit the Pride or Mermaid parades this year, but I did get to spend yesterday’s lovely afternoon being transported to the roaring twenties, complete with a swinging band, Charleston dancing and the requisite hooch. One of my favorite parts was the journey to the Governors Island ferry: trying to figure out who was headed to the Island, and who just dressed crazy for no reason. I caught a couple of elderly folks smiling my way.
Once there, I couldn’t keep my eyes off some ladies’ and gents’ meticulously-crafted costumes. There were adorable older couples who caught fire on the dance floor. Everyone there was in great spirits, complimenting strangers’ outfits and toasting to both an age past, and the new generation that appreciates dressing up in period garb, and retreating to the modern luxury of air conditioning at the day’s end.
Though I missed the Solstice sunset over the Manhattan Bridge tonight, there were a few strange things I came across on a walk through Brooklyn:
- What’s the deal with the enormous, spherical, neon blue sculpture that sits in the front yard of a house on Dean St. in Boerum Hill? I am inclined to ring the doorbells of this brownstone until someone answers. It looks like it belongs in the MoMA, and lights up the street in an eerie glow. I wonder what the neighbors think. It’s very cool.
- Sometimes people who live on first floor apartments leave their blinds open and their lights on, so you can see right into their apartments. One of the most grotesque, shocking and enigmatic displays I’ve ever witnessed: an intense doll collection. Floor to ceiling, shelves filled with Barbies, American Girl Dolls, Laura Ashley figures, and more, all still in their boxes, and a sheet of plastic “protecting” (?) them from–er–danger? Theft? This brings up so many questions. Who is this person? Are they young or old? Gasp–what if it’s a dude? The mystery continues.
Update: Apparently, the folks over at The Hairpin also had massive doll collections on the mind today.
- This is less creepy-weird and more awesome-weird: today, Nick Franglen, of the band Lemon Jelly, played a 24-hour improvised piece underneath the Manhattan Bridge. He played the theremin, in collaboration with the ambient noise of the cars and trains. He even set up a sensor to insert a blip of silence in the piece whenever a biker or pedestrian passed over it. A collaborative, sun-saluting hymn. Well done.