Below Canal

Stephana McClure drawing based on George Cukor's "Gaslight" at Bienvenu Steinberg & Partner in Tribeca
Stephana McClure drawing based on George Cukor’s “Gaslight” at Bienvenu Steinberg & Partner in Tribeca

Before leaving for NYC we took an armload of collard greens from our garden down to our friends Helena and Jedi. They invited us to dinner but we we told them we were headed to NYC. They told us we must go see Hamilton. Their nephew, an Eastman graduate who plays Washington, arranged to get us discounted tickets. Our third full day in the city revolved around Broadway.

Duane’s place in Brooklyn is as comfortable as home so we hung around there for the morning and took the F train in after noon. We stopped in Tribeca where we carved out a three block chunk of galleries, below Canal with Church Street to the West and Broadway to the east, we went up and down both sides of Lispenard, Franklin and White Streets. The latter being where the Mudd Club was.

Artist Space had an installation of Milford Graves works, videos, hand painted records and even his drums. He was not only a drummer but a botanist, a professor at Bennington, a cardiac technician and a visual artist. We watched a full size stock-ticker scroll by in another gallery while listening to a celestial Greek soundtrack. We spent some serious time at Bienvenu Steinberg & Partner with a fabulous show called “I See You Seeing Me (Meeting the Female Gaze)” by Stephana McClure. The drawing above was done done in reverse. The artist projected George Cukor’s “Gaslight” on her monochromatic drawing and rubbed over the subtitles of each line of dialog. I was so enamored with this piece I asked how much it was. $8,000 did not seem so bad. In the necklace/wall hanging below she wove Italian twine and strung it with vintage axe heads wrapped in prose from Joan Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking.”

Stephana McClure's axe head necklace as wall hanging at Bienvenu Steinberg & Partner
Stephana McClure’s axe head necklace as wall hanging at Bienvenu Steinberg & Partner

The play was on 46th Street just off Times Square. NYC has one sixth the positivity rate of our area so the city felt safe except for Times Square. It is just an insane glimpse of our dystopian future. Street venders selling all sorts of crap, designer knock-off purses and watches, chain stores and fast food, blocks of buildings covered in LED monitors, each playing non stop commercials. A guy with a full head mask of Donald Trump stood in the middle of an intersection directing traffic.

With Hamilton I found it odd that the lead character, the guy the play is named after, feels like a minor character. We waited after the play to chat with Tamar. He stole the show but looked smaller off stage than he did as Washington. I said something about that and he said, “That’s because everyone else in the cast is so short.” He looked like his father but his voice needs to drop a few more octaves before he has the Barry White thing.

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