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Live From New York (06 August 2006 - 10:21 a.m.)

What a good time I’ve been having! On Friday, I spent a couple of hours relaxing on a floating chair in my sister’s pool. Ahhhh. Life doesn’t get much better than that. But it did!

Yesterday, my mother and I went to New York City. Bus fare: eleven bucks. The train costs almost $30, so this was a real bargain. The bus dropped us off at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where we saw a few special exhibits, including Cai Guo-Qiang on the Roof: Transparent Monument, Treasures of Sacred Maya Kings, and AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion.

The exhibit on the roof didn’t impress me much, but the view sure did. And I really enjoyed the other two exhibits. “Treasures of Sacred Maya Kings” is self-explanatory, but the AngloMania exhibit was totally unexpected, and really cool.

This description is from the Museum’s website (linked above): AngloMania focuses on British fashion from 1976 to 2006, a period of astounding creativity and experimentation. Over the past 30 years, British fashion has been defined by a knowing and self-conscious historicism. In their search for novelty, designers have looked to past styles with an appetite that is as audacious as it is rapacious. Focusing on their postmodern, historicizing tendencies, this exhibition presents a series of tableaux based on Britain’s rich artistic traditions. The irony of satirical prints, the romance of landscape paintings, and the glamour and bravado of grand manner portraits are evoked through a wide spectrum of British designers. The exhibition is set in the Metropolitan Museum’s English period rooms—the Annie Laurie Aitken Galleries—to create a potent dialogue between the past and the present.

The first thing we saw upon entering the exhibit was an Alexander McQueen tattered Union Jack frock coat worn by David Bowie. In another room, there is tartan blazer worn by Johnny Rotten, and something contributed by Adam Ant. In this room, the mannequins sport unusual and creative mohawk hairstyles. One is made of cigarettes, another of barbed wire. The one seen in the photo on this site is made of tampons. Manolo Blahnik shoes are heavily favored in all the displays.

For me, the pièce de résistance is the “Francomania” display, complete with a soundtrack of ravens cawing. Featured is a dramatic John Galliano black silk taffeta ballgown with a full skirt and train appliqued with ribbons. Covering the mannequin’s head is a raven headdress made of black feathers with a long silver beak. All I can say is wow.

After lunch in the Museum’s cafeteria (a tasty sandwich with portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, fontina, and olive tapenade, and later, for the bus ride home, we picked up yummy roast turkey sandwiches with Saint André cheese and pears on raisin-walnut rolls), we hopped on a city bus and headed down to the Broadway area. We went to the “TKTS booth” at the Marquis Hotel and got discounted tickets for Beauty and the Beast at the Lunt-Fontanne theater. Jacob Young (JR Chandler on All My Children) is currently playing the role of Lumiere, and I think he’s doing a fine job. I’ve always loved this story, and the Broadway musical is enchanting.

Now I have to get ready to go out to breakfast with My Friend. This has been an unusually active weekend for me, and I am paying the price physically. But, you know what? It’s been good for me emotionally. Sometimes I need to actually LIVE my life.

Song of the Day: Be Our Guest from the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack

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