Wednesday, February 10, 2010

the realism of our time

I've been living in NYC for a week and a half now. At times, it feels like I've been here forever, but on the other hand I still feel so unsure of how things in the city work. I've mastered taking the "2" train to the studio every morning and can successfully navigate myself to and from Target, which has appeared necessary as we settle into our humble abode. The dorm-like building where we stay is an old renovated hotel in Brooklyn Heights -- a great, expensive neighborhood in Brooklyn two blocks away from the water, with a great view of the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty. My roommate, Rachael, and I have grown to establish a love/hate relationship with this lovely building. The room is quite cozy and warm, perhaps too warm at times, forcing us to crack the screenless window, allowing a cool breeze and cigarette smell from the street below to fill our beds. The finicky light in our bathroom works just fine, when given a good smack to turn it on. And let's not forget the lack of trashcans, outlets, or mirrors. But overall, we've breathed life into this historic hotel room, filling it with numerous episodes of Friends, laughter, and an over-priced candle.

The studio/gallery/classroom space is great, located on 28th street. Ironic that I would move from one 28th street in Grand Rapids, to this much busier one in New York City. The studio is located in the floral district, so on cool mornings the smell of flowers follow us the couple of blocks from the subway station to the studio elevators. We've conquered the frozen yogurt (affectionately referred to as fro-yo) cafe a couple blocks away, as well as discovered some great antique and flea markets on 25th.

My first day interning for artist Olaf Breuning included Googling images of coins, cash, and clouds for 3.5 hours, followed by lunch at a great Italian restaurant (courtesy of Olaf) with 2 other interns and the studio assistant, ending with a "quick" run to the Post Office, to drop off some artwork. Quick is a relative term here in the city. Located in the financial district, Olaf's studio is just a few blocks from the Post Office, nevertheless, this errand took an hour, complete with attitude from the desk clerk when I was finally through the line that I stood in for half an hour. Upon returning from the Post Office, Olaf (in his sweet, awkward Swiss accent) asked me what kind of music I liked. I answered honestly, "folk, indie, and anything but country." He proceeded to reply, "So Lil Wayne is okay? I love his new album." The last 45 minutes of my internship were filled with Lil Wayne and Olaf. I think I'm going to enjoy this internship, even with the five flights of steep stairs that I have to climb to reach his studio.

I'm ready to dive into my studio class here at NYCAMS. The professors are honest and informed, which hopefully means I'll be pushed and challenged as I work. Some different ideas are emerging and I'm not overwhelmed yet, so hopefully this will all go in a decently steady direction. Overall, I'm excited, anxious, and looking forward to my time in NYC. I have yet to get truely homesick, which may or may not be a good thing. I miss many friends from the old 28th, but have made some great ones here at the new 28th. Hopefully I'll be able to maintain this blog, and maybe eventually post some pictures of recent and new work.

Much love from the East Coast (which is slowly but surely being covered by snow...)


  1. Mere!
    I'm at work now and so bored (obviously, since I'm on facebook) and what should appear but your little link on my news feed.
    For the first time in my life I read a blog without rolling my eyes once! And you gave that to me. So thank you.
    Sounds like you are living the life right now.
    I'm jealous of your NYC experience... you are going to be too cool for me when you come back. Well as long as we see the 7th Harry Potter midnight premiere I guess we can still be friends.

  2. PS I just had to spend like 15 minutes figuring out how to set up a blog account thing so I could comment. I'm such an old lady sometimes

    Oh and it's Maradith if you couldn't figure it out from my yahoo messenger id from middle school that I used for my blog name

  3. Meredith, great idea to establish a blog. We are interested in how your semester is going.