jinian: (bold bananas)
[personal profile] jinian
Friday:

My bus to NYC was delayed, first by traffic near Waterbury, CT, which somehow made the driver think getting off the highway to putt through small towns and part of Waterbury was a good plan, and then by some kind of accident or procession when I was almost there, which caused traffic backup and additional wrongheaded-seeming detours. But [personal profile] skygiants met me, and we got Thai food with her roommate before all walking down to the Film Forum for Double Indemnity, which was pretty great because: (1) Barbara Stanwyck, (2) nerd hero, (3) man/murderin' OTP, (4) chocolate egg cream. Admittedly the last could easily have applied to another movie, but it didn't.

Saturday:

The free exhibit currently at the Fashion Institute of Technology is "Exposed: a history of lingerie", which is highly worth seeing for many reasons. The most amazing individual pieces were the current student projects -- really stunning though in some cases impractical. I think if I got to pick any pieces from the entire thing to wear they'd be the absurd 60s giraffe-print bikini set and the student project like blue-and-black birds' wings, though there was also some very fine corsetry. Luckily for us, we happened to meet a lady there who told us all about an exhibit of ballgowns at another museum. Over bagels afterward it became extremely clear that we had to go to that on Sunday.

But first, another movie: Stella Maris with Mary Pickford. When I told my parents about this, they pooh-poohed the idea that anyone would NOT know all about Mary Pickford; she was married to [filed in my head under "some guy"... um...] Douglas Fairbanks! And had a ranch that my dad went to? past? when he lived in the area. Silent movies for free with live accompaniment are always good, and this one especially so, with amazing acting by Mary and an actually interesting Q&A afterward. Boy, though, the one short that they said was considered lost could remain lost. It wasn't so much a visit by the Racism Fairy as the Racism Fairy spreading herself in naked glory all over the screen, and there were other problematic elements as well.

It was a bit too late to get to the regular botanic gardens at that point, but we trotted off (through what amounted to hiking trails at times) to the Central Park Conservatory Garden, where we found a fountain commemorating Frances Hodgson Burnett. [personal profile] skygiants maintains that the child-nymph represented in bronze must in fact be what FHB looked like. Would statuary lie to us? The garden did some lovely and impressive things with shape, repetition, and leaf color, and also the bathroom windows are nifty openable octagons.

We did in fact feel tired at this point, despite the comparatively clement weather, so we got some very good Indian food (I hadn't had aloo paratha in so long!) and went home to fall asleep over books.

Sunday:

Brunch! Mexican restaurants are dangerous when tomatoes are a problem, but I negotiated it all right and the food was tasty.

Then, off to the Met to see the ballgowns: "Charles James: Beyond Fashion". The curators were really, really into this guy. In the main gallery, the walls were mirrored and adorned with his self-important quotations, including the original EMPHATIC CAPITALS, and the placards were frequently pretty over the top as well. Most of the clothes were intriguing-to-wonderful, though, and even when I thought he missed the boat I could generally see what he was getting at. The exhibit included robot arms holding cameras and projectors, which along with large electronic displays allowed some really intuitive and beautiful ways to display the garments and information about them. (They also allowed there to be a sign asking that you not touch the robot arms because they're fragile. Aww, little robot armses.) Apparently James started as a milliner, which you could see in his structural mindset, but they sadly didn't have any of his hats available, even in photos.

I made good time coming home, which was good because I hadn't charged my persnickety e-reader correctly. I napped some and made it back with 1% battery left on my phone!
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