Saturday, March 08, 2008

Return of the Artist

This morning someone had thrown away the New York Sun paper, it's free subscription had just started this week.
But I found it on top of a pile by the garbage chute.
Inside are articles on Boris, the Met and Guggenheim's search for Directors and ...
Reluctant Return for a Beijing Provocateur.
They are describing an old neighbor of ours from 185 E 3rd St., Ai Wei Wei.
In the late 1980's he lived downstairs and as I got to know him , we discussed bringing my group black rain to China.
The group was pretty excited, I brought a map of China to rehearsal, we picked out cities Wei Wei had mentioned.
Thinking back on it now Harbin would have been a *ucking cold gig .
Later this afternoon , realizing his opening was today until 6 and it was then 5:15,
I got to the M Boone Gallery with less then 5 minutes to spare.
Ai Wei Wei was outside in conversation with an older couple.
I caught his eye and we were smiling as another white guy took the chance to say something about 'a pet'.
We hugged , exchanged digits and gave him my card.
I had been trying to contact him for about 10 years.

On the way back I walked through wet streets,
past Con Ed steam billowing up on intersection of 23rd and 7th Avenue,
taxis honking , an old guy who came out of his building dropping his trash on the street by the curb,
grocery delivery boy calling after the two pensioners that just passed ,
a large man fills the sidewalk in front of me after I pass a drinking jock preppy crowd smoking outside some bar.
I ask him how he's doing ,he replies he's a vet and struggling.

Another dark cloud front is coming up to fill the sky to the West as I turned onto 20th St.
My old block , east of Limelight.
Back home the front came through with a vengence.
The wind clocking 30 -40 mph easy ,blowing open our windows again and again.
Still now it's howling , slamming glass panes across the building, little metallic sounds tinkling.
Curtains flapping into black space


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