Wednesday, November 23, 2005

all access pass at 32 degrees

I was sitting in the audience at Avery Hall's auditorium on Columbia's campus listening to a top Latin American architecture critic speak and felt it. That tingle. That spark. Revelation. Access.

How did a poor boy from a working class background end up on one of the most influential college campuses in America, in one of the most influential and powerful cities in the world, listening to such profound statements and rubbing shoulders with such folks? Who the hell can predict such things but, as we listened to two men debate theory and such, two men whose books I've seen my amazingly talented, intelligent and gifted partner reading for the past few months, I finally realized a little more what it meant to live in NY.

Intellectually I could tell myself, "Yeah, NY is the center of the world." And I could posit a counter-argument that it was better to be on the fringe to attack the center. That anything was better than to be drowning at the center, the blackhole that sucks in all culture, all talent, all, everything. But then, when I finally realize that it is a place where everyone meets, passes through, lives, desires to be, desparately, oh so violently wants to be, feel it in my bones, on my skin, that's a different thing altogether. A power that I still can't quite process and will never truly ever be able to control. But at least I know it's there, it's palpable thing and to harness some of that force, it can maybe, just maybe, be used to my benefit.

Afterward I had dinner with Ben and he said he'd like to mention me to an editor of this journal, who is also the wife of one of the most important starchitects living on the planet.

Didn't he realize that this was little ol me he was talking to? Well, I have an interview after I get back from Miami for Thanksgiving. And may just be contributing my own thoughts and talents to some sort of cultural production that seems to matter to some people.

And then the following evening I got to an opening at MoMA for a new exhibit of architecture stuff. And there Ben introduces me to curators and rich people and movers and shakers. Yeah, there's a lot of hot air and self-importance being dished with the fancy spicy tuna rolls and free drinks, but I'm also hanging with someone whose work has been purchased and is hanging in the fuckin museum.

And afterward we go to an overpriced "regional American food restaurant" to celebrate the event. And there's of course Prada being worn and names being dropped and I'm sitting here. I'm in NY City, not in S. Georgia in a trailer park working as a plumber, knee-deep in other people's shit.

We go out for a nightcap afterward and I see that it's below freezing tonight. Winter is finally here but fuck the cold. I have so much to be thankful for. Let's just keep on moving and never stop. If you stop, if you close your eyes it may just disappear or I may freeze in my tracks. It could all turn to ice, get brittle and shatter to nothing. This is too real to be true.

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