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My Sunday making America great again

kill me now

When the good people at Make the Road put out a call for volunteers to register voters, I knew I should sign up. It had been too long since I had done something charitable. Plus it was in Queens! On a Sunday! How could I say no?

I had a brief moment of panic when I met the team at the Queens Center Mall and they said most of us were not going to be sitting at a booth but instead had to spread out and invite strangers to register. From the looks of them, many of the shoppers around us were either fans or practitioners of caged fighting, and my only defense would be a measly clipboard.

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Telltale signs of a young artist

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Elephant in a Landscape

A drawing of an elephant by another Giovanni, with additions by that little jerk Neto. Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Elephant in a Landscape, not dated.

We tend to believe that artists are born brilliant, that their talent is evident from childhood. Vasari was enthralled by the story of Giotto’s gifts being discovered when the young shepherd was seen sketching sheep on the ground with a stick — so much so that he also used it in his biographies of Domenico Beccafumi, Andrea Sansovino, and Andrea del Castagno.

But if you look at the walls of any day care center, it’s obvious that all children draw sheep, and at pretty much the same skill level; it’s only in retrospect that we endow one kid’s doodles with evidence of her incipient talent.


Filed under: Art
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Rage against the dying of the light

Scene: Two men dressed in business casual sitting at an East Village bar on a Friday night, ’70s punk rock playing in the background.

Friend: What have you been up to since Sabine’s been out of town?

Me: Uh… I went to The Strand for a couple of hours.

Friend: Lingered in the erotic art books section, did you?

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Too cool

Giovanni Garcia-Fenech sometime in the early 1990s

Edward Albee did not buy the painting on the right.

According to the New York Times, Edward Albee’s estate is planning to sell the playwright’s art collection at Sotheby’s in an auction that’s expected to raise more than $9 million. My painting won’t be included in the sale because I used to be too cool for school.


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Not quite white

I was making my way back to work after lunch with a friend at La Loteria, one of the few Mexican restaurants I like in Manhattan.

I don’t like to walk around in Greenwich Village because I always get lost, but I do it because, as anyone will tell you, it’s rare to find good Mexican food in New York. I also like that place because most of the people working there seem to be Hispanic. I’m sorry to be so judgey, but I hate Mexican restaurants that only employ white waitstaff.

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