Last full day in America, last chance to take in the special atmosphere of New York City so we headed out to soak it up. We needed lots of brain sponges for today’s jaunt as we headed into Manhattan on the PATH for the last time (until the next time). It was a little windy but not as cold as yesterday and no snow turning into torrential rain, yuk. We stopped off for a quick brekkie and walked to 7th Avenue and took the 1 train to 66th Street/Lincoln Center where we visited the New York Library to see the Lou Reed exhibition. Lots of pix and posters, films, interviews, records, tapes, guitars, poems, lyrics, tickets, receipts, an overview of Lou’s life. I did see him live once at Casino de Paris, February 21st 1992 on the Magic and Loss tour when Michael Blair was playing drums with him (Michael played on I Can’t Cry on Spirit Level, 1992).
From there we walked alongside the park and down towards MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), where we spent a fascinating few hours. Where to start, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, van Gogh’s Starry Night, Dalí, Picasso, Kandinsky, Miró, Modigliani, Seurat, Monet, Matisse, Dix, Picabia, Rousseau, Klimt and so on, that was one floor. The Americans Warhol, Pollock, Rothko on the floor below seemed less interesting to me but the 5th floor was a hard act to follow. It was like The Beatles supported by Jay-Z.
From there we walked to 5th Avenue and took a bus down to Union Square. I needed one more trip to Strand Books where I bought a new copy of Cocteau protégé Raymond Radiguet’s The Devil In The Flesh (1923). The In Deep Music Archive isn’t just a music library, I have a damn fine collection of books as well and this edition will sit beside a different translation. Radiguet was considered a prodigy in literary circles but tragically died of typhoid at the age of 20 in 1923.
From Strand Books we wound our way through the streets to meet friends Ed and Melani, Don & Laura. We talked music all night and Ed turned me on to music I can’t remember. A nice dinner and farewells, a walk through the chilly streets to the PATH train with Don and Laura and we three managed to get on the PATH with a minute to spare. Back to Jeanne’s, the cats and the horror of packing, fitting in more than we have space for.