2004-08-15

New York, New York

My Spanish adventures came to an end, my time in Phoenix was short lived, and after a week‘s drive I was in New York, New York! At the beginning of his art career, Renoir painted fans to support himself. I would support mine by working on the 15th floor of a Manhattan skyscraper. It would be back to work, but I would also be in close proximity to The Art Student‘s League of NY ? home to artists such as Rothko, Pollock and Lichtenstein.

Now, three more weeks have already come and gone. My days go by in a cubicle and I am identified as employee number T19BW5N. During the nights and weekends I paint. Between work and painting, I experience life in NY among a diversity of people of different races and religions unmatched anywhere in the world. Last night I bought two tacos from a Chinese run Mexican restaurant and the day before I bought pizza from a Mexican owned pizza parlor. I attend art classes now under the tutelage of a Russian painter, my boss is Armenian, and many of my coworkers are Indian. I‘m living on 46th Street, just blocks from Times Square. I pass the Art Deco Chrysler building and the Empire State Building on my walk to work each day.

I am a long way from the beaches of Spain. My Spanish friends carry on in a little paradise at the corner of the world as do my friends in beautiful Arizona and the others covering much of the globe. Here, last week, there was a terror alert. Streets near significant financial institutions were closed. All except one bridge to Manhattan were closed to commercial traffic. I counted nine policemen on one particular exit platform in the subway and I watched trucks randomly pulled over and searched. All waited for the drama to unfold but ultimately the only drama was that there was no drama. It‘s a little like life sometimes ? after many recent dramas, the best thing for me right now is to have a bit of stability. For at least a brief moment, I‘m taking a moment to reflect on the events of the last two years. I get my dinner to go and eat in front the television. My idea of going out in New York is to go for a walk in Central Park. My recent paintings are tranquil, sunny and full of trees. That‘s my way of finding peace among the hundreds of yellow taxies piled up in the street, horns blaring and full of people late for meetings and 20 minute lunches.