Monday, October 11, 2004

Squirrel and the City

Happy Columbus Day! So people really get a long weekend for Columbus day? Amazing. I’ve never had Columbus day off in my entire life. Although I could use a day off after the weekend I had. But yes, fellow bloggers, I have to work today, again. Sigh. The drama of life in retail.

Anyhoo, yesterday after work, I went on a personal field trip. I call it that because I loved going on field trips when I was a little E-Lo, even more so when it involved museums and theater, which is what I did yesterday. A friend of mine invited me to go to Pittsburgh for the start of the Carnegie International. And I thought, wow, it’s been so long since I’ve been to a museum, especially the Carnegie. So I went, and it was well worth not getting my afternoon nap (since I got up at 3 am to be at work at 4). The museum was full of exhibits from 37 artists from all around the world, placed randomly throughout the place. Some of the exhibits were built inside the museum just for the occasion, some of them were pieces like you would normally see. Some were shocking, some were bland, and some were inspirational. There were lots of videos and films from artists, lots of interactive pieces. It was a flood of sights and sounds. Some of my favorites were the drawings of cartoonist Robert Crumb, an interactive sculpture that I can’t even begin to describe by sculptor and performance artist John Bock, gorgeous larger than life photos of strippers from Philip-Lorca diCorcia and a funny, sad, and shocking video installment from Katarzyna Kozyra. That’s just to name a few.

After the Carnegie we got some nummy Chinese food (that I ate entirely with chopsticks, which are hard to come by in my little town), and went to the Northside for a free performance of Titanick, another part of Carnegie Internationals Festival of Firsts, which was right on the river front of the Allegheny. We figured we’d get there early, since we didn’t really know where we were going. Turns out it was right between Heinz Field and PNC Park, and the Steelers game had just ended. There were still some fans celebrating in the parking lot since Pittsburgh kicked Cleveland’s ass, and we had to wade through the remains of tailgaters to get to our destination. Needless to say we were on the riverbank and hour and a half before the show actually began, so we picked out our spot and plopped down in the grass with only a few people waiting around. It was a good thing we got there so early, because thousands of people showed up while we were waiting. It was amazing. Titanick made its debut on Friday for the first time in the U.S., and it was so neat. It wasn’t what I expected at all. It was more about sound and action rather than actors saying lines. And of course it was about the sinking of the Titanic, so it took place on a floating stage in the river. As the play progressed, the ship was built on stage, and after they hit the ice burg it began to crumble. Water sprayed everywhere and the ship caught fire. It was such a spectacle, and I’ve never seen anything like it. Because the actors really didn’t have many lines, you had to rely on watching their actions to know what was going on. As the ship started to sink, the people on the ship were eating dinner and drinking and laughing, refusing to believe that anything bad was going to happen. Then it all went downhill from there, and eventually every single actor was drenched in water. And it was freezing, so I felt kind of bad for all of them. But I guess it wasn’t as cold as the real Titanic.

So that was my Sunday field trip, all full of art and theatre. So I can start my Monday being more culturally enriched. It was nice to step outside of my little world and see what else is going on, besides politics. Hopefully I can do more of that soon.

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