Isn’t visiting a museum you’ve been in many times like visiting old friends? Each work of art pin points a moment in your own life, That’s how I feel when entering the permanent collection at the New Whitney Museum to be greeted by Calder’s Circus. The circus mobiles date from 1926-1931 and show their venerable age. Joseph Albers’s Homage to the Square series recalls the mid-twentieth century. There’s Joseph Stella’s moody Brooklyn Bridge, Richard Avedon’s classy photography and George Bellows’s fight scenes.
I returned to the fifth floor to see the other Stella again. Frank Stella rules. It’s a big, brash exhibit, the kind of fireworks NYC museums do well.
The New Whitney has views of the former meatpacking district, the High Line and the Hudson River. There’s infinitely more natural light than in the old bunker building. Well done, old friends. The move suits you.
For the holiday season a friend organizes a dim sum lunch at Jing Fong Restaurant on Elizabeth Street. It’s vast. You ascend to the restaurant by escalators that are at least two stories high. You then enter the dining area that’s at least two football fields long. In a cheerful cacophony, servers bustle around the tables offering bits and pieces of Chinese cuisine.
After lunch, some us braved a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. It was packed with natives and tourists taking selfies of themselves and their large families. Bikers steered their way through the milling crowds. Once on the Brooklyn side, we went down a series of stairs to DUMBO, an acronym for Down Under Manhattan Brooklyn Overpass. I think it was Nancy Mitford who described Venetian tourists as being like ants. They walk in a line. Get away from the line and there are fewer people. This is true of DUMBO. Underneath the Manhattan Bridge there’s a glimpse of old Brooklyn: brick warehouses and cobbled streets. It’s like a movie set and probably is one.