ECCLESASTICS 3.4 22 So I perceive that nothing is better that that a man (woman) should rejoice in his (her) own works, for that is his (her) heritage. For who can bring to him (her) to see what will happen after him (her).
This is what I turned to when I opened my Gideon bible in my Hotel room in L.A.
So the journey is nearly complete I am 2 ½ hours out of Melbourne and this flight has been travelling through a long extended night from L.A.
So looking forward to getting home remembering the ending to many of the great travel myths Paulo Coelho "The Pilgrimage" that the treasure is always under the tree in the back yard and Dorothy's journey down the yellow brick road leads back to "There is no place like home."
But what makes it also much sweeter is what was achieved back in New York.
Thursday more meetings all good!
That night we caught up with fellow compatriots, a great lady who is running an artist residency up in the Catskills, brilliant playwright and Sean Penn look alike AKA Mummy, and his very talented wife .
Then we set about doing what Australians do very thoroughly - Drink!
We met at an intimate little bar, candles, blues trio, great food, The Anyway Cafe on the corner if 2nd St And 2nd Ave.
We rounded it off at the graffiti scrawled punk bar the Mars Bar where the beer is served straight from the carton.
It sort of ended up how those nights often do! Here a wallet got lost, some hot Italians were plying us we tequila and mummy and I were heading for an argument!
Friday we went shopping, hit the Canal St circuit looking for presents for home.
Then down town for our last official meeting, which looks like a great event in the lower Manhattan district.
That night we had an invitation to the opening at the New Museum but again a 2-hour wait......which we all decided, we were far to old to have to do (don't know weather that is a good or a bad thing).
So we went dinner with this wonderful Australian woman Anne Marie who has a production company "Lost Wallaby" at a brilliant Mexican tapas bar on Delaney St.
Saturday my last day in town was a la carte cultural explosion, starting at the New Museum and the Jeff Koons curated show "Fruit Skin" which was full of monoliths made of white chocolate, candle bodies burning slowly, lifelike dead bodies in coffins and a very eerie merry go round in the colour scale of grey slowly grinding around to the music of it's own crank shaft.
This was followed by Dim sum in Chinatown with Vajello and his beautiful family.
Then we popped into Doug the local barbers because he invited us to his Farwell drinks, unfortunately the fun of this was dampened when I got stuck talking to Raymond who kept spitting his biscuits on me because he was missing all his front teeth.
Then we were off to a private Jazz Salon in Brooklyn, so sophisticated, so adult. It was hosted in this gorgeous house full of African masks and African American paintings - in the lounge room was a baby grand piano a double bass and drum kit all being played by some red hot musicians. This was all served with red wine and cheese to a group of well heeled middle class African Americans who had paid to see the show - so cool!!!
We stayed for a set then screamed across town in a taxi to catch the late session of Radiohole's show at Ps 122, chocolate throwing 70's s style performance, stunning aesthetically, actors triggering sound and vision from their wrists - anarchic and silly but I liked it even though my off sider and I seemed to be the only ones that found it funny.
This was all finished off with cocktails at a small swarray on a Manhattan rooftop with the cityscape in the background.
Wow what a time, now I look forward to the sweet quietness of suburbia!!
My off-sider will continue to follow up all the in the roads we have made and things are looking good for the summer of 2011!!
As I leave the U.S. tonight I want to pay tribute to my fabulous off-sider. She has been by my side every step of the way and I will miss her dearly.
My off-sider will now stay on in New York and continue to develop the project, being the feet on the street of New York and following up with all the meetings we have made.
Every girl needs a good off-sider!!!
These photos were taken of two friends bathrooms. They lived together in the same apartment, one was a banker and one was an artist. Which one belongs to whom and why? Feel free to make a comment.
Ok feeling so great toady, it's warm outside went for a run across the Williamsburg Bridge the sun screaming down on the monolithic city everything is possible again!!
Had a brilliant meeting with The Socrates Sculpture Park, what a stunning space a grassy oasis, back dropped against the city skyline, which is separated from the park by a slowly lulling Hudson.
Alyson Baker the director was very generous with her time filling us in on the wonderful program they present there. They really bring the incredibly multi-cultural community (up to 130 different languages in the schools) that live in this Long Island area into the park to enjoy a wide range of events and presentation of brilliant work.
Then we headed off back on the train to PS 1 to check out their Saturday Night program, which they are developing.
We had to change trains which ment a dash up the stairs I was a few steps behind Vic, so she got the train first and then the door just shut in my face and then took off.
So I tried to stay cool we were going to the next station so I would just get the next train there, which arrived, in 3 minutes.
But I arrived to an empty station, no Vic, I didn't have here number, I had no keys to the apartment, and we were all the way on the other side of town....aaahhhhhhhh!!!
So I jumped on the next train back to the first station looking frantically everywhere for Vic, while racking my brain about how I could find her number, if I only I could access my internet.
That's when I decided to activate my million dollar data roaming on my phone, so I could access my hotmail, I did and luckily found her number on an old email, then called her on the pay phone there on the station. (I'll be very interested to see how much that costs me because apparently it's insanely expensive!)
Then she appeared, what had happened was the train she got on was an express train for 5 stations so she couldn't get off at the next stop.........anyway we were reunited!!!
That night we ended up down in a swank bar in Wall St with all suits celebrating St Patrick's day.
Then had dinner at a dim sum back in Chinatown that was very cheap and cheerful but with way too much MSG!!! Met some gorgeous local boys there who wore their pants down on their knees so they could show off their "Polo" long johns...hilarious!!!
It's amazing you can go from one extreme to the next in culture, class, and social group and visit ten in one night.
The night before for Vic's birthday we went to an African band down at the Hi Line then had awesome pizza at Lombardi's in Little Italy, then went to the infamous Box where Vic won a dildo in the deep throat competition!!!
She was brilliantly entertaining and deserved to win but was disqualified for giving the dildo fellatio!
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Feeling great today the sun is out and shinning bright, the new moon is about to kick in and little spring buds are beginning to raise their shiney little heads!
Finally had a break through yesterday when we made it into the office of the wonderful Freedome Bradely......he lived up to his name, big, tall, handsome man with a laugh as large as a mountain!!
He runs the theatre in the parks program through out the 5 bourroughs off New York.
He was interested in what we had to present him and he could see how it could fit into their Summer in the Parks program.
The public Arts programmer just happened to be at the next desk so he literally pulled her into the meeting on her chair on wheels.
She really loved what we presented and said we had a brilliant project!
Finally someone who gets us! We really needed some encouragement.
Luckily we got Freedome because it was the beginning of the first day of his holiday and he had to see his boss so he thought he may as well squeeze us in.
What is so interesting is we have talked to so many people and the information that one person gave us with fierce conviction was that no one like Freedomes existed ie presenting public work through the 5 bourroghs!
But he does exit..
People have said don't go to Socrates Island, No do go the Socrotes Island it's perfect for you, do the Figment Festival it's cutting edge and brilliant , no don't do Figment it's a pack of feral hippies, there is no way anyone is going to pay you any money to do your show, yes we have money and we can.
It seems that if someone is confident in the conviction they are giving you an honest piece of information you believe it to be "TRUE", but then someone just as definate in their opinion gives you a conflicting information so they think that it is the TRUTH.
I say There is no truth!!!
The truth is totally relative to the experience one individual has had and it is totally subjective!
There is definitely no one TRUTH
That said we will go forth and try to be clear in our own vision and trust our ow instincts and discover our own TRUTH.
Anywa it's Vic's birthday today , lunch with another festival producer lots of emailing and stuff , a great run across the Williamsburgh bridge.........keep on truckin'!!!
Miss my girls so much and I wish I was there when Todd won his Green Room Award for Best Actor, good on ya Todd!!
Exhausted....pulled into JFK at 6 in the morning...peak hour into town, then up 6 flights of stairs lugging my massive overweight suit case to my off siders great little apartment in the Lower East Side.
It was great to see her.......she had moved there 2 weeks before to get the ball rolling.
Then off to our fist meeting with Vallejo Gantner from PS 122 over a brilliant Mexican lunch, feeling like I had been up all night I had a midday Margarita that kinda hit the spot.
Vallejo was brilliant ( my off-sider and I commented how fabulous his mind was and good he looked for someone with such a hectic schedule) had lots of good advice around how to approach the project....... New York 5 boroughs, driven by an interactive web site with a major sponsor.
It was soon apparent how many layers there was to pulling this off- how much ground work that had to be done and how many levels we have to approaching it on, so many threads to weave together like making a big beautiful rug.
So we went home to follow up our new leads feeling a little clearer on the path, we were then confronted with news that we had not got the Australia Council grant to build the on-line interactive web site that would allow the communities we are engaging to nominate themselves and share content. This was not crucial but it really would have been so great to have had this financial backing at this point.
What do you bloody have to do to get some funding from your home town...... this is where I could really go on a tirade about who did they bloody well fund?? And why do the same people seem to get the money and the rest of us just got on and do it regardless.... maybe that's why we don't funded? But I won't go on and say all that.
Almost in the same moment we got a reply from Freedome Bradley who runs all the parks in New York saying he was interested in meeting with us on Monday.
Down a snake and up a ladder.
Could have easily sunk into a jet-lagged lull of overwhelm ness at the enormity of this task but we had to keep on truckin'
So down to Times Square we trundled to try and track down the contact for who curates the art down there...his name is no where to be seen on the web site.
Got the address and caught the lift to the 8th floor...
Now this is someone we have wanted to talk to 6 months and he has been impossible to find, and soon we find ourselves following his receptionist into his office. (I think she thought we were somebody else.)
It was like meeting the Wizard of Oz, behind the curtain of all magic of the bedazzling lights of times square we stubble into a very small modest office to come face to face with the man running the show.
Everyone was a little supprised and we all had laugh and he was very friendly and told us to send him an email then we would take it from there....... hilarious wasn't really how imagine it.
That night we went to art opening that had a line down the street and around the block, a two hour wait to get.... impressive the support fort the arts...imagine that in Australia!!
Met up with the incredibly hospital Andrzej Liguz a clever documentary photographer and installation artist who took great care of us made sure we had food, wine and a good time......helping over riding my jet lagg with such a warm welcome to the Big City.
Along with his gorgeous friend Dickie an artist from California we danced the night away in some funky lillte club until the wee hours..........in my lolly pink mini dress!
Today endless walls of ice cold rain, a ferry to Staten Island and three hours of New York City Council Cultural grants seminar...which my off-sider felt like she was in heaven and I felt like I was slowly sliding into hell.
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Oh my god what a start I thought my bloody flight to Sydney to get my connection to L.A. was at 8 10 pm when it actually was 5 45 pm I wasn't even at the airport when it took off.
The next flight I could get was at 6 45 the woman at the desk who was more interested in Todd's past of playing Bad boy Darren Starke in Neighbours, said I might make my connection to L.A. So I took the ticket and started running.
As a courtesy Todd rang Virgin Interanational the guy on the phone said I would not make the flight, I would loose my ticket all $1400 of it and I would have to purchase a new one!!
It was devastating news to hear as I was standing at the gate on the verge of boarding the flight, we were both freaking out, I should forget the whole fucking thing, and loose all that money we were gambling on the cockamanny idea.
Get on the plane now, I might get to Sydney miss the connection have to pay for a hotel and loose the ticket in the process.
Cancel the ticket now and re book for a new one at a cost of $600.
Get on the plane; make the connection fly to New York - Gin and Tonic in hand.
My heart was pounding into my ribs, my brain was exploding, and I felt like I was going to have a heart attack!!
Last call went out to board and I turned to the hostess in tears and explained to her the scenario, she was incredibly compassionate and said I would make it, which was confirmed by her off sider and they both said the guy from Virgin on the phone knew nothing and that Todd should hang up.
So he did and the hostess said come on I'll tell the Stewart that they have to let you off first so I hysterically ran down the gang plank onto the to plane.
The Stewart came and had a word to me during the flight so everyone sitting around me was aware of my plight and very supportive.
The businessman to my left had lots of facts he kept offering up according to him it was the only flight that left on time that night.
Forty minutes into the flight the pilot said we were running ten minutes early...that was unbelievable everyone around me agreed.
On landing the Stewart made an announcement that there was a woman who was running very late for her International flight and asked if everyone from row 24 back could wait to stand up to let her off first that it would be greatly appreciated.
So I stood up and introduced myself to the back of the plane and said thank-you very much in anticipation of their generosity.
Plane landed and I started running, no shuttle available, I have to get a taxi.
Running through the terminal, two bags and two jackets in hand.
Get to the taxi rank about 200 people standing in line.........FUCK !!!!!!!!
I run straight up to the first lady, and say almost in tears I have to get to the international Terminal immediately can I pay you 20 bucks for your taxi??
She said please take it no worries you look like your going to cry.
She ends up in the taxi as well.... both her and the cab driver assuring I'll make, its' alright, don't worry all the way to the International terminal!!
I get to the desk and I HAVE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a crazy time but such great support and understanding from everyone I met, everyone wanted me to get to the plane and did all they could to get me there.
It showed me how strangers can be so helpful and wonderful when you appear so desperately in need.... nothing like a crisis to reaffirm humanity!!
CRACKING THE BIG APPLE or WILL IT CRUNCH ME??
Ok off to New York again to cast a rock into the biggest pool of all and see what ripples we can create.
Feeling much more relaxed this time, there was lots going on before the departure date last June when we headed off for our first attempt at cracking this grand egg.
I remember the night before I left I even said yes to MCing a fashion show that ended at 2 in morning than I was on the plane before I new it ...crazy!!
But there is something good about launching out of the chaos, you're kind of warmed up and less inclined to think about it too much.
I am a little terrified this time, it's a big commitment and I really feel because we have invested so much money and time in trying to make this happen I really have to bring home the bacon this time.
On our first reckie last year we had the scattergun approach, just racing round trying to meet who we could on the small bits of info we had is such a short time.
This time my off seder /producer/partner in crime or charm depending on the night, has an apartment there - she has moved to New York for three months to see if we can get this baby off the ground.
This baby is Love TV - we want to present it as a major project through out New York over summer and as my off-sider said the other day, "It's like climbing Mt Everest."
We are just going off our own bat, driven by an instinct that Love TV will be fantastic over there, that we could create something really unique and special coupled with a tendency for both us to be a little crazy!!
No assured outcomes, no promises or financial support agreed to, just us taking a leap and holding our breaths and hoping that the ground we have faith in under our feet, will catch us.
My other great friend Sophie has moved in for three weeks while she does her yoga intensive to help out and look after my twin girls.
Last year when I went away I missed them so much I was so stretched between this incredible feeling of elation and freedom and the feeling of terror at being so far from them and home...
Todd my husband is very supportive, he is my greatest champion and very up for me to give a red-hot shot.