Surprise! This past weekend I was in New York yet again! I have become one of those super hip types that travel down to “The City” every weekend to do culture and crap! And culture is exactly what I did this past weekend.
The Jackson Institute arranges these networking events for us to network. This was a “soft” networking event, in that it didn’t have “network” in the name of it, but they sent out a list of attendees beforehand along with their job titles and companies so we could see what people we would like to talk to. So that’s a whole thing. The nominal excuse was a trip to the Rubin Museum of Art to tour their current exhibition, “Clapping with Stones.” All the current Jackson students were stressing over finals, so very few of us showed up, so the whole event was pretty intimate and cozy and that is pretty nice I suppose. We rendezvous’d at the museum on Saturday afternoon and went to go see some art.
The art was good! At least I think it was. We had an actual tour guide which is nice to explain things (vice just wandering around ourselves) and context is helpful. The only picture I took is the top one (with my crappy phone camera, but I told myself the streaky light effect was artsy), and the museum website doesn’t have the name of it as far as I can tell. The tour took about an hour and then we adjourned to the museum’s rather large cafe. They gave us wine and appetizers (dumplings and kale salad) and we had a go at the whole networking thing. Turns out former Jackson people are just as cool as current Jackson people so we all had a great time.
The other purpose of this trip to New York was to see “The Book of Mormon.” My aunt and uncle are artsy New York theater types and turns out I’ve never seen a Broadway play, so for my birthday they wanted to change that. I had absolutely no opinions about which play to see, so they decided that The Book of Mormon would be a good place to start. I had told friends I was going to go see it and that was a whole mix of reviews. The initial impression from everyone is that it is great. But with such stellar reviews going around other people were worried I would set my expectations too high. So they warned me against that.
Having now seen it, yeah I dunno man. Some of the musical numbers are pretty good. But content-wise, I did some googling and this essay and this essay both more or less capture my feelings about it. I was downright queasy when they rolled out the “Africa” set. They managed to humanize the characters a bit more later on and frankly the “We Are Africa” piece felt about spot-on when it comes to White Savior complexes and all that jazz. So yeah. I don’t think I’m going to see it again.
After the play we took a stroll through Times Square to get to the subway. We passed on the way the “World’s Big Sleep Out” event (but didn’t manage to see Will Smith). This is another case of me having mixed feelings about protest-type events. Now that I have read the article, it seems to be a fantastic event and the guy that organizes them seems awesome and puts his money where is mouth is. I do like how many caveats the people in the NYT article put in (“‘I can’t ever relate to the helplessness and hopelessness of being truly homeless because I really do have those keys in my pocket, but at least for one night we are creating awareness to imagine what it’d be like sleeping outside,’ Mr. O’Shea, 54, said.”), and there are probably apt comparisons to be made between some of these people and the sincere and well-meaning Mormons who go to Africa and confront General Butt Fucking Naked. After we passed the Sleep Out we passed an actual homeless person. I sorta wonder if the Sleep Out people would have let him sleep with them?