Tuesday, March 16, 2010

They say there's always magic in the air

Caution: minor pretentiousness ahead.

Having had guests in town this weekend, I've been doing some things I don't usually do - shamefully, seeing Broadway shows (Next to Normal again), going to art galleries (somewhere in SoHo in a tiny weird unmarked artist's loft), and going to museums (MoMA).

My reasons for not participating in these activities are myriad and semi-valid, but mostly they boil down to a lack of time and money. Which frankly... is sort of bullshit. I just started to write how I spend a very large portion of my time on, well, art, and how in any other course of study it would be considered normal to therefore make my leisure activities NOT, in fact, revolve around that. But that seems like a really strange argument to me since one does not pick art school because they feel obligated, one picks art school because one, like me, loves it.

My money argument most loudly sets off the bullshit meter. Today I paid $40 to see Next to Normal - a little high for a show I've 1) already seen (albeit seen and loved enough to willingly fork over the money to see again just one month later) and that 2) has a cheaper lottery (which admittedly we tried today and did not win). Nonetheless though, in a given week of studio, I prooooobably spend that on lunch. So if I brown-bagged my lunch for a week, there's a trip to the theatre. And that's Broadway; off-Broadway of course tends to be way cheaper. Same with museums - practically everything in New York is suggested donation, and if/when it's not, it's never more than $15 for a student. Again that's kind of a lot of money to me, but what do I usually spend that on?

Knowing this though - and I have of course, known this, it's not like I came to some realization today - why does it take having guests here to get me to see live theatre and to go to museums? That's of course not strictly speaking true, but it's a lot easier to remember that these are things I really, really enjoy when someone else suggests them as a novelty not available to them. It's symptomatic of what I think everybody who lives in a major city experiences in some way - I find all the same things special about New York that people who don't live here do, but I feel no pressure to do them because I'm here all the time, and consequently, don't. And though the arts things are the ones that jump out to me, simpler things fall by the wayside too - I don't go to Central Park, I know almost nothing about neighborhoods north of 14th street including my own, I've never seen a New York sports team live... you get the idea.

Until I'm no longer a full time student, there's virtually zero chance of my rectifying the no time situation, which is pretty legitimate. But these other things - the reckless money spending and more importantly and alarmingly the general... apathy? It's too strong a word but the idea is right. These are the things I should fix. Especially since it's fuckin' New York City.

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