Monday, August 2, 2010

Josh and Tim go Barnes-storming

My buddy Tim came down for the weekend. He and I went to see the Barnes Foundation collection on Friday. I'm pleased that we managed to see it before they moved it to the new location.

The Barnes Foundation, as you may recall from my previous posts, is probably the most expansive private art collection in the world.

Here are some helpful links:

Admission is strictly regulated. Only a certain number of people are allowed in every day. We were running late and missed our initial exit and we were slow to find the actual location. Our tickets were for 12:30. We pulled in to the lot at 12:29:49. Score! (We later learned that the times on the tickets were only loosely followed guidelines put in place just to ensure that everyone doesn't show up at the same time.)

I dressed up kind of nicely and guilted Tim into dressing up likewise because I'd be embarrassed walking around a museum in shorts and a t-shirt. On arriving, I saw that that if anything, shorts and a t-shirt would be overdressing compared to the flip flops and wife beaters everyone else was wearing. Gaw!

I enjoy nice art. I don't really have the background to appreciate it with anything approaching sophistication, but I like it. Three paintings I especially liked are featured below

Camille Monet at her tapestry loom

Apparently Monet had several paintings of his wife. He gets a lot of shit for prints of his watercolors appearing on the walls of every dentist office and temp agency in the world, but I'm told by people more knowledgeable about art than I am that the real genius is in his brush strokes, and this just doesn't come across in the reproductions. Anyway, I like the fact that he made his wife part of his world.

The Spring

I like this one because she seems so hopeful. It's like she's listening to someone outside the frame, and she doesn't know what he's going to say specifically, but she's just sure it's going to be something that will make her happy.

I had never heard of Corot, but I wrote down his name because I liked his work.His full name is Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, which is fantastically French.

Wikipedia says: "In his final 10 years he became the "Père (Father) Corot" of Parisian artistic circles, where he was regarded with personal affection, and acknowledged as one of the five or six greatest landscape painters the world has seen." So that's neat. I didn't see any of his landscapes at the Barnes, but the portraits were all beautiful. I liked them because his models all seemed unsettled, somehow. (Google image search Cobot and pensive and you'll get about a zilllion hits)

Pensive Young Woman

Tim pointed out that Renior sure liked painting nudes.

(We were in a room with a couple Renoirs)

Me: Which painting are you looking at?

Tim: The one with all the naked fat ladies.

Me: You're going to have to be more specific.

I mentioned to Tim that it reminded me of something the artist Masamune Shirow was quoted as saying in an issue of Intron Depot. That's all I had to say and Tim started chuckling, because he knew the quote too. That's why we're best buds! Anyways, the quote was something along the lines of "I drew a naked girl here because I didn't feel like drawing some guy's hairy ass. God, this is getting crass." Renoir was probably thinking along similar lines, in that he had a preference for depicting the elegance of the female form.

I noticed that there Fire extinguishers in a couple rooms of the Barnes Foundation, but that was probably just to comply with fire codes. I wondered what they would do if a fire did break out. I didn't see any sprinklers on the ceiling. I doubted that they would have traditional meltable fuse water sprinklers anyway. Perhaps some of the things that looked like alarms actually dispensed some kind of chemical retardant.

We were pretty beat when we left the museum, so we didn't linger too long in Philly. We listened to Jake Adelstein reading his book Tokyo Vice. He was one of the very first Americans to work at a Japanese newspaper and the book chronicled some of his time at the crime desk. It was interesting material, but he should have had someone else handle the reading. I mean, God knows I speak with a flat affect, but he made me sound like Tony Jay.

Shortly after that, we hit three locations looking for an Arby's. Two were closed, but we finally struck gold at the third. So did the Arby's employee who walked past us while unselfconsciously picking her nose.

When we got back, Lily gave Tim the third degree on when he'd be marrying Grammy Kathy.

Jen went to bed and Tim and I watched Hot Tub Time Machine. It was pretty hilarious. Rob Corddry was awesome. I feel that Tim's dad would have called it "raunchy", as he did the Adventures of Ford Fairlaine. (Every time I read the word "raunchy", I imagine Tim's dad saying it.)

On Saturday morning, we walked to Farmer's Market in Easton. Lily got tired of walking pretty early on, so I carried her most of the distance. She did make it up the whole huge flight of stairs going up from South Main street on her own though. On the way back, she told me that "Mister Tim is much funnier than you are, daddy," and then, seeing she might have hurt my feelings, added, "But you're still the silliest."

We played some Candyland. Lily asked Tim if she could sit on his lap and they were very cute. Jen cleverly stacked the deck, so we had a very short game that Lily won, and everybody was happy.

Lily knows a million jokes and she was bombarding Tim with every one of them.

Lily: Knock Knock.

Tim: Who's there?

Lily: Interrupting cow.

Tim: Interrup-

Lily: Moo!

(Two seconds later)

Lily: Knock Knock.

Tim: Who's there?

Lily: Interrupting dog

Tim: Interrup-

Lily: Bark!

(One second later)

Lily: Knock Knock.

Tim: Who's there?

Lily: Interrupting pig and sheep!

Tim: Interrup-

Lily: Oink! Baa!

I eventually managed to lure here away by suggesting a walk to the local cemetery. Like any three year old girl, she loves playing in the nearby cemetery. We did that for a while. She wasn't wearing any sunglasses and the bright sunlight really started bothering her, so I took off my world's greatest dad cap, tightened it as far as it would go and then put it on her little head, and for a little while, I did feel like the world's greatest dad.

Shortly after that, we dropped Lily off at her Grammy's house and then we went to karaoke at a bar within a local bowling alley. I'm happy that Jen gets me out of the house every now and again.

We got there slightly early for karaoke, so I played video games instead. I'm actually quite good at Star Wars trilogy, so I put my quarters in and this little girl who was about eight sat down next to me on the seat and asked, "Can I watch you play?"

Err...what do you say there? I kind of mumbled "sure" and scooted over as far as I could. Tim asked if he could watch and I said no and the other little kids there chased him away every time he tried to watch.

I'm pretty good at the game and got all the way to the second Death Star assault on one set of quarters. Go me!

Karaoke there was kind of lousy, so we decided to cut our loses and head up to another place, a sports bar up in Allentown. This place wasn't that much better, but we did well in bar trivia. It would have been nicer if the guy running karaoke hadn't disappeared for 45 minutes a half hour after our arrival, but Tim got one song in, so that was kind of cool. As he was returning to his table, the DJ asked him if he was a Bangles fan. Tim said sure, then asked us why he was asking about the Bangles. I said that the guy probably said "Bengals" because we were in a sports bar. (Tim was wearing the same t-shirt you can see from the picture further up the thread. If you can't make out the image, it's a cartoon of tiger snuggling with a little doll that looked like Calvin). Tim quickly yelled out a correction ("I thought you said Bangles, not Bengals! Walk like an Egyptian!") so that we wouldn't get murdered by irate Eagles fans in the parking lot.

When we got home at two in the morning, Jen played some Playstation karaoke and did very well.

The next day was pretty quiet. I went to the Warren County Farmer's Fair with Tim and we ran into an old classmate. That was nice enough. I ate terribly. (For the entire day, all I ate was some dollar store beef jerky, some prawn crackers (made with real prawn!) a handful of candy, some fried dough and a taco.) I felt sick (for some strange reason) and spent a fair amount of our last day snoozing and catching up on all the sleep I had missed. Kind of a low key ending to such an awesome weekend, but I guess I'm too old to be staying up till 3:30 every morning. I suppose there's a lesson to be learned here, but if you need me I'll be eating my prawn puffs until 5 this morning.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a wonderful time too. And when is Tim going to marry me? I am not getting any younger with my brittle arms.