Entry 5

Entry 5

Entry 5
A weeklong electronic journal.
April 30 2004 2:24 PM

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Street scene (Click on image to expand)
Street scene (Click on image to expand)

Yesterday started like most of my days: Banana Nut Crunch cereal, tea, and a grapefruit. I got right to work while still in my pajamas. Fielding e-mails, writing invoices, making sketches, and researching reference material on the internet. I used to have an intern to help with this stuff, but her schedule became too demanding, and she had to quit. It's about time I got another intern.

Outside, the sunshine beckoned. "What are you doing inside? Are you crazy? You can't live like a mole! Get out and live!" it said. And in a way, it was right. But a man's gotta eat. I had work to do.  I buckled down and did it. Looming over me was a contest deadline as well. The annual spot illustration contest entries must be in today, and I haven't even started my application yet. I still don't know if I will. I have a hard time paying for the privilege of being judged. Imagine if Tom Cruise had to pay to be considered for the Oscars.

Chinatown montage (Click on image to expand)
Chinatown montage (Click on image to expand)
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Before long, it was 4 p.m., and my stomach was verbalizing its discontent. I hit the streets with my bicycle and rode to Chinatown to get some lunch. I have a sort of love affair with Chinatown. Yeah yeah, I know, it smells like fish and the people spit everywhere. But it's the neighborhood that is most alive. And the least self conscious. Everytime I go to Chinatown I feel energized; I want to draw everything and everyone. I feel the opposite in Little Italy (except during the San Gennaro Festival). The non-discerning tourist thinks of Chinatown and Little Italy as though they are exhibits at Disney's Epcot Center. Chinatown is not that. Little Italy may as well be.

Portraitist (Click on image to expand)
Portraitist (Click on image to expand)

Although I was starving, I found myself drawn to sketch. A crowd had gathered on Mott Street to watch a portraitist draw a young girl. Perfect subjects! The people were all engaged and standing still. It was like they were posing for me. Of course, I had to endure scrutiny from a few observant bystanders. One man encouraged me. "Very good!" he said. Eventually even the portraitist caught wind of me, and when I looked up from my drawing, he gave me the thumbs up. I felt a little embarrassed.

I went across the street and feasted on my favorite meal at Sweet n' Tart: Beef Chow Fun and "Chinese vegetables" in oyster sauce. You can order these dishes elsewhere, but they won't taste as good as here.

After my lunch/dinner ("Dunch"? "Linner"?) I rode over to a group watercolor show at a Tribeca art gallery (DFN Gallery). My friend WA had told me about the show; she has a painting on exhibit there. The list of painters was an Olympic dream team: George Grosz, Saul Steinberg, Martin Mull, David Levine, Eric Fischl, 17 others ... and of course, WA. No Winslow Homer, though.

Riding back through Soho, I stopped at the Yamamoto store and chatted with my friend MH who works there. Later, when I got to Broadway, I finally dislodged a piece of Chinese vegetable that was stuck in my teeth. It had been bugging me for at least an hour.

That evening, I attended a party for the latest issue of a magazine called Nozone. Afterward my friends YS, SG, and TL joined me for a drink.