Sometimes nothing is better than a busy day out and about. I met Ellen first thing to attend the keynote speech given by , CastroUnited States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development at Cooper Union for the Ideas City 2015 conference. I thought he was brilliant. Introduced by Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker of the NYC Council, she herself an ardent voice for social change. So glad I went.
Ellen and I walked to the west side where I met the artist Jeff Way at the Whitney Museum's new location. To say the museum was startling and innovative and the collection organized in really clever ways is an understatement. (Fold in the scores of people walking around in an admiring daze- and it's all a bit overwhelming.)
Jeff Way is a special person to me as he was my first serious art teacher when I went off to college. He encouraged me to attend the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum which turned out to be a defining chapter in my life. He and I took in a few floors of the museum and emerged to crowded streets, bright sun, and one vestige of ungentrifried New York- undoubtably destined to house a new tenant given the mix of high end boutiques and chic eating establishments that have sprouted up all around.
We strolled east to less posh Hudson Ave. and settled in for lunch. I haven't seen Jeff for many years and the chance to catch up meant the world to me. Discourse, art and conversation. A perfect New York City day.