After hipster bouncy castles and food truck happy hours, and shuffling like giddy commuters along a packed, 10-block-long sidewalk the size of a lesser tunnel passageway at Penn Station, I was forced the other night to contemplate the cheery, civic absurdity of the High Line.
Which fortunately turned out to be mostly novelty; the crowd thinned out noticeably on the older, wider section south of 23rd St. I was early for dinner, so I pressed on, keeping a hopeful eye out for Euan as I passed under the Standard; running into him would mean his long, weary nightmare of being stuck, laid over, at Charles de Gaulle had ended. [Alas, he tweeted, it had not.]
Though you’d think it might, entertaining the possibility, however remote, of seeing my most authentically Austin Powers-ish friend did not prepare me for the marching band.
Their music, obviously was heard first. I was coming towards them, or–how thick are these reedy plantings?–perhaps they were coming towards me. Somehow, it was neither. The band remained well within earshot, but largely out of sight to High Liners who didn’t want to stand in the bubbly water feature section above the gas station on 15th St. Wade in, though, and you could see them marching in a circle–yes, there they go, taking another lap–around the oval green of 14th Street Park.
And thus, I was compelled to think again–twice in one day!–of Francis Alys, whose video works, Rehearsal I, of a futile trip made to the accompaniment of a brass band, and Cuentos Patrioticos [above], in which a shepherd leads his flock in a beautifully improbable circle around the Madre Patria in Mexico City’s Zócalo, are the best things in his MoMA exhibit, not counting the skillfully executed vitrines and pedestals. [image via]