So now I am in New York, checking it out. It’s changed a lot since I lived here. Still very noisy, busy, crowded, maybe more so. I left in 1984. That’s a long time ago, the way things are today. I’m flooded now with memories and impressions of my life when I was here. Yesterday I went to visit some friends and as we were sitting around their dining table, one turned to me and said “It feels like you never left.” Indeed it does. It feels very natural to be here now. Usually when I visit New York, I’m eager to leave, go back to Nova Scotia where it is quiet. This time it feels good to be here.
The Museum of Modern Art has an exhibit on now of Abstract Expressionist art. So of course that was one of my first stops. One of my first loves was Arshile Gorky’s paintings. I still feel the same way about his work. It is both intimate and expansive, very personal and universal.
Then there was quite a few of my other great love: Rothko paintings. I could look at them for hours and never feel tired. There is a feast of solitude in them, an open world.
There was also Larry Rivers’ painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware. I had only seen the painting in books. But when I first left my marriage (many, many years ago), I moved with my two young children, two cats, two fish tanks and tons of art supplies to First Avenue and 13th Street, to a loft with Larry Rivers living above us. It was one of those places where the floor of one loft is the ceiling of the one below. And his floor was just wooden planks. So we would hear him coming in at 4 am in his cowboy boots talking and laughing with friends. I would get back at him the next morning playing children’s records. I heard later he had memorized the songs. I don’t think we ever really met, our schedules were so different. But it was a memorable experience.