Swans of the Concrete Jungle

Money’s dear this year, which sounds like a Dorothy Parker stanza but is one of the myriad reasons I’m lucky to live in NYC—a miraculous place to live on the cheap if you’re resourceful. Yesterday with ten bucks in my pocket I ferried ($2.50) to the Metropolitan Museum—both Mets!—for one buckarino (1$) and entered an alternate dimension mostly pink and 100 percent fabulous: Camp:Notes on Fashion at 5th Avenue and Mrinalini Mukherjee’s Phenomenal Nature at the Breur; then the Chris Ofili show at David Swirner (free) and the nutty gallery that is Madison Ave designer window displays and designer rich-lady faces (free, at least for me).

Altogether it was a rarified world of wedding cake townhouses and mermaids with big cocks and tin-foil goddesses and licentious, lichen-ous trees. I even had enough left over for a pretzel with loads of mustard ($2) in Central Park, so lushly green that Edith Wharton would’ve found the terrain familiar. I felt what I always feel when prowling a NYC jungle not my own: joyfully restored, gratefully inspired.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy