It's been a week since I was in D.C., but driving down Connecticut Avenue last night around 9:30, I felt like it had been a month. Maybe it's because the train ride from Chicago had been so long -- a seven hour layover in Pittsburgh made it a nearly 24 hour journey -- or maybe it's because we simply ran ourselves ragged on every leg of the trip.
In Pittsburgh, with seven hours to kill, we visited the Andy Warhol Museum, seven floors of fun just across the 7th Avenue Bridge on the North Side. It had been several years since our last visit, and it seems that in the interim the museum has decided that Warhol's work alone isn't enough to keep the museum fresh, and two floors almost completely featured work by other artists (Bruce Nauman and Ron Mueck).
I'm also pleasantly surprised to say that after four days in Chicago, where they put meat in everything from soups to sodas, we were able to get beautiful salads in Pittsburgh, a town not exactly known for healthy eating. Lest my dear readers think I'm knocking Chicago, which is a first class city, I will admit that we hardly went out of our way to find good food. In fact, at least half of the meals were eaten either in the hotels of the MLA or the underground tunnels connecting the hotels. OK, let's be honest...at least 75% of meals were consumed that way.
A quick rundown of the MLA would go like this: saw friends, saw panels, bought or weaseled my way into many books, chatted up a few press acquisition reps, moderated a panel that was surprisingly well attended, given its kiss of death time slot, and finally spent the last few hours in Chicago at the Art Institute. Most of the modern American art is unavailable or scattered throughout the museum, as they're undergoing a pretty ambitious expansion and have many galleries closed. Also, a Jasper Johns exhibit was taking up way too much space. I like some of his stuff, but after two shows at the National Gallery of Art earlier this year, I think I'm Jasper Johnsed-Out for a time. Besides, the show was called "Gray," and featured his grayscale paintings, which after about five rooms starts to overload.
As for New Years Resolutions, I resolve this year to work on publications. That's a modest enough goal, I think.