And comes home again. But wasn’t New York wonderful! I presented a talk and a Powerpoint show on my newest graphic novel biography, “Lily Renee, Escape Artist,” in two different places: The Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art (MOCCA) and a great bookstore called Books of Wonder. Lily herself, the living. breathing heroine of the book, came with me and stole the show. She is so elegant and gracious — and, in her 80s, still so beautiful– that I felt like a mouse. She’s also totally outspoken. (Example: person in audience; “What did you think of Maus?” Lily, in her marvelous Viennese accent: “I hated it.”) I worship her but she also terrifies me. I’m very glad she doesn’t hate ME! (And here we are, in a photo by Robert Pollack)
We had a great audience at both places, and the folks at the museum and bookstore treated us wonderfully. My thanks to them, and to my beautiful editor, Carol Burrell. I am lucky to have the best editor in the world!
Here’s a link to a great write-up of our appearance at Books of Wonder, thank you, Alexa! http://ladiesmakingcomics.tumblr.com/post/12542791776/meeting-golden-age-art-goddess-lily-renee
There was so much that I wanted to do and see in New York, but I had the most limited time ever, and it will have to wait till next time. I wanted to visit Ground Zero, The Occupy Wall Street encampment, and the Highline, a mile-long park built on a section of old elevated train tracks. I’ll have to wait till my next trip.
But I did see some folks from the Occupy movement demonstrating in Washington Square Park, along with a man playing a piano on wheels. I cheered on the Occupy Wall Street folks and I applauded the pianist. I love that park!
What I did manage to squeeze in: I took in the exhibit at the main library, you know, the one with the lions. It’s the NY public library’s centennial, and they showed the most amazing objects from their collection, and what a collection! Jack Kerouac’s typewriter, manuscripts by Bob Dylan, Richard Wright, Ernest Hemingway (that last written in longhand and pencil). A letter opener that Charles Dickens had made from the paw of his deceased cat! First editions of BOTH Mein Kampf and Das Kapital! Virginia Woolf’s walking stick! If you’re in New York, don’t miss it; it’s heaven for book lovers.
I never miss the exhibits at FIT, the Fashion Institute of Technology. They always have some great fashion exhibit or other on display, and this trip was no exception. They had TWO exhibits! The first was on sportswear, and before you yawn: there was a swimsuit from 1853, motoring clothes from 1909, divine tennis outfits from the early 20th century, golfing clothes from the 1920s. Those baggy knickers the men used to wear for golfing, you know why they were called plus fours? Because they came down to four inches below the knee!
Ah, but the second exhibit! It featured what must be a mere fraction of the immense wardrobe of Daphne Guiness, heir to the Guiness fortune. Mercifully, I had never heard of Daphne Guiness before — I just don’t travel in those circles. Wikipedia describes her as, among other things, an artist, but nowhere on the web could I find any examples of “art” that she had drawn, painted, sculpted, or whatever. Basically, her distinction seems to be that she is obscenely rich, with money that she never lifted a finger to earn, and the clothing and shoes on display consisted of bizarre and unwearable costumes, and even more bizarre shoes that would be impossible to walk in, by the likes of Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld, and Christian Lacroix, all of it meant to be worn once, to make an entrance in. I can’t begin to imagine what these outfits must have cost! I thought of the Occupy movement that is spreading all over the country. People like Daphne Guiness are the 1%, and the very reason for the Occupy movement!
I missed the Highline, but I managed to squeeze in a couple of days visiting my sister and brother-in-law who live in New York’s scenic Hudson Valley, and they took me to the Walkway over the Hudson. The Walkway is an old railroad bridge that spans the Hudson River, and, like the Highline, has been converted into a breathtaking (and easy) walk above the river. The entire walk, across and back, is four miles, something even I can do. The Walkway and the Highline: what clever ways to utilize old elevated train tracks!
Okay, so Fear of Blogging is back in sunny (so far!) San Francisco, and what’s next? This coming Thursday, November 17th, at 6 p.m., come see me at the Cartoon Art Museum. I’ll be talking about my recent book, “Tarpe Mills and Miss Fury,” and signing copies of the book. Of course, all my talks always feature Powerpoint shows with lots of pictures. Come by, say hello, it’s free, and here’s a link:
Then, on November 29, at 6 p.m., I’ll be bringing my Lily Renee Powerpoint show and talk to the main library, Sorry to say Lily won’t be there this time (and if I could, I’d have her flown out, with a limousine to pick her up at the airport and bring her to the library) but my talks are always fun and interesting, even without the wonderful Lily Renee. Here’s the link: http://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=1007358901
I hope to see you there!