The usual constant sirens of Newark have blended into my personal background noise now as I’ve become used to them, although the occasional low flying helicopter at three in the morning can jar me a little.
I’ve also become more immune to the huge presence of armed and armoured police but still get a little shaken when they’re joined by multiple camouflage wearing soldiers as they were at Grand Central Station yesterday.
All up New York is a fantastic sensory inundation but as I’m here to work, my mind shuffles between appreciation of the surface and over analysis of the underpinnings.
I’ve been racing between galleries and urban expressions of art, between watching New York Fashion Week posers and the awful poverty of the street people that surround them, between appreciating the openness and warmth of complete strangers communicating on the metro and the contrast of the woman in £1000 Louboutin shoes shoving a wad of notes in the side of a legless homeless man’s wheelchair before she climbed in a limo.
It is all part of a dance, and the joy and difficulty lies in find the rhythm to follow the music without getting lost in my head and tripping up over my feet.
Yesterday I wandered in areas where art was about corporate investment, and found out that most of the street art in the city is now sponsored. However I also met up with the executive director of Visual AIDS who showed that it was possible to straddle the worlds of professionalism and financial awareness, and be involved in creative processes that have morality and ability to effect positive progressive change.
As I caught my train back to Newark last night ( missing my stop and ending up in Princeton, but that’s the nature of my personal musing process) I was stunned and a little down and disillusioned but today all has been processed and assimilated and I’m ready to explore and adventure once more.