Coming in on a Saturday after 3 days off feels… off. I’m still peeved at missing Oppenheimer, but I’ll get over it. For the prices those tickets run I would have expected a reminder email. Seriously. I got reminders for the MoMA thing last night and those tickets were free. As they should have been. The experience was not worth paying a nickel. Headcrushingly loud music accompanied my visit to the only piece I wanted to see. It was called “You Are Here” by Jimmie Durham. It was a Titan payphone enclosure taken straight from 6th Avenue, where it was originally was part of “TITAN”, an outdoor art exhibit in which a dozen artists placed their works on the advertising panels of 6th Avenue’s payphones. TITAN was curated by Bree Zucker, Damián Ortega, and the Kurimanzutto Gallery. You would never know any of this from the presentation at the MoMA. All you get is a payphone enclosure with some prints on the sides, a placard indicating the artist died in 2021, and that the piece was a direct purchase. I am no MoMA watcher but it seems they could have tried a little harder to explain this phone booth’s path to the gallery.

The experience of going to the free night for New York City residents also seems to have been a waste of time. I made reservations (for myself and one who stood me up). I had the QR code ready to be scanned and my proof of residence in hand. None of this mattered. I just got hauled in with everyone else, mostly tourists. I don’t even know why I bothered with the tickets and thinking I’d be treated any differently than everyone else.

I was at the Rose Main Reading Room yesterday. A change they seem to have instituted since re-opening after Covid lockdown is that tourists are not allowed to just wander into the Rose Reading Room. It is strictly for study and research now, and photography is not allowed, though I saw plenty of people flouting that rule. I thought the no-tourists thing would be a short-term policy change but it’s seeming to be permanent. Not sure how I feel about that. The room itself is beautiful, and worthy of a visit just on that account. But it does get tiresome, the constant churn of people turning a study chamber into a carnival.

I did some needless writing there yesterday, making brief acquaintance with a young man I assume to be a college student. He asked about my screen magnifier, which, with help of a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, makes it possible to use a smart phone kind of like a laptop. Then he prevailed upon me to watch over his stuff while he went for a bathroom break, a request that sent me to Kingsfield’s Contracts class where the liability put upon me by accepting this role as watcher of a stranger’s stuff could be analyzed and discussed with citations up and down past court records.

The previous two days were spent in the Bronx, once in the Fordham area with a walk along the Grand Concourse; the next day was up in Riverdale, at Van Cortlandt Park where there were horses and I think exactly one spotted lanternfly, which I was unable to crush. I have not played back the video from that day, and in fact I’ve had troubles for some reason putting together the video of the first Bronx Stramble. Premiere Pro is doing weird stuff and I don’t have time or patience to figure out why text I put on one part of the timeline showed up someplace completely different from where I intended. My subscription to Adobe Suite finally runs out after I unintentionally let it autorenew, getting trapped in a contract for expensive software I almost never use anymore. I could be very peeved about that but what’s the use… I don’t know if the usual free alternatives are going to live up to what the Adobe Suite can do. Gimp is good but the K-something video editor has been unpredictable, and Audacity has always confounded me.

I also made the unexpected discovery that the Rockefeller Center payphone is presently out of service. That’s happened in the past but it’s rare. I wonder what happened to it.

I also considered inquiring about the possibility of revlaiming PO Box 181. I don’t know if anyone else ever got that one but getting it back would solve a few unexpected problems, none of them terribly significant but irksome. But then I realized the cost, which is out of control for what you get. Over $200 a year, and for what? Not a whole lot more than a place to pick up magazines and stuff. They had claimed you’d be able to use the physical street address instead of the PO Box address but that never came to pass. They promised signature on file so you’d never have to be there during business hours to sign for items that required signature. That never happened. They did finally implement lockers for pickup of items too big for the box, but they only seemed to have utilized them during Covid. The hours of operation are not good. Unlike other locations which charge the same rate the Rockefeller Center station is not available 24/7, and for my purposes I’d only have access to it one day a week. I don’t know, though. I get sentimental about the old 181. Gotta go…