It’s two eventful weekends and a great week inbetween–I wish I could change job more often!

Ling had a conference to go from Monday to Wednesday, so they’re here on Saturday–they stayed at Wu Tong’s in Delaware (couldn’t get a good sleep because Ling is allergic to Wu Tong’s cat). They went to see the Phantom in the afternoon, and we four went to see Van Gogh’s Drawings at the Met and Russia! at Guggenheim, then we all dined at Gu Xiang Wei with Jiang Jie couple.

Then it’s golf madness:

  1. Sunday we played Rockland executive
  2. Monday Jay and HH played Hendrick
  3. Wednsday HH and I played Emerson
  4. Friday I played Hyatt Hills 9
  5. Sunday we 4 played Galloping Hills

Throw in that Gao Min gave birth on Saturday (that’s why we only played the executive course on Sunday), diner with Jiang Jie and Jinhua couple on Monday then they watched Hallowen parade Monday night, HH went to the Met by himself on Tuesday, which is also my last day at BrainMedia. You get the idea.

A crucial thing is that HH was persuaded to stay until Wednesday when Ling’s conference was over. He called in sick for 3 days–he didn’t care since he would resign in a couple of weeks anyway 🙂

Van Gogh’s drawings are very good, clearly showing how he developed his style. Most later drawings are very striking by themselves in their strokes, which made the few paintings in the exhibition even more dramatic. A print can never manifest the liveliness and dynamics in the paintings–analogous to a recording vs. a live concert. When you see a real painting in a museum with whatever decor or lighting, it’s alive and breathing in an environment of its own. A concert is much more lively and ephemeral. One of my mum’s teachers in the conservatory said that he would rather listen to a 3rd-league orchestra perform live than a great recording.

The Russia! exhibition has way too many paintings–more than 250 pieces spanning 800 years. It’s great to see the few famous ones like Repin’s Barge Haulers on the Volga and Kramskoy’s Unknown Woman. Ivan Aivazovsky’s epic seascape The Ninth Wave was the most impressive one with its massive scale (221 x 332 cm) and gripping depiction of translucent emerald waves.

It’s my first time to the Guggenheim, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces. There’re 5 Guggenheim in the world. Due to time constraint we didn’t go to Frank Gehry’s super-ultra postmodern one in Bilbao or the beautiful Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. We didn’t know there’s one in Berlin right on Unter den Linden and the final one in the Venetian in Las Vegas. Hopefully we’ll get to see all of them some time.

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