The Unbearable Banishment: New York City “bottled” water

Friday, February 17, 2012

New York City “bottled” water

I was on my midday stroll and came across this dude just off of 5th Avenue on 55th Street:

He used a garden hose to fill four water cooler jugs. Something tells me the other end of that hose wasn’t connected to a mountain spring. What a scam! What do you suppose he did with them? Fooled some poor office drones, no doubt. Seriously though, New York City has a long reputation of having some of the cleanest, best tasting tap water in the country.

* * *

I love performance art. Even bad performance art. What they often get away with is classifying the aspects of a piece that don’t work as part of the performance and are de facto "intentionally" bad. It’s not honest, but it's entertaining.

Kooky old Maria Abramovic is transforming a former tennis center in upstate New York into a permanent performance art space. Some of the pieces she plans may last several hours or several DAYS. According to the report I read, because of the length of some of these pieces, the space will feature:
…customized chairs complete with wheels. Those who fall asleep will be rolled into a special sleeping area – considered part of the performance – and rolled back when they awaken.
If your audience falls into such a deep slumber that they can actually be rolled away in a chair without being woken, it’s not part of the piece. Your piece is boring. Can you imagine if someone dies during the performance?! She might consider it the ultimate compliment.

* * *

Richard III coda: nursemyra was correct in that Spacey hammed it up quite a bit. But aside from a few lines that would have been better spoken than shouted, I thought his performance achieved a rare greatness. In the final scene, while the newly crowned king, Henry VII, was giving his exit speech, Richard, dead and bloody, hung by his ankles about 15 feet above the stage. You can’t be more dedicated to your performance than that! The theater critic for The New York Times called it a “gimmick” but I thought the whole thing was a lush spectacle and I’ll never forget it.

The play ran so late that there was no public transport back to New Jersey so I stayed in a hotel. I had forgotten what it's like to sleep in Manhattan. At 12:47 a.m. (I know because I looked), a garbage truck threw its gears into reverse and I was startled awake by the loud beep-beep-beep-beep back-up signal. I was on the 26th floor but it sounded like they were right outside my window. At that exact moment, the toilet in my bathroom flushed itself! I’m not kidding! I was in a quasi-dream state and imagined one of the garbage truck drivers walking out of my bathroom fastening his pants. And then there was a loud cacophony of gears grinding, a dumpster being hoisted up off the ground, upended, and slammed back down onto the pavement. I had to get out of bed and jiggle the handle to get the damn toilet to stop flushing.

The city that never sleeps.


Blogger Sausage said...

I wonder if the toilet flushing had anything to do with the not so Culligan man?. Hope your wallet survived the night in Manhattan
Cheers, Sausage...

February 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

SF: The elegant Wellington Hotel on 55th and 7th Avenue! Only $84 bucks! If you tried to close the bathroom door while on the throne, it would hit you in the knees (not kidding) but it was clean and that's all I required.

February 17, 2012 at 12:54 PM  
Anonymous dinahmow said...

If I had never been to NY, just your charming vignettes would make me talk to Travelworld.


February 17, 2012 at 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Dolce said...

Only response is my addled brain singing...i get my bottled water and my chicks for free...dire straits style.


February 17, 2012 at 2:28 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

dinah: The city didn't seem so damn charming last night at almost 1:00 in the morning. But nobody comes here for the peace.

Dolce: An addled, albeit musically inclined, brain.

February 17, 2012 at 2:59 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

if i get there next month, i do not wish to see something that makes me sleep or die. perhaps not something that lasts til midnight, either....

February 17, 2012 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger M L Jassy said...

Naughty water-wallah! Someone should write a play about him.

February 18, 2012 at 1:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I wish I hadn't walked out of the play at intermission

Is he using a fire hydrant tap to filch water? Isn't that illegal?

February 18, 2012 at 4:23 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

So glad you saw it.
The dangling upside down sounds rather like the art of coarse acting but what the hell.
I spent a sleepless night in the city at my sister's friend's and the lullaby was constant emergency vehicles. I must have finally dropped off because I was awakened by her non too fragrant mountain sheep dog licking my face.

February 18, 2012 at 6:29 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

daisy: No worries. We'll find something suitable. That windbag Philip Seymour Hoffman is doing "Death of a Salesman." Maybe that?

Mitzi: He works for an evil organization that laces spring water coolers with hallucinogenics. Go...

nurse: The New York Times printed a great article this morning about the joys of watching Spacey's hammy performance. They call his performance "audience devouring." That sounds accurate. Have a look.

Pat: I got used to the racket while I lived there but am so far removed that I have become, dare I say?, sensitive. Blech.

February 18, 2012 at 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok I read the piece you linked to but I still wouldn't recommend it. I guess I have too strong an aversion to ham.

February 18, 2012 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

84 bucks? 84 bucks??
Why I could live like a Lord for a week here in one of our best hotels!

February 19, 2012 at 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Spacey in that film where that naked woman lies back and is covered in red rose petals, and would not of choice pay to see him again.

February 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM  

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