Sundays have become a very sacred day for me, since it seems I am working all the time these days. If I am not in the lab creating some beautiful new object of scent, I am in the hardware store nursing it’s sucess.
So I do cherish my Sunday down time, it’s the only day my partner and I get to really just breath and lounge around the house. Now, that it is Spring there is the wonder of the bloom. I usually pier out through our back windows while Dez spends his time getting the earth under his nails. This is highly spiritual stuff for the both of us, he gets to be close to roots of his boyhood and I……..well I get to ascertain where I’ll be planting the finishing touches to our garden.
He adores beauty, so he plants all that will bloom into amazing colors and while I too adore beauty, it must have more utility. In this case, I will adding the finishing touches of lavender, silver sage, basil and mint. Together we create a garden of harmony.
Well, the Sunday before last we took a break from our Spring routine and I decided to join a long time friend for a journey into Manhattan to see the Mandy Aftel’s Living Perfume Exhibit. Actually earlier that week I had the opportunity to seeing her at an event held at the W Hotel. It was a tasting put on by Aftelier Perfumes, Bellevadeer Vodka, Robertet, Chef Todd English and host of other players. All in all this was a nice event.
So anyway, before getting into the city on Sunday, my friend Tblz and I made a pit-stop into Long Island City. She only agreed to join me in Manhattan, if I’d come to Queens with her so she could photograph the Five Points grafitti buildings. So I did, we rarely get to having these kind of outing anymore. I guess we are all grown-up now, me with my businesses and her with a family now. Funny, we’ve known each other for 24 years, both native to Louisiana, we meet at LSU Baton Rouge. Both having been aspiring fashion designers made our way to the big apple many years ago.
It was a pretty amazing thing to see a full city block of bulidings almost completely cover ed in some the coolest grafitti I seen in a long time. You don’t see much of it these days, but when I moved to NYC in 1987 it was everywhere. The city has since become much more sterile, more liveable in some ways, less interesting in others. I was told that the city is treating to tear down these buildings, they are literally crumbling and in need of some major repairs.
This is a Catch 22 situation since the building houses tons of artist studios that are greatly affordable. The other side is someone is in critical condition having fallen from one the crumbling stairwells that run along the exterior of the buildings. I guess bad judgement can be a omen of things to come?
So taking a few pictures turned into, hey PS 1 is right here. I never know it was so close……….so we decided to take on the MOMA Queens. It was very refreshing to see this school turned art space. I have to say, that was the height of it! The best installation of all was the building. Everthing else fell kind of short………oh well.
After a bite to eat, we were back on the train heading into Manhattan. This was a truly rare moment for me since I hadn’t been in the city in a while to just walk and take it all in. Before you know, we were at Henri Bendel’s and up to the third floor. I must say, I was a little shocked at how small the exhibit is, but I didn’t realize how small Bendel’s really is. I guess being a man, I hadn’t really ever been in the store except from the street looking through the windows. It’s actually a darling; it reminded me of being in London shopping.
We finished the exhibit pretty quickly since I don’t like listening to the guided tours. Going to museums broke me of this………mostly fluff and imaginings about the artist’s intentions.
The best part is Mandy Aftel is actually a living exhibit. For this matter, I read the catalog and discovered more about the beauty of her craft. She has a truely wonderful approach to her alchemy of fragrances. Her work reminds me of sitting down to beautifully set table with fine china, silverware, sparkling crystal, under the flickering light of candles, crisp linens awaiting to be serve the most divine cuisine. Smelling her alchemy is like the best meal you’ve ever eaten, it’s truly of work of passion, history and muse.
Al-be-it a small exhibit, it was well worth the journey.