I treat myself to walks. Like how some people treat themselves to a new pair of shoes or a manicure, I’ll treat myself to a leisurely walk. I like to walk with and without a destination, soaking up city energy and pounding the pavement solo or hearing the sounds of nature and breathing in the fresh non-city air with my dog where we live now. It’s my therapy (and form of meditation, thanks to Cassidy), a source of inspiration and where I dream the biggest and think the hardest. Over the holidays, I was treating myself in a big way. I was in NYC visiting family and went out for a long walk to take in the city’s famous holiday decorations in midtown Manhattan. At some point, I ended up on a route I had taken a million times, past a building I had passed a million times when I stopped, turned on my heels and decided, I was going to treat myself to some art and check out a place I had always been “too intimidated” to check out before–The Art Students League of New York.
The building the League is housed in has been their headquarters for well over 100 years and has always fascinated me, having been designed by the same architect who designed the famous Plaza Hotel. A few months ago, I read The Masterpiece and so whenever I would pass by since, I would think about all the art students with their own stories linked to this other particular, iconic NYC landmark. I was a bit intimidated as I crept up the stairs, a non-student after all. The security guard beamed at me and said, “I’ll bet you’re here to see some art.” I didn’t know what I was expecting to see, I just knew I wanted to see how much I could peak around the lobby before being kicked out, so I was thrilled by his response as I lit up and told him I was indeed, and he directed me up to the student gallery where there was an exhibit open to the public.
Fast forward to two weeks ago, I was back at the League. My sister works nearby and I’ve made a rule that whenever I’m meeting her, I’ll be early so I can go and check out the latest art displays in the student gallery. My time with Lauren, our resident fine artist here at The Modern Bee, has me thinking more about art, not just its visual appeal, but the story it tells, whether its the subject itself or the inspiration behind it. As I type this right now, I’ve just come to realize that this little community and the influence its different members have had on me are directly responsible for the reason why I made that heel turn and went into that building. Curiosity about somebody else’s story got the best of me and I’m all the better for it. I hope you find some inspiration this weekend, or at least, a little bit of new or unexpected beauty in your life.
p.s. I took the photo above two weeks ago at the League. This piece made me feel like I was either swimming laps in a cloud or had fallen into (and subsequently started swimming in) a cool, vat of homemade whipped cream; two dreamy experiences I wouldn’t mind having. The artist is Ziya Tarapore.