So it is wacky, right, to spend a month in the woods having your lunch brought to you every day in a hamper--O reader! How your friend the Rejectionist mourns the loss of that hamper!!!!--and wondering why exactly it is you live in the giant cesspool that is New York, and then to be suddenly thrust back into said cesspool without warning; wacky and sort of disorienting. When I got off the train at Penn Station I got lost, on a street I walked on every day when I worked at a literary agency. But then a few days later I went into the grocery store, where a homeless gentleman drinking out of a fifth tucked into a paper bag held the door for me, and continued to hold the door, just in general, while commenting on the weather to no one in particular, and I thought right, here I am, I am home. All of which is to say it is That Time of Year Again, the time Support Team and your friend the Rejectionist brave the shitshow that is Fifth Avenue, and the TOTALLY MYSTERIOUS LINE OF PEOPLE WAITING TO GET IN THE ABERCROMBIE AND FITCH STORE, WHAT THE FUCK ARE THOSE PEOPLE DOING, DO YOU KNOW? LIKE I AM SERIOUS, to photograph the Bergdorf Goodman Christmas windows for you.
I have a complicated relationship with capitalism, to be sure, but if we are going to be living in an era at the edge of the apocalypse, and if we have to tolerate totally incompetent motherfuckers stealing all the money and ruining everything for everybody--well, at least rich people bring us the Bergdorf Goodman Christmas windows, I guess. I do really love the Bergdorf Goodman Christmas windows. First we stopped off at the MOMA, to check out the Willem de Kooning show, and the museum was on fire. I am not making this up. The lobby was full of dense blue toxic-smelling smoke, like burning-plastic smoke, and the fire alarm was flashing, and yet the first floor was packed with people milling about quite unconcernedly. We asked the man who gave us our tickets if we ought to be worried about the palpable evidence of fire, and he said, "Well, they haven't evacuated the building? So I imagine it is safe," which is I guess as much reassurance as you get in New York. If there are no visible flames, go look at the art.
I don't actually like Willem de Kooning, is the thing--I always forget this--but I was pleased to discover two people I had never heard of and did like very much. Here are some posters letterpressed by Ben Vautier (French, b. 1935).
This one says "Crisis and depression at Ben's house, Saturday the ___ at ___ o'clock."
And this one says "Art is my ass."
Here is a piece by Doris Salcedo (Colombian, b. 1958); there are little recessed cubbies with shoes in them, covered over with sheepskin that's stitched to the wall. So spooky and beautiful in real life--one of those pieces that just catches you, and you have to stand and look at it for a long time.
But it turns out inhaling burning plastic is super bad for you, even if you cannot determine the source, and after just a little while both ST and Rejectionist were quite overcome by the fumes and obliged to flee the museum for the out-of-doors. Also it turns out that inhaling burning plastic makes you want to punch the people waiting in line to get into the Abercrombie and Fitch store, with an irrational degree of intensity (in my defense, it is incredibly difficult to get past them). Anyway! HERE THEY ARE. THE BERGDORF GOODMAN WINDOWS. So lovely.
This one was my favorite. OUT OF CONTROL.
And this one had all sorts of neat bookish things in it. All the animals are made out of paper!
I DIDN'T EVEN HIT ANYONE. You can send a cookie, if you like. Here are better pictures of each window.