No - I didn't paint this (I wish I did!). Hide and Seek was painted by Pavel Tchelitchew over the course of two years during the 1940's. It is amazing. Just take a few minutes to examine it and you'll find there's more than meets the eye. I first learned of this piece when I was a senior in high school. As part of an art course, my class took a museum trip to NYC to visit The Met, Guggenheim, and the MOMA. This was the only piece I wanted to see - not Van Gogh's Starry Night or Dali's Persistence of Memory - and as luck would have it, it was in storage during the time of my visit. It took me eleven years to seek it out again and yesterday, I was able to see it at The MOMA in all its glory. Yesterday not only marked this special event, but also marked my one year anniversary of living in New York City.
One year of driving the crazy streets of Queens. One year of listening to airplanes fly over our house towards LaGuardia airport. One year of walking the streets and having no clue what language a passerby is speaking. One year of paying an obscene amount of money for a box of cereal. One year of randomly yelling, "I hate this place!" to myself while on my way to work.
As my family can see, my outlook on this city hasn't changed from my first month of living here. But like staring at Hide and Seek, I've realized that taking a long hard look at NYC is more involved than I originally thought. Sure, there's the surface level details - the subways are dirty and there's some pretty creepy people who ride them; driving can be a harrowing event on a daily basis; the bus will never be on time. But then comes another level of NYC that took some time to understand.
I work with such a diverse array of people, from cultures I would not have been exposed to if I remained in Rhode Island. I've learned of religious customs of which I never was aware. And within this diverse, massive population, Pat and I still feel totally alone. I'm not going to Pollyanna out on you all - it's hard for us here. While we've managed to form those co-worker relationships one has to in order to survive in a new place, those familial relationships that keep you emotionally alive - that bring you joy and sense of belonging - well, we're still playing hide and seek for those.
NOTE: This post was meant as a sort of intermission between mashups. I have been percolating some ideas but have been busy/traveling these last few weekends and haven't had a chance to sit down and produce. I promise - they're coming! :)