Today I went with a coworker to an apartment renovation she's wrapping up on Park Avenue.
It was really, really nice. There were the usual gorgeous details: custom furniture, expensive hardware, plaster ceilings and walls hand-painted by dedicated craftsmen. All the outlet covers and light switch covers were painted to match the walls, so they were barely noticeable. Heavy, silk taffeta curtains hung at each window.
It was not the interiors that wowed me, but the art. I've never seen so many Picasso paintings and drawings. There was an enormous Matisse in the Living Room that was about six feet high and fifteen feet long. It hung above the sofa in a spare, antiqued gold frame.
I've seen nice apartments with artwork, but this has to be the nicest one yet. The couple who live there are middle aged and successful. That both husband and wife came from established families did not hurt.
Recently, I've noticed many more homeless folks on the streets, subway stations and sidewalks. Perhaps it's a sign of the times, or perhaps I've become more observant, now that I take photographs.
I took today's photo while in a cab going to the ritzy apartment. It was around noon. The bouncer at Jekyll and Hyde, a few doors down, was pacing the sidewalk in costume. Tourists were casually window shopping. Taxis like mine were idling, waiting for the light to change.
Times are tough right now. I think everyone is feeling it, except for the very few, who live amongst the Picassos. No matter what the economy, it seems like these select folks remain untouched.
I'll leave off on a positive note. Mark and I are planning on doing some community work in the near future. He suggested a soup kitchen or an elder care situation. I agreed. I'd love to be more in touch with what's going on with people, rather than lock myself away in a protected tower.
It's all too easy to shelter yourself from reality.
Related posts: Signs of Hope, Come and Get It, Castaways and Filthy Rich.