despite a late night partying in a very rainy brooklyn, i summoned up some residual energy to roll out of bed and trek uptown to see the Robert Moses exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, one of the more under-rated museums in this city. it's a beautiful, small museum and i implore anyone with a remote interest in New York City history to venture to this exhibit-- just one in a three exhibit series (the others at the Queens Museum and the other at the Wallach Gallery at Columbia University) on the City's greatest master planner. it features photographs, plans, and models of his successes (the Triborough Bridge, Henry Hudson Parkway, East River Park) and his defeats (the Lower Manhattan Expressway, which would have razed down historic Washington Square Park; or the Brooklyn-Battery Bridge, which would have placed a double suspension bridge across NY Harbor).
for better or worse, Moses' legacy is undeniable; he was the architect behind much of the City's beloved public spaces as well as a man whose vision for urban renewal centered on major infrastructure development, linking the City to its outer regions rather than preserving neighborhoods. in many ways, Moses stood for much of what I dislike about modern economic development: a razor-sharp focus on improving the place with little regard to the people who reside in those places. on the other hand, without his leadership, the City may never have seen some of its greatest treasures (and some of my personal favorite spots), including: Central Park Zoo, the Conservatory Gardens, and Lincoln Center.
the Moses exhibit was do-able in less than 90 minutes, giving me time to catch some rays in Central Park before meeting friends for a much more downtown art experience. in fact it was downtown, out of one borough and into Bed-Stuy Brooklyn where Mel's friend was one of a number of artists showcasing their work at an artist enclave where artists live and work in affordable spaces. the installation we saw was phenomenal-- a clinical interpretation of Greek myths, interwoven (literally) with musical over- and undertones. she's brilliant. it's intimidating and yet she is anything but intimidating. man, i wish i had that kind of mind. it was a great day.