Gotta hand it to Delta Airlines – they were very helpful in answering questions and making the flight comfortable. Of course, a 747 flight from Detroit to Beijing that was only 1/3 full helped, too. I had four seats to myself, so could sleep on the plane.
It has been good to spend a few days with my son Matthew here, before the Residency gets underway. I’ve mostly caught up on the things I meant to do before leaving Philadelphia but just didn’t get to – including contacting people from my previous visit here last spring, and sending out a MailChimp announcement to inform friends about what I’m up to, here. Actually, that MailChimp mailing was a disaster – I apologise for it. I’m sure MailChimp is easy to use, but I have a way of making everything difficult. So if you received that MailChimp fiasco you not only got my message, but lots of text about what I was supposed to be entering in various boxes. But it did get the point across, and I’ve had a lot of replies wishing me well, and that feels so very supportive. Thank you all who took the time to email me after reading my botched MailChimp message.
Matt always seems to have a swirl of interesting people floating through his apartment. Last night’s dinner included Miranda who was auditioning as the lead singer for his band, and Louise, a family friend who is staying in the apartment for a few months while working here as an intern at the European Union office.
I did hear from the Red Gate Gallery that there will be five other artists in the Residency program during March. They include three painters, from the USA, Australia, and Vienna, a New Media artist from Iceland, and a sculptor who also works in a variety of other media, from Netherlands. That should make for an interesting crew, I think.
I’d expected to spend a bunch of time just walking around, scoping out the neighborhood after my arrival. Unfortunately, that just isn’t inviting in the least, right now. Just the idea of a 10-15 minute walk to the subway is a turnoff. The particulate level is pushing 500, about as high as it ever gets. Western companies are advising their people to stay home and work by computer, if possible. You really do feel it in your eyes and throat when you step outside. Even so, only about 5% of the people on the sidewalks are wearing masks. Matt says it will likely take a windy day to blow this muck away, or a rain and this is a dry period.