So Donna and I had big exciting plans to head to NYC yesterday to try to catch tickets for Shakespeare in the Park, featuring Anne Hathaway as Viola in Twelfth Night. We got up at 4 a.m., arrived at the park around 6:10 a.m., and sat in line until 10 a.m. At this point, someone from the theater company came through with an extended metaphor about the Rock of Hope, the Tree of Chance, the Grass of Uncertainty. He told us, “You’re sitting in the Pebbles of Go The Hell Home.” Boo. No luck.

So we headed instead over to the International Center of Photography, to see the Richard Avedon Fashion retrospective. Three words:

A. MAZ. ING.

I loved it, as I expected I would. Avedon had an amazing sense for staging a photograph – he would set up his models in the foreground with their suits and dresses by famous designers (Dior seemed to be a regular), and in the background he would place these insane “extras” – street contortionists, naked trapeze artists. Even though there was so much drama taking place in the background, I was still drawn initially to the models. Amazing.

What really blew my mind, though, was the photographic fable – In Memory of the Late Mr. and Mrs. Comfort, a series of color photographs featuring Nadja Auermann, created for the New Yorker. The link about does the series little justice – the photos, in person, were vibrant, arresting and complex. Of the 25 in the series, only five photographs were on display (these five: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), but they were gorgeous. We went over them twice, carefully studying the details of each, discussing our favorites and generally just being in awe.

After visiting the ICP bookstore (where we grabbed a copy of Sally Mann’s Immediate Family, which may prompt another blog post later) we headed over to the Times Square area for a quick stroll around and some lunch, then a bus ride home.

Exhausting day, but well worth the trip.

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