New York State of Mind

I’m staring out the window of a cab as I travel from JFK to Manhattan, the main hook of Taylor Swift’s song Welcome to New York is looping in my head. It’s perfect Instagram material. The view is familiar. Iconic. I have been to New York many times and it always seems the same. Even on my visit shortly after 9/11, when the Manhattan skyline had a murderous hole ripped into it, the city still felt reassuringly the same. But this time…

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Heels of Hell

I was at Heels of Hell in The Olympia on Monday night (October 23rd). The show featured a slew of RuPaul’s Drag Race queens (Sharon Needles, Alaska, Courtney Act, Willam, Jinkx Monsoon, Trixie Mattel) and was co-hosted by Bingo regular Victoria Secret. I had met most of the girls before and I got to hang with them at the after-party, which was at The George. The place was mobbed so the gang hid backstage in the Green Room, which was fabulously gatecrashed by Wicked star Kristen Chenowith who was in Dublin for an event at Trinity College. It was all a bit much for a school night!
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Peggy Guggenheim Museum

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is among the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century. It is located in Peggy Guggenheim’s former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal in Venice. The collection contains works by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Georges Braque, Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miro, Rene Magritte and Peggy Guggenheim’s first husband Max Ernst. Guggenheim amassed most of this impressive collection in the very early stages of World War 2. As the Nazis were laying siege to Paris, she had the works spirited to New York hidden among her things. After the war, she returned to Europe where she opened a gallery and museum, first in Paris and then in Venice.  Her collection is now one of Venice’s top tourist attractions.

Peggy Guggenheim, the rich socialite who amassed an impressive collection of Modern Art.

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Venice: Beyond the main Biennale

The official Art Biennale spreads across the entire city of Venice and seeing everything is quite the undertaking; the main spaces of the Giardani and the Arsenale alone take hours to cover.  However, there are many country pavilions and large scale installations to be seen elsewhere. In addition to the Biennale, Damien Hirst’s fantastical Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable is currently on show at the Palazzo Grassi, and there are many impressive, permanent collections, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, that are essential viewing.
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