Aug. 29th, 2011

tyellas: (Default)
I went to Auckland this weekend, and it was a bit creepy how perfect it all went. There were three missions: Cirque du Soleil with some friends, spending the night with more friends, and a volunteer meeting the next day.

First, I wandered around briefly, on my way to meeting [ profile] mundens and [ profile] seraphs_folly. When did downtown Auckland get turned into someplace mildly interesting? Like they looked at Cuba Street in Wellington and said, "Well, that works, let's do that." Auckland was much warmer - all the young'ins had read the style blogs, then cracked out the summer dresses and transparent chiffon pants. Melon-colored transparent chiffon pants. I met my more sanely dressed friends quickly, they knew the perfect cafe for lunch, and then we walked to the arena.

Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco show is at least 15 years old, and the first part of it did feel very 90s. The guy sitting next to me kept exclaiming, "Far out!", which added to my back-in-time sensation. The second part of the show was magnificent and timeless - perhaps it had been tweaked, naughtified, and bespangled more over time.

After the show, I took the bus up to the Ponsonby neighborhood and was catapulted back in time further. I was crashing with a friend who was living on a street I remembered, near cafes I used to go to. (Later that evening, I'd find out that my friend was going to the same doctor I used to go to, at the top of the street.) The smells of spring, the plants crawling up the privacy walls, the villas mixed with 80s townhouses, the very slant of the sidewalks took me back to an earlier time in my life. Auckland's climate is so much gentler than Wellington's, and the place has a lazier feel overall. I felt like I could step right back into living there, and that I'd be just as bored as I was before...still, it's amazing the difference that the presence of a great and good friend made to the gravitational pull of the area.

My friend and I, reunited, talked about art all evening, and then all morning over breakfast. She went to art school in Florence for 3 years and came back producing troublingly perfect classical works. Even within her art school's strictures, her work occasionally shows a Leyendecker flair, and she hadn't even heard of Leyendecker. Her new partner, who she met at the program, produces works of similarly eerie perfection. Those classical Florentine art schools seem to encourage the artistic equivalent of making the trains run on time. Away from the school, they're applying their own personalities and quirks to their work at last. They're both very "saleable," have business plans in place to back up their talent, and are confident that they'll get gallery representation soon.


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