When the sun hits the sidewalk
I didn’t think about getting an overcoat when I started working here and Friday was particularly cold. There was this wind tunnel on East Broadway that you could hear even through the Gallery’s doors. I started the day by changing the water of the flowers from the opening. I thought that it might get smelly if I didn’t and clear water looks much prettier in a vase made out of glass.
I had to spend most of the day indoors, which made it quit boring. When I did go outside, I didn’t even wear my hat. I was too afraid that the wind would blow it off.
Besides the cold, it was all in all a good day. I got my first tip — $1. The young guy who gave it to me first asked the gallery staff if it was okay to leave it. He left the dollar in my hat on the ledge of the window inside. I guess he was too shy to give it to me directly.
I am sort of getting used to being a doorman. I sometimes make myself believe that it’s a meditative job, looking out across the street over at the park. But then again, I’m constantly reminded of my surroundings by people passing by and other city life and quickly snap out of it.
An old women walking by on the street told me that I looked handsome. It reminded me of my grandmother who always preferred that I be freshly shaved. I think the shaving and the uniform helps my appeal. Another woman asked if I was part of the show to which I answered “yes.”
Later the building manager passed by. He asked me if I could look out for his car while he talked to the Gallerist. He left the keys inside, so it was an easy target for joy riders. I guess I might see him again, and I decided it was better to watch carefully the car.
There is always a free parking spot available outside the Gallery. Don’t park there by the way, when you look up you’ll see a sign that says “No Parking. Anytime.” And I noticed a lot of traffic cops are in the neighborhood. Even the UPS guy got a ticket that day. I tried to find him, but I had no idea where he went. He later came out from the library down the street just after the cop had left. He was an easygoing kind of guy and said, “Don’t worry, I have pile of them, and will probably get another one down the block.”
I have also noticed an Asian lady who passes by the gallery every day. She must live around the block. She looks to me with her big curly black hair and yellow leather jacket, sort of like a post-rock star. She walks very obsessively in a line either along the curb or by the buildings. I like that. I think I will try and say “hi “to her some day.
My favorite hour at the Gallery is of course the last hour of work, besides being the end of my shift, it’s when the sun hits the sidewalk just right and warms you up nicely.
• 28 April 2012
Looking like rain
Thursday after the opening was pretty calm. I started out by sweeping the pavement and then did some light cleaning around the gallery, including removal of graffiti in the bathroom. Pretty toxic stuff I had to use there. Later, I had the important task of picking up cookies for the Gallerist and myself.
There were a few visitors to the gallery. One needed a cab, but wouldn’t let me help her. Bummer. I even have a whistle ready for just that purpose. I am not sure if its legal to use though.
I spend most of the day outside in front of the gallery, where I got lots of glances and comments from walkers by. One asked, “Are you for real!” which I had to respond that I indeed was. Others thought it was very nice. Two guys wearing yarmulkes even suggested that we get a velvet rope to make the Gallery look even more exclusive. I will suggest this to the Gallerist. Later, a middle-aged woman left the gallery and burst out in a “wow” as she turned around and then suggested that I come along and open her doors.
My pattent leather shoos from Payless stared hurting. And I was happy for my lunch and coffee break.
Then the rain came and it was time to find my poncho and umbrella. An older man in a wheelchair stopped and asked me if I was required to stand outside in the rain. To this, I answered that I was allowed to go inside but I preferred the fresh air.
At the end of the day, a kid came by on his BMX and asked me “what is this” to which I answered that this is a gallery. Then he asked, “what is inside?” and I said art. “What kind of art?” and I said paintings. “What kind of paintings?” Now it was getting difficult. I suggested to him to go inside to have a look for himself. He said, “I can’t” and looked down the bicycle. I said that I could look after it and he went inside to have a look for himself.
I could see through the window that the kid started asking the Gallerist some tough questions. Later the kid came out and I asked him what he through about the show. “It’s cool man.”
• 27 April 2012
Friends at the Opening
The day after the opening. I am a little exhausted. It was a success; there were hundreds of people to let in and out. Many people appreciated having the door opened for them, others were shocked that there was a doorman at the gallery, and there were those 50% who didn’t even acknowledge that I opened the door for them. A few people asked if it was free to enter.
It was not so much guests who acknowledged me, but the neighborhood. The Chinese juice bar, unpacking their goods next door, couldn’t stop staring at me and they waived several times. Other residents seamed equally curious, or lightly shocked.
I spent most of the evening opening the door for the guests. A few people asked for directions. “How do I get to Houston?” “Where is the nearest deli?” or “Does the F train bring you down to the world trade center?”
One kid had the audacity to leave his bike in front of the window unlocked, asking me at the most busy time to look out for it while he drank two beers inside. He said he was a friend of the artist. But not me I guess.
• 26 April 2012
Hitchhiking down 5th Avenue.
• 25 April 2012