Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pete's new Diggs (from the annals of Adventures with Pete)

This morning I posted that I was off again on some Advetures with Pete. I have decided that first off I need to clarify who Pete is and why he is worthy of these wonderfully rich chronicles. Pete is one of my oldest friends. The summer before I was in fourth grade he defended me on the playground and launched a friendship. We have been close ever since, mostly. As with any friendship there are times of drought, and Pete and I have suffered a few, but on the whole, we have a camaraderie that spans the years. We have been through lots of CRAP together as well as lots of JOY. Last year we found each other's company again after a long period of absence (15 years) and since have continued to build our friendship and have not looked back. Pete has always been like a sibling to me, and like siblings we were able to pick up as if there was never a gap. The only notable thing was the age/size of my kids, they are all taller than him now, except for Anna.

In anycase, Pete and I spent a week in Maine, which if you have been following, was an adventure to say the least. If you got that sense from the writing I did about the trip, then I will tell you that every day we spend together is an adventure, even if all we do is meet at the diner for chicken and fries. Today was no different. I went to see his new studio. It is a magical place, located in one of the former grande hotels of the Catskills.

When I arrived I put together a lunch for us; chicken, salad, brown rice vegetable rolls, ice tea. We then spent some time going through the many pictures taken in Maine. This is one time that I felt self conscious as an artist. I have to say Pete is an incredible photographer, and despite being immersed in art all the time, I suck at it. I am in awe of his work. He has this Dorothea Lange quality to his portraits and an Eliot Porter feel to his landscapes. Other artists aside, he definitely has a very strong voice to his own work.
Pete's new digs are nice. His studio is a simple place, suitable for relaxing, contemplating and processing aesthetic decisions. What's better is that he has all the amenities of that former grande hotel included: cinema, game room, two pools, spa, card room, billiards, cafe, hiking trails... the list goes on. Just in case thinking about art or life for that matter needs a distraction (OR INSPIRATION).
After our look into our trip, we headed to the pool. I don't think I have giggled that much while swimming since I was a teenager. Here I was in a monstrous pool with perfect deck furniture, shuffle board crowd, and piped in music. It was surreal in a way, I expected to see a waiter asking us for a drink order and there was no lifeguard, but the remnants of an earlier time are still there in the form of a tiki bar, a small stage, and LG chairs, which incidentally were occupied by one small tykes shorts. There were these Russian women, a bunch of them, with a whole brood of kids between them, relaxing at the pool. They were discussing the nuances of motherhood and disciplining children in English and then humiliating each other in Russian. They were ruthlessly taking pot shots at each other and not even flinching, unless...unless... the unthinkable had happened, could they have been making fun of us? I am sure this was not the case, as one woman did take things to heart at one time and got an earful for showing any emotion (OK maybe there is a bit of an exaggeration here, she wasn't that crushed). I marveled at this interesting display, wondering where they were from exactly. Did they live there?
There was also this man that I found curious. He was incredibly fit, maybe late 70's or early 80's, wearing a pair of navy trunks and a cotton fedora, perched awkwardly on his head. He appeared to be trying to attract the LADIES. What struck me was that he was so vain, a Jack LaLanne type. Maybe he learned about fitness from the guy, emulating him and his lifestyle? Then there was the guy who joined us in the pool. We were goofing around, laughing, splashing, swimming and he decided to come into "OUR" pool, imagine that. Of course there was the teenage boy with his underpants showing (I see London, I see oh my WHY do boys think this is so sexy?) OK we were being goofy. I swear it was the sun!

The place reminded me of a scene out of "Dirty Dancing". It was a hoot.

After the pool, we finished up looking at the pictures and called it a day, not before I received information about my upcoming trip that had me tied up in knots. Pete of course calmed my fears a bit, though I still haven't been able to eat. My stomach matches the day on Ubby's boat right now, despite getting the info I needed later.
What I marvel at is how many people have this incredible confidence in me. It is a wonderful thought to be that supported but I have to admit I am as chicken shit as they come sometimes and traveling to far off places where aspects of my culture are taboo qualifies as one of those times. Thanks to some level headed people, I can live with myself...LOL.

Hey Pete, if you are reading this, and I know you are, thanks for being there for the last 35 years (give or take).


1 comment:

Pete said...

omg I'm still laughing hard enough to tear !

To say the least, I'm extremely honored. Who wouldn't be with all this attention, and I had nothing short of the most fun ever, which is the norm with you. ;)
I also saw that Jack LaLane type and was thinking the same thing... Though I wonder if he really ever sleeps alone... he had a unique charm about him, even at his age.
Oddly enough, you mentioned Dirty Dancing... I was told part of it was filmed there at the GV Palace! It's truly an amazing place.
So I can't wait to hear about your Korea trip and don't forget the clean undies in case you get stopped at the borders! lol