Friday, February 09, 2007


I have to say, "Yesterday was a great day." I was up at five.

My almost-eight-month-old son Emil was craning his neck to see me. And he was going “deh, deh, deh,” with the biggest smile on his face.

Work was a blast. The Museum had one of its highest weekday attendances in recent history. And we had several important donors come through.

As if the day had not had enough going on, there was a threat that the electricity might go out, because the decades-old wiring on the present building was wearing out. Museum visitors were given flashlights. I saw a woman reading one of the embroidered texts by flashlight, and it all felt so important, activist, necessary.

View Holocaust Survivor Esther Nisenthal Krinitz on
View Holocaust Survivor Esther Nisenthal Krinitz on

Toward the end of the long day, there was a scheduled public educational program with Israeli artist David Behar speaking in the Museum’s Reutlinger gallery.

At one point he played some video from his laptop presentation and you could hear the mashing churning noises of a kibbutz machine shop. It was edgy. And through the gallery’s entry I could see museum visitors taking in the fabric art of Esther Nisenthal Krinitz.

The two worlds, in a sense, we’re combining, made for each other, cathartic, important. I really felt like we were all in a vital art and culture colony, a gathering place, a Mecca. It was a crystalline moment that I will cherish for some time to come.

I had to run. I was going to be on the radio. KALX’s Soap Box Derby with Jesse Townley.

I drove to downtown Berkeley. There was a basketball game; so parking was a little scarce. I had to park on the roof of a lot. From that rooftop, I could see the great Berkeley vista, the Bay Area. It was nighttime and the puddles reflected light and oil patches rainbowed promise. And I knew this view from the promise of a new Magnes downtown. There I was almost to-campus, and due to be on the radio.

I was on the radio and I rambled. We were all over the place. When we started out Jesse said to me before going on air that we weren’t going to talk just about Magnes, but instead the whole identity-based cultural exploration thing. I knew this was going to be a disjointed conversation. I even cited Adorno...nice.

It was fine and fun. It really was just talk. And my dad listened on the Internet back in Maryland. Top of the world, Ma.

Baruch atah Adonai eloheynu melech haolam shehechiyanu vekiyemanu vehigianu lazman hazeh. amen.

No comments: