October 07, 2019


Exhaust fumes. Fruitless minutes spent searching for a parking spot. And then later, inevitably, more time trying to remember where exactly you left your car.

Parking garages don’t typically provoke romantic thoughts. But for me, 147 Minna will forever be associated with a delicious evening late this summer, when six of the seven writers we commissioned for this project read their pieces on their respective landings. (Caroline, you were missed.)

The site-specific readings followed an intimate cocktail hour and toast for friends and family in the museum’s fifth floor pavilion. We made sure to serve the drinks in plastic cups (forgive us, environment — we did recycle!), so that folks could carry their sparkling beverage of choice into the adjoining garage. At each landing we gathered in close so as to catch every word, and also not be in the way of the occasional passing car. In between, we wended our way down to the next level, surrounded by shadow and light and the ever-present hum of the city, as if in an alternate-universe Frank Lloyd Wright museum. The Garagenheim?

Ok, sorry (again). But the evening really did make me giddy with pleasure. The accumulation of places, memories, moments, as evoked by these funny, poignant, incisive texts, and the tenderness and warmth with which they were received, conjured a certain magic. The momentary creation of an ideal city, generous and fleeting and varied.

We’re grateful to have Andreas Yanikian’s photographs, to remember the evening.

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