Before the rise of DC and Marvel superhero blockbusters, with their visual effects extravaganzas, there was the original source material — the under-appreciated, often ridiculed comic books and graphic novels — from which their inspirations were drawn. In fact, prior to bellwether films such as The Dark Knight, Sin City, The Avengers and The Walking Dead, the only examples of this broad medium to garner even a modicum of respect were the iconoclastic satire of MAD Magazine and The New Yorker. And more than any other, the cartoons of The New Yorker epitomized the astonishing breadth of this art form, pushing its boundaries and demonstrating its wealth of profundities.
Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs, a collaboration between Museum of the City of New York and the Norman Rockwell Museum, has produced a fascinating exhibit highlighting the more than four-decades-long, prolific career of the seminal, award-winning cartoonist, author and longtime The New Yorker contributor. Born in Brooklyn, Roz Chast moved to Connecticut nearly three decades ago, but, as evidenced in her prodigious portfolio of work, she has undeniably failed to extricate her heart and sentiment from the city of her formative years. She has an incredible knack for illuminating the absurdities of modern city life while simultaneously offering an outsider’s perspective of her time in Connecticut, even after so many years in self-imposed suburban exile.
Roz Chast’s work is multifaceted and complex, adroitly traversing the elements of mirth and sadness, irony and logic from one work to the next, in a completely disarming and accessible manner. Her memoir, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, was a 2014 National Book Award finalist and chronicles her complex relationship with, and care for, her aging parents. See Roz Chast hard at work on the exhibit’s centerpiece, Subway Sofa:
Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs runs through October 9th.
1220 5th Ave
Monday – Sunday 10:00 am–6:00 pm
Pair it with:
An espresso concoction at Uptown Roasters Café
Gone, for the most part, are the dark days when dull, tepid, brackish water passed for that nectar of the gods we know simply as coffee. Nowadays, good coffee and even better espresso is pervasive in New York.
Unfortunately, the recent coffee boom has also had its drawbacks. The overabundance of cafés has created an environment of intense competition, the result of which has been their homogenization. Enter Uptown Roasters, a gem of a café in East Harlem, roasting its beans on a weekly basis locally in the Bronx and serving excellent coffee and coffee beverages. From the moment you walk into Uptown Roasters, you sense something different: the establishment and its proprietor have character. Dan, the owner, roaster and barista is welcoming, gregarious and unassuming. He comes across as a fan of coffee much more than the owner of a business selling it. Case in point: when I walked in, he was attempting to perfect a mint basil espresso drink, purely in the spirit of experimentation. I was pleased to notice that they use milk from my favorite upstate dairy farm, Battenkill Valley Creamery. After he poured me a Cortado, we had a brief discussion about coffee’s many merits, then he was kind enough to send me home with some freshly roasted beans in a coffee cup. They were incredible.
135 E 110th St
Monday- Friday 6:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday-Sunday 7:30 am – 6:00 pm
Bonus: It’s no secret we’re huge fans of street art here, as evidenced by this post. After you grab your coffee, venture to the building at the corner of East 108th Street and Lexington Avenue (just a few steps away) for a glimpse of a gorgeous mural by one of our favorites, Belgian street artist, ROA.