Despite the financial meltdown of the past week, the ensuing bankruptcy of major brokerage houses, the government bailout of threatened financial behemoths, and continuing chaos in the capital markets while the government decides what solution to the problem will work best, there is so much to savor, and ample reason not to despair.

Mind you, I’m not having a “Let them eat cake” moment here.  Rather, I am being mindful of all the ways to find and savor culture in a period when we all could use soothing.  Were I to rely solely on the newspapers and the financial reports, the choice is between politics, the extreme edition, or financial doom.  I am sure that like so many of you, were I left to my own devices, I might otherwise become depressed about those grand events where I have little or no control.  I think not.

Might I suggest another way to think about things in this most fractious season? With autumn comes the beginning of another cultural year and the opportunity to soothe oneself with new books, plays, and exhibitions, many of which can be had for a nominal fee.  While it is still clear, mild, and dry, I am going to see as many art exhibits and cultural offerings as I can.  Indeed, I remind myself that culture is the principal reason I live in New York.  Rather than talk about what is on offer, I prefer to experience it, and I suggest that you do the same.

On my short list this season is the Morandi show at the Metropolitan Museum, which one critic suggested could be best savored alone. Next, I’ll take in the Chinese much of it from the Mao era at The Asia Society. For a familiar thrill the reunited Vermeers at the Frick should not be missed either.  Louise Bourgeois at the Guggenheim, and Kehinde Wiley at The Studio Museum in Harlem.  Too, I’ll do the Chelsea galleries on foot, any day but a weekend, to see what else is worth a look.

In addition, I’ll go to the opera—I’ve never seen Rustican and Pagliacci and the two are mounted this season, hear some chamber music as well as jazz before the first frost.  I’ve a stack of books beside my bed that needs attention as well.  I’ll go into detail about titles in the next blog.

I have no intention of becoming despondent.  I’m going to celebrate the season and all that it offers.  I recommend that you do the same regardless of where you live.  I’d love to know of things that I’ve missed and look forward to your suggestions.

Faith Childs

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