15 Apr YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO AND PITTSBURGH, PA: ANDY WARHOL LOOKS A SCREAM
Spent Sunday wandering around Pittsburgh. I walked across the bridge to the Warhol museum, and spent a few hours getting all Factor-y and shit. The museum is terrific — well-designed, with a cool layout and a staff that managed to be dismissive yet helpful. The guy who sold me my ticket gave me some helpful advice — “Take the elevator to the seventh floor and work your way down” — while not looking at me. Their sound system played Velvet Underground music. No one noticed that I’d taken the trouble to dress as Brigid Berlin. Fuckers.
The seventh floor was devoted to John Waters. I watched HAG IN A BLACK LEATHER JACKET and big chunks of ROMAN CANDLES and EAT YOUR MAKEUP. The Kennedy assassination re-creation in MAKEUP, with Divine as Jackie, was hilarious. My mind reeled, thinking of how ballsy it was for little John Waters to stage an interracial wedding on the roof of his parents garage in Baltimore in 1964. Or maybe it wasn’t.
Another screening room showed BLOW JOB on a continuous loop. The fourth floor has a recreation of the “Silver Clouds” exhibit, along with an unplanned bit of comedy: the metallic balloons kept drifting out of the room they were supposed to be in, so the museum had stationed a weedy-looking art chick by the door. She coughed a miner’s cough and read Woody Allen’s GETTING EVEN, and every two minutes had to hop up and corral a stray balloon.
I watched about an hour of CHELSEA GIRLS on the first floor while nursing my hangover. Two years ago I got booed off a comedy club stage no further than a ten minutes’ walk from the museum for daring to suggest that Bush is a crappy president, and now I’m watching CHELSEA GIRLS and BLOW JOB for free. Pittsburgh is fucking schizophrenic.
And really, really deserted on a Sunday. Everyone was right. Later on I ended up hooking up with some people from blowupthemoon.com — I can’t keep he faces-to-screen-names straight anymore — and we had drinks in the William Penn Hotel bar, and then I was off to the airport!
G’bye Youngstown! You got me out of my current depression by sinking me into a deeper depression. Thanks!
Here’s a postcard someone sent me from Youngstown’s past. Actually, I’ll bet it’s a week old: