New York, I am sure you've heard - possibly from me, is expensive. The housing is expensive, the food is expensive, the restaurants are expensive, etc. However, not everything is expensive here. Manicures are cheap. Hot dogs and pretzels on the street are cheap. Two eggs, toast and home fries at a diner - cheap. You know what else is cheap? Being a hair model.
New York is home to a lot of hair studios with lots of hair students. Many of them have a day of the week where, if you let a student work on you, you can get a seriously discounted procedure. I got my hair colored chocolate brown yesterday at Vidal Sassoon for $31.50 (plus tip). I am so out of touch with the rest of the country that I don't know if that's considered inexpensive. I think the normal price around here for that is about $150, so for me it's a real bargain. (We're talking about the higher level salons, here. I wouldn't go super high end, but I don't trust my hair to just anyone.) I did have to fill out something saying I wouldn't sue over emotional distress in case something went wrong, but the teacher was right there, being consulted at appropriate intervals. I don't have a lot of experience with color. I did put highlights in my hair once, for fun, and I liked it, but I never kept it up and that I did myself. If I don't trust all trained professionals with this, you can bet I don't trust myself for it. Still, maybe I should have been adventurous. We'll see. As for the hair itself? Pretty good; I've been getting a lot of positive response. It just looks a little strange to me. I didn't realize I had so many shades of brown in my hair until they were all gone. Now it's just one color. I think it will just take me awhile to get used to it.
Next up? Hair cut! Yes, just imagine the daring. So, what do you all say? How short do you think I should go. My hair's pretty long now, about eleven inches scalp to ends. I have got to get rid of at least four, jut to get it into decent shape, I think. I could go shoulder length or I could go chin length. I told the hair dresser (you have to meet with them before you can get an appointment) that she could do whatever she wanted with it as long as it was a low maintenance cut. I can't spend a lot of time in the morning getting ready for work. I don't have the energy.
After the salon, I went to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. It is located at the US Custom House (which you can read a little about here) at One Bowling Green. I don't know how I felt about it. The building is great, but the museum is woefully small for a subject that big. They can't do justice to all the tribes there. Though to be fair, there are three NMAI museums - New York, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Granted, I only had time to stay for an hour and a half, so I didn't see the whole thing. I also didn't get the story of how it became a museum instead of a Custom House. I liked their "Remix" exhibit, which showed work by current Native American Indian artists. I didn't love a lot of the work in the exhibit exactly, but I found a lot of it thought provoking, which is really all you need.
One of the main exhibits there is called "Listening to Our Ancestors" and it's about the Indians of the Pacific Northwest Coast (Alaska, Canada). I'm used to Indians of the Southwest, so it was a nice change of pace. As you can imagine, the art is really different. And the clothing. And speaking of cheap, this is one of the few museums left in New York that is free. And they don't even have a suggested donation or a box out or anything, so it isn't like they're trying to guilt you into paying either.
What else? My friend Ben moved into a new apartment and had a BBQ last night, so that was nice. The apartment is really big and his outdoor deck is fabulous.
The reason I was able to do so much yesterday is that I took the day off. I usually waste my days off by lollygagging or sleeping, but this was really productive. I'm so proud of the fact that I actually went to a museum, especially one I've been meaning to go to for about three years.