Hotel lobby art is a special kind of art. It has to be large enough to work in a cavernous, high-ceiling space, yet likely to be inoffensive to the vast majority of patrons shuffling by on their way to their rooms or the concierge desk. Most hotel lobby art blends unobtrusively into the background; it’s rare to see something that is interesting enough to demand a second look.
The lobby of the Grand Hyatt in New York City, next to Grand Central Station, is an exception to that rule. It features two striking statues of the heads of sleeping women by artist Jaume Plensa. Made of white marble and created with horizontal lines, the two statues have a peaceful, ethereal feel and look like gigantic holograms. You feel compelled to walk around them just to make sure that they are tangible.
It’s nice to come to a hotel lobby that makes you think, even for a moment, about the wonder of art.
It’s been so cold for so long I’ve begun to wonder whether there is any warmth left in the world. So, to lift my spirits, I’m consciously trying to think warm thoughts.
Yesterday, as I was walking on a frigid downtown Columbus street, leaning into a biting wind and trying to dodge icy patches and unplowed snow on the sidewalks, I thought of a place we visited in Antigua in December 2012.
I thought of the infinity pool that looked out over a bright blue bay dotted with rugged islands and sailboats. I thought of the sand between my toes at a ratty poolside bar as Kish and I savored some well-prepared pina coladas and visited with other guests. I thought of a catamaran on the beach, its colorful sail flapping in a gentle breeze, of the beautiful stretch of sand and rocks and driftwood a short walk away, and of the tables where Richard, Russell and I played cribbage and drank Caribbean beer.
And I thought of baking sand, blazing sun, oozing suntan lotion and its coconut oil smell, deep shade under a palm frond umbrella on the beach, warm salt water, and hot, sun-dappled pavement and wooden walkways.
Sure, I was still in snowbound, sub-zero Columbus, Ohio — but I felt better.