the original kStyle blog.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Cultural Icons

My guess is that you--you, dear reader--are more likely to know and understand the cultural import of the words "Guggenheim Museum" than "Robert Kiyosaki". Am I correct?

On Tuesday, my fabulous partner in crime, life, and real estate put up a simple notice in the mailroom of our former apartment complex. (Despite having moved out, we're still moving out, you see.) It began with the words FREE STUFF across the top, continued with a partial listing of the FREE STUFF available, and concluded that any takers should stop by apartment 205 at 7 PM the next day.

Last night at 7:05 two women originally from India, an adult (mid-20s?) daughter and her mother, knocked on our door. We ushered them in to the goods up for grabs. The daughter (whom I had met previously at apartment complex aerobics classes) was interested in one of our prints. She enquired as to the significance of the building, rather to my surprise. We explained that it was the famous Guggenheim Museum in New York City, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. We told her about its spiral shape, how there are no corners, that the building is a great flowing spiral of art. She in turn told us that it was like India's Parliament Building, with its oval shape. I was rather surprised that I had never seen an image of that important structure. Our new friends were intrigued by the Guggenheim, I think; at any rate, they accepted the print into their home.

They rummaged around a bit more while I cleaned the fridge. As they left, mutual thanks spreading all around, G. glanced at the books they were taking, out of curiosity. "Ah...Robert Kiyosaki," he said. The daughter replied, "Yes, I really liked Rich Dad, Poor Dad."

What a strange world, I thought. Our neighbor from the other side of the planet knew the get-rich advice of a Hawaiian millionaire, to my mind a relatively obscure piece of Americana, but not the Guggenheim Museum. I hope she sees the Guggenheim, in all its glorious strangeness, someday, maybe once Kiyosaki's advice has made her wealthy. Welcome to America: It's strange, varied land.


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