Thursday, November 18, 2010

Going to the Auction

This Sunday, Dan and I crossed something off the bucket list and went to Sotheby's, which is a world-famous auction house just down the street from our apartment. I had never considered going there before, but Dan had heard that the place was like a free museum where the general public could browse the goods before the paddles come out. He was right. The friendly people there advised us to go to the top floor where we browsed Latin American paintings. The only difference between this place and a museum is that the signs next to the paintings told you the current owner (usually a "distinguished private collection in Geneva" or something vague like that) and an estimated value for the painting. All of the paintings we saw went for thousands of dollars, some of them in the million dollar range. It's hard to believe that people have the money to buy a painting at this price let alone have a private collection of them.

If I were in the market to buy a million dollar painting, the paintings we saw weren't particularly the ones I would have chosen. But it was kind of fun to see who was actually there to buy. We spotted a couple with one of the auction specialists who were lingering around a painting and whispering for a long time. Dan and I walked over to spy, but they were very good at whispering.

And then there was this woman who brought her dog. Only in New York.

In order to go to the actual auction, you have to register for a paddle. This auction was scheduled for Tuesday. We were planning to do it for fun but kind of forgot about the whole thing when we got the stomach bug. Maybe it's a good thing. Dan is such a fun pig that maybe he would lift the paddle up in the spirit of the occasion. Sometimes, he can't be trusted.

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