GirlDriver, USA

GirlDriver, USA
Look! It's GirlDriver, USA.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Minivan? Build It A Shrine

What's your passion?  Can it fit in the Van?

All this nonsense about how women don't want to be driving minivans is just nutty.  The minivan has saved millions from backaches and headaches since its introduction and those who did the heavy lifting in minivans (Moms) should be building shrines to it.   Instead, the minivan has been snubbed.  The minivan is one of the most useful, considerate vehicles ever created.  Easy access, flat floor, plenty of seats, comfortable, high seating position.  It's just great.  And if Mom wants a sexy car, just get a second hand Miata for her and she's off to the beach to meet up with friends from high school without the kids.

I drove the Nissan Quest a few weeks ago.  Now, Nissan is known for polarizing designs.  Have you seen the Cube?  And the Quest is based on a trapezoid so it's pretty polarizing.  Gotta hand it to Nissan.  It doesn't see itself coming and going.  It has the soul of individuality.  And we all know what Goethe says about individuality: "Certain defects are necessary for the existence of individuality."  I guess what I'm saying is that I applaud Nissan for making an attempt to break the mold and by the same token I don't love, love, love the design.

But I certainly would tell my friends who are soccering and shopping that they must--absolutely must--consider a minivan and that the Nissan Quest is one to test drive.

Note the ambient temperature on the nav screen
My test car was the 2012 Quest 3.5 LE powered by a 3.5 liter 6-cylinder engine with 260 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque.  Fuel economy is an undistinguished 19 City/24 Highway.

The vehicle is pretty packed with options including  it cost $42,365 including destination charge. Not cheap.  But it has desirables inside and out.  Power seats, fold-flat second row Captain's chairs, second row sliding and reclining Captain's chairs, leather and wood appointments, tilt and telescoping steering column, navigation, a well equipped entertainment system, automatic Xenon headlights and foglights, one touch power sliding doors and liftgate, 18" aluminum alloy wheels and state of the art safety.
I don't have kids, but I'm all about taking this land craft on a big, big road trip.  Sleep in the back, cook out?  I'm on it.  


Monday, July 2, 2012

Art of Another Kind at the Guggenheim

Art of Another Kind at the Goog is sponsored by BMW, which is my segue.  The exhibit, which runs until September 12 is a retrospective of non-objective paintings and sculpture.  There are about 100 works by 70 artists inclduing  Karel Appel, Louise Bourgeois, Lucio Fontana, Grace Hartigan, Ybes Klein, Willem DeKooning, Isamu Noguchi, Jackson Pollock, Takeo Yamaguchi among others. The exhibit explores international trends in abstraction in the decade before the Guggenheim opened in October 1959.  It was a time when vanguard artists working in the U.S and Europe pioneered abstract expressionism, Cobra and Art Informel.  It was an exciting and open time in the art world.  Ii thought the exhibit brought these artists back into focus and I was happy to visit old friends and meet some new ones.  Something well worth doing on a hot weekend in the city.  There's a cafe at the Goog and at the church next door where I overheard a guy having a piece of quiche (and he was a real man) say, "Not for nothin' this quiche is pretty good.  For a church?"

One of the things that struck me was how many of the represented artists hailed from small towns and hamlets.  Jackson Pollock--Cody, WY, Clifford Still--Grandin, ND, Ad Reinhardt--Buffalo, NY (OK not a small town), Mark Rothko, Dvinsk, Russia (I haven't a clue.)


Hope you'll take the time to see this wonderful exhibit.