On Saturday, despite the fact that it was a hot day perfect for lounging in the park or attending various bicycle and/or queer-themed events, the Yale Union (YU) had a nice little turnout for the opening reception of its inaugural exhibit, a retrospective of New Yorker illustrator/cartoonist Saul Steinberg's work.

The building, a former industrial steam-powered laundry built in 1908, is even more vast, light-filled, and beautiful than I had imagined it (for years, over Holocene cocktails and speculation). The exhibit (which you can read about in this week's arts section), takes up less than half of the giant upstairs exhibition hall (there is talk of leasing out the ground floor to businesses, though as of yet nothing is confirmed), and the stylish crowd (among the faces spotted: Parenthetical Girls' Zac Pennington, Nationale's May Juliette Barruel, Una's Giovanna Parolari, Lille Boutique's Sarah Wizemann, fashion photographer Christine Taylor, Stand Up Comedy's Diana Kim, who also serves on the YU board, and White Rainbow's Adam Forkner, also serving as YU music curator) enjoyed a luxuriantly spacious cocktail hour on the other side of a New York-designed custom wall.

The potential for this place is breathtaking, from events and shows to resources for the artistic community, and its ambitions include housing four artists' residences, a café, and an open-air courtyard, and they are actively seeking support from the community, with membership levels beginning at $50 (which will get your name listed on the web site). It was my first time inside, and I confess to being more interested in the building and organization than the show (although it easily won me over—I much prefer Steinberg's work, which spanned from 1945-2000, to most of the cartoons currently published in the New Yorker), but I would recommend stopping by during the gallery hours of Thursday-Saturday, noon-8 pm for a perusal. The location and people involved alone spark the imagination of what this place could become; I'm thinking of pitching in 50 bucks just to see what will come of it.

The Steinberg exhibit, in boxes.
  • YU
  • The Steinberg exhibit, in boxes.