Art, Skyscrapers And Facelifts


julius_icon.gif nadia_icon.gif

Scene Title Art, Skyscrapers and Facelifts
Synopsis Two artists meet in the park and have a pleasant conversation.
Date September 17, 2010

Central Park

Central Park has been, and remains, a key attraction in New York City, both for tourists and local residents. Though slightly smaller, approximately 100 acres at its southern end scarred by and still recovering from the explosion, the vast northern regions of the park remain intact.

An array of paths and tracks wind their way through stands of trees and swathes of grass, frequented by joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, and horsemen alike. Flowerbeds, tended gardens, and sheltered conservatories provide a wide array of colorful plants; the sheer size of the park, along with a designated wildlife sanctuary add a wide variety of fauna to the park's visitor list. Several ponds and lakes, as well as the massive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, break up the expanses of green and growing things. There are roads, for those who prefer to drive through; numerous playgrounds for children dot the landscape.

Many are the people who come to the Park - painters, birdwatchers, musicians, and rock climbers. Others come for the shows; the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater, the annual outdoor concert of the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, the summer performances of the Metropolitan Opera, and many other smaller performing groups besides. They come to ice-skate on the rink, to ride on the Central Park Carousel, to view the many, many statues scattered about the park.

Some of the southern end of the park remains buried beneath rubble. Some of it still looks worn and torn, struggling to come back from the edge of destruction despite everything the crews of landscapers can do. The Wollman Rink has not been rebuilt; the Central Park Wildlife Center remains very much a work in progress, but is not wholly a loss. Someday, this portion of Central Park just might be restored fully to its prior state.

It's early morning in the park, the morning sun has yet to warm the chill from the air. People are just starting to venture forth into the park, some for exercise, some for touristy things, and some to work. Julius was one of the latter. He made a fairly comfortable living from his less reputable work, but it was good to keep up pretenses. Besides, he did enjoy his art. The man was sitting on a small stool with a small, portable drawing surface set in front of him with a sketch pad atop it. A few feet in front of him was another portable stool for clients to sit on. The whole thing was situated in such a way to catch the morning light and also set an attractive backdrop with one of the many bridges over the pathways in the park. At the moment he had no client, so instead he was simply sketching the landscape to keep himself busy.

The park is a wonderful place to come for creative inspiration. Loaded with beautiful scenery and plenty of faces to inspire sculptures, it's the perfect place for a young artist to come. However, Nadia Ba'albaki isn't your standard artist. She also happens to be a young political starlet who is gaining prominence in the media, first with her Registration commercials and advertisements, then her appearance in PAUSE Magazine, and now her most recent acchievement, an extremely successful charity auction. Currently wearing a pair of jeans and a light fleece jacket, the young woman is making her way through the park with a sketch pad tucked under her arm.

Her slow, wandering path brings her right past Julius, where she pauses briefly peering over the scenery thoughtfully. She doesn't greet him; if he wants to say hi to her, he can, but she's on a mission: to find a perfect spot to people watch. Finally, however, her eyes are slowly drawn toward Julius and his setup, brows raising..

Julius is rather occupied by his sketching at first, looking down to his pad to sketch, then back up at the bridge to examine it. He doesn't immediately notice Nadia walking by or even when she pauses. So many people walk by, they just rather blur together unless they're wanting to have a sketch made. Still, eventually he feels eyes on him and pauses his work to look up, head turning as he glances around until he spots Nadia watching him, "Ah, yes?"

Nadia offers a few owlish blinks toward Julius, before her face breaks into one of those warm smiles she's becoming famous for. She raises her own sketch pad, smiling over to the man. "I'm sorry to interrupt you! Would you mind if I join you over here?" She gestures toward the people already in the park. "This is the perfect spot for people watching." Without bothering to let him answer, she promptly settles down, seated in the grass near the man.

Cute or not, her presence might take away his business. So Julius is ready to say no until she sits down without even waiting. He just sighs and shakes his head, rubbing his temples for a moment, "Yeah, whatever. But if you start to take my customers I'll have to chase you away. I'm trying to make a living here." He doesn't watch much tv, so he hasn't really recognized Nadia aside from being a cute girl, apparently one who thinks she can just do whatever she wants.

"Oh, I don't think you have to worry about me taking any customers!" Nadia laughs softly, even as a group of tourists suddenly points at her, and begins to shuffle their way over. "In fact, I might even attract them." She smirks over to the group. Then, she suddenly sets her sketch pad down, standing and moving over to the chair with a small grin, pulling out her wallet. "I'll even give them incentive. How much for a picture?" She smiles brightly to the man.

The tour group has arrived within about fifteen feet from the two, and are now discussing something about 'Face of Registration' and 'Nadia Ba'albaki', among other remarks.

Julius groans a bit, "Yeah, attract them over to have you draw them. That doesn't do a lot for me, does it?" He goes back to sketching the bridge, pausing to mutter a bit when all the people point at her. However, when she offers to pay for a picture, he seems a bit unsure, trying to figure out what her angle is. Competing artists don't pay other artists to draw them, "Depends on what you want. Headshot, you and background, full body? It's twenty five for the headshot, forty if you want the full body, and fifty if I include the background."

A $100 bill is promptly pulled out of the woman's wallet, and offered to Julius. "Here, double the money for your trouble. And when I'm done, you can draw them." She smiles, gesturing back toward the tourists. "I'm not famous for my drawing, or my artwork, or even my sculptures, much as I would love to be." She laughs. "You're one of the few who doesn't recognize me, which is not something I object to in the slightest. I'm Nadia Ba'albaki, the girl in the Registration commercials and ads." A bright smile is offered to the man as she waits for him to take the money.

Julius takes the money, watching her carefully, "Alright.." He carefully tears the landscape sketch out and then rolls it up to slip into black leather tube. He smirks ever so slightly, "Ah, an actress. So that explains some things." He rolls his eyes a bit as he flips to a new sheet on his pad and placing it back on the surface, "Go ahead and sit down, take any pose you want. So you're one of those evolved, eh?"

"Not much of an actress. Took me forever to get my lines right for a short commercial." Nadia laughs softly, running a hand through her hair as she seats herself, taking on a simple pose, with her head tilted toward her shoulder. "Yup, I am indeed one of those Evolved." She laughs softly, leaning back a little for better lighting. All the while, the crowd is chattering amongst themselves.

Julius nods a bit, "Do anything interesting?" He sharpens his pencil as he speaks, working to get a fine point on it, "I've run into a few. Seen some that can do interesting things. Hear the government's cracking down on the unregistered, though. Annoys the hell out of me that they want to stick their nose into people's private lives like that. Might as well be making all the blacks or hispanics register while they're at it." He finishes sharpening the pencil, holding it up to carefully examine the tip before he begins to draw it across the page in short, practiced strokes.

The practiced smile remains on the woman's face as she watches him work. "I do some pretty interesting things, yes. I'm Tier 2, so if you're curious, I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding information." She laughs softly. Then, she offers a soft hum. "Well, actually, they've recently made Registration mandatory for everyone, Evolved or no." She does a fairly good job at holding completely still, save for her jaw movement as she speaks.

Julius hrmphs, "Don't particularly like the idea of the government butting in on my private life." He looks up, pursing his lips as he scans Nadia's features for a few moments before going back to sketching, "If I wanted people in my business all the time, I'd try out for one of those idiotic reality shows I hear about. Whatever happened to a person's right to privacy?" He tsks and shakes his head a bit, "Just isn't right."

Nadia chuckles softly. "Well, to each their own, I'm sure." She smirks, then suddenly leans forward, speaking in a hushed tone. "I really don't know if I like it or not these days." Then, she resumes her pose, with that charming smile still planted over her features. "Seriously, though, it's not all that bad. People who don't have abilities are pretty much completely ignored." She shrugs. "It's just like we have social security and taxes."

Then, she laughs softly at the mention of privacy. "I'm beginning to forget what privacy is, these days. I'm not even a super famous and I hardly get any privacy. It's really disconcerting to have everybody look at you like they know you."

Julius smirks, "I can't imagine. Never been famous. Most attention I get is when I let myself get suckered into hosting some art at a gallery or some gala." He lifts his gaze again, squinting a bit as he gauges the play of the light across the woman's features before ducking his head again, "But hey, if it's so bad, you could always get a new face or something. I hear plastic surgeons are quite good. And I've heard there are evolved that can do even better. Just what I've heard, though." He shrugs a bit as he sketches.

Nadia tilts her head to one side. "Oh, you're an artist? Well, I'll have to get your card. I'm starting a charity project to rebuild some of the worn down sections of New York City. Just had my first successful art auction." She smiles. "If you ever want, I can put some of your art up for auction. Proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity." She watches the pencil as he drags it across the paper, smiling.

At the mention of a new face, Nadia blinks a few times. "Oh gosh, I don't know if I could go under a knife." Plus, most hospitals have their operating rooms above the first floor, it seems. She would probably choke on her own vomit while under the anaesthetic.

Julius shrugs a bit, "I may have something laying around I could donate. Always seems to be something that doesn't want to sell in the galleries." He looks up and pauses, then back to his paper for a moment before standing, stepping over, and placing two fingers on Nadia's chin to lightly turn her head just a bit to the side before sitting back down, "Yes, surgery does indeed suck. But if it must be done, right?" He shrugs, "Or you could look up an evolved that can do what you need done. They tend to be more expensive, though, as I understand it."

The woman allows him to move her head to the side, apparently quite used to being an artist's subject. "That'd be great! I'm hoping to gather enough artwork to do another art auction in a few months." She smiles. "Oh, I just got an idea!" Nadia giggles softly. "I've been meaning to do a collaboration with someone for a while now. Perhaps I could do one with you. If you'd be interested, I could turn one of your drawings into a sculpture."

She blinks a few times. "If I ever had to go that way, I'd probably have to find an Evolved to do it for me, unless there's a rare hospital with an operating room on the first floor."

Julius arches a brow, "Well, I do sculpture too. I actually do more sculpture than drawing or painting, but it's not as easy to sculpt people in the park as it is to draw." He shrugs a bit, "But perhaps we can work something out." He pulls out his pencil sharpener and begins to sharpen the pencil again, chuckling lightly, "Got a fear of heights, I guess?"

The girl's brows raise, and she's suddenly smiling very brightly. "Another sculptor! It's good to see that sculpting isn't a dying art. We'll have to collaborate one of these days, in any case." She holds still as he sharpens the pencil, nodding slowly. "Yeah, pretty bad. Can't even go up high in buildings. I can feel them move in the wind. Makes me sick to my stomach."

The pencil is held up to be examined in the light before Julius resumes sketching, "You know, skyscrapers are designed to move slightly in the wind to limit the stress on them so they don't collapse." The movements of his hand are no longer broad strokes, instead seeming to add small details to the drawing, "Well, if you need such an evolved, I happen to have a line on one who could do as you need. Charges a fair penny, though, but a famous chick like you should be able to drum up the cash."

Nadia seems to cringe a bit at the mention of skyscrapers. "Ugh, I can't stand skyscrapers. Anything above the second floor, and I get sick to my stomach. Just thinking about it makes me queasy." She pats her stomach, then blinks quietly over to the man, her brows raising. "Well, I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever need to change my face…" She smiles to him. "Thank you."

Another smirk crosses Julius's face, "Not just face. He can do the whole works." He sets his pencil down and turns the sketchpad around to show the finished drawing to Nadia. It's obvious he's talented. The image is very accurate, capturing nuances of Nadia and her surroundings, the play of the light across her skin and hair. He reaches down to his things and pulls out a little cardboard tube. He carefully removes the drawing from the pad and then hands it and the tube over to Nadia, "There you go, one sketch. Hope you like it."
ORDER: It is now your pose.

The woman blinks, and nods a few times, her brows raised. "Well then. That's certainly some valuable information. I appreciate it." Nadia offers a cheerful smile as he shows her the picture, reaching out to take the cardboard tube. "It's wonderful! I think I may have this framed for my apartment. You're an amazing artist."

She tilts her head to the side, before reaching into her purse and pulling out what appears to be a small stack of business cards. However, this is proven wrong as it is offered out to Julius, revealing it to be a perfectly formed business card made of marble, with Nadia's name and phone number etched into its surface. "Give me a call some time. I'd love to see more of your work, and possibly show you some of mine."

Julius arches an eyebrow at the stack of cards, but schools his features when he sees it's a single business card made of marble, "Pretty swanky." He bends over to slip it into his pack, "Not as convenient as a paper card, though. Can't really just slip it into your wallet. Stands out, though." He rights himself and chuckles a bit, "Ah, just wait til I tell my friends that I scored the phone number of an actress and model. They'll turn absolutely green." He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small black case, flipping open its lid and extracting a simple eggshell business card which he hands over, "And my card. Not quite as fancy as yours, I'm afraid."

"I always lose business cards. So I figured I would make my cards as difficult to lose as possible." She laughs softly at his remark about having her number, flicking a strand of hair out of her face, taking his card and looking it over before pocketing it. "Well, you're more than welcome to give me a call any time! I'm usually a little bit on the busy side, but I'll certainly pencil you in." She winks, leaning down to pick up her sketch pad. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Julius."

Julius grins and nods, "Makes sense I suppose. I'll definitely give you a call. Perhaps we can get a drink somewhere at a nice, first floor bar or somesuch sometime." He flips over to a fresh page in the sketchpad and starts preparing his pencils for the next person to come along, "Always nice to have a cute girl to spend an evening with. Her being an artist just makes it nicer."

Men are just popping out from everywhere for Nadia, these days. Granted, most of them probably aren't the most savory types, but it's still more than she is used to. She offers a cheerful smile toward him, tucking her sketch pad. "Well, I look forward to that. d'Sarthe's has a really nice bar on the first floor, and they mix a mean martini." After briefly flipping through her notepad, Nadia casts a bright smile up toward Julius. "Looks like the tourists want to have a go at your art skills. Hope you make some big bucks today."

Then, she's turning toward the tourists, gesturing toward Julius. "He's a great artist, folks. Better hurry and get a picture before his hand cramps up! Never know when you'll get such a great opportunity!" The tourists don't seem to need much coaxing, and a few promptly begin to form a line for Julius.

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