Susan Kleiner, on Kabbalah and Bridges

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“MacDonald St. L”

The artist Susan Kleiner and I got into a discussion about Kabbalah the other day at the coffee house, The Muddy Cup, that is showing her work in Beacon, N.Y. She said that at one Kabbalah center, they make you run your finger over the spines of religious books on a shelf and then they say, O.K., now you know all you need to know, and they put a red string on your wrist and charge you $100. (Amy Wilentz relates a similar story in her new book, I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen). I tried to hold out for Kabbalah, but I don’t have my red string yet. Kleiner does paintings and drawings inspired by bridge girders. Here’s one from MacDonald Avenue in Brooklyn. On exhibit at 161 Main St. for the next few weeks.