I arrived late to the water tasting because I had decided to make a pit stop in Williamsburg for a different kind of refreshment. At an event hosted by Pin-Up, the Yola mezcal grapefruits flowed as a deluge of design divas and dabblers mingled against a backdrop of two $15,000 leather sofas mounted above the fray to evoke “sculpture.” I worked up a more elemental thirst on the Citi Bike ride to Performance Space New York, where a group gathered for dinner as part of Gnaw, a series of food-focused functions by artist quori theodor. The three-course tasting had already concluded, but Argentine artist, filmmaker, and water sommelier Amalia Ulman took pity on me, reprising her party trick for my benefit. She produced plastic shot glasses and several exotic-looking bottled waters. (One contained nine milligrams of lithium—a far lower dosage than the legal limit but it was tranquilizing nonetheless.) With each studied sip, a purist waterscape of faraway springs, streams, and reservoirs formed in my mind. Back in my Bushwick apartment later that night, I poured myself a gla…

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