30 December 2010

Tuesday in New York City

There has been quite a lot in the news about the snow in New York, and how the mayor didn't declare a snow emergency and people are running out of food and heating oil and the ambulances can't get through. People who were taking trains or flying home this week are stranded, or have had trips cancelled. I felt lucky to have left just before the storm started and so while I was a bit delayed, I got home. My parents similarly were delayed (with a flight cancelled, then reinstated) but returned home safely, as did the in-laws.

Despite all this, I've had plans to spend a day this week in New York City. We get the week between Christmas and New Year's off, as a long holiday. There were several exhibits I wanted to see, one of which closes on January 2nd. So I watched the trains, and took a chance. Bundled up with new boots on my feet and a fur-trimmed jacket, carefully packing everything I need for such a trip into a smallish bag that I would not have to check, and away I went.

Metro-North was on a Saturday schedule, which meant if I missed a train (which I did because the drive took rather longer than even my generous estimate) there was a half-hour wait for the next one. The station was packed with people trying to get out mostly on Amtrak. I did get a decently close parking space, and scored one of the few single seats on the train, and napped. The plan was from my arrival to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, then MOMA, and end at the New York Public Library, punctuated by a meal at some point with my friend Lily. I splurged on a taxi to the Met because I couldn't figure out where to get the bus and walking was getting arduous. Finding a taxi was a bit of a trial, but I saw a women struggling to get from a cab to the sidewalk, offered her my arm in assitance, and then snagged the taxi.

On the trip to the Met, I took a few pictures of the snow:

Can you tell that there's a car in the photo above?

So I got to the Met, and did some wandering around while I tried to figure out where to find the exhibit I really wanted to see, about art in the age of Khubilai Khan. On the way, I saw a small exhibit of Miro, a wonderful photography exhibit, and missed my opportunity to meet Lily for lunch. On the up side, on the way out I stumbled across (only figuratively, as it was well roped off) a stunning Roman mosaic floor of which I took many pictures:

Of course I have lots of closeups of the tiling! At least as far as I could reach over the ropes.

Leaving the Met, I caught a bus to Barney's to see their holiday windows, which are all about foodie icons:

It's fun to see who was represented how, and to catch a lot of the little funny bits about the persons depicted. Lily said that she went to a presentation, part of a series that The New York Times offers, where the window designer talked about putting them together and some of the fun they had in adding the jokes.

Then it was to MOMA, where the crowds were made and I decided that I would see the one key exhibit and leave. Again, I took many photos, but I won't clog this post with all of the ones of the different kitchens. Lots of time spent in looking at the videos, including the one that introduced the reconstructed German kitchen that is a centerpiece of the exhibit.
After this I went to the Library to see a highly recommended exhibit of documents about the three Abrahamic religions, exploring their similarities and divergencies. Fascinating! But near the end (when they were closing the library and hustling us) my brain was getting pretty full of images, writing, illustrations, bindings, and so forth. Coincidentally Lily called just as I flipped open my phone to call her, and we agreed to meet at a Thai restaurant near Times Square for supper. Yums! I'd been running on a protein bar for most of the day, and this was quite lovely - curried soft-shell crabs, tamarind duck, and pad khee mao with beef. We joked that it was surf 'n' turf 'n' air. The fried bananas came as a sort of egg roll, not the expected tempura-style, with fragrant honey drizzled over, but I passed in favour of a Thai iced coffee.
Then I jumped on the shuttle back to Grand Central Station while Lily and her husband took the subway home. Another single seat, another nap, and I made it home safely at about 1:30am, very happy that I did not have to go to work the next day! I did pick up a few souvenirs, carefully brought home in a free tote bag from the Met (which I'd had to parcel into pockets to avoid the checkroom at MOMA), mostly postcards from the various exhibits and the free exhibit brochures. Enjoy the links!

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