Notes from New York City

We’re starting our fourth day in New York City. Not sure how much we’ll do today since Roger has come down with a bad cold. We’re staying in an apartment in the Beacon Hotel on the upper West side, just across the street from the Fairway food market, where people come to shop from all over Manhattan.  We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and went shopping there as soon as we had unpacked. It was unbelievably crowded. Well, we thought that was because it was when people were stopping there on their way home from work, but it was almost as crowded when I went there around 2:00 pm on Friday.

This is our third trip to the Big Apple in this century, and we’re trying to see the sights we’ve not seen before. On Thursday we went to the Frick museum in the morning. It’s a marvelous collection of art and porcelain. One of Roger’s goals is to see all of the Vermeer’s and the Frick has three. To me, the greatest treat was seeing the old Henry K Frick mansion on the upper Eastside. You can take a virtual tour at: http://www.frick.org/visit/virtual_tour .

We had wonderful German lunch at the café Sabarsky at the Nueu Gallerie, where we saw the amazing “Woman in Gold” by Gustav Klimt, along with several other of his works. http://www.neuegalerie.org/ Then it is on to the Morgan Library and Museum to see the collection of Frick’s even wealthier contemporary J. P. Morgan. http://www.themorgan.org/

But the best treat on Thursday was seeing “An American in Paris”, even though is meant elbowing through the crowds around Times Square.  Watching the performance was like watching one beautiful work of art after another all performed to glorious music.

Afterwards, we had a great Greek dinner—after a small glitch in the service. Our waiter took out orders for marinated shrimp souvlaki, which we (having forgotten what souvlaki meant) clarified with the waiter that souvlaki meant on a skewer, a clarification complete with gestures of putting shrimp on a skewer. After ten minutes or so we were served with beautifully deep fried seabass—which we both said wasn’t what we ordered. The plates were whisked away and soon replaced with the proper order. The owner showed up at our table apologizing profusely. I put my theory of the whole mishap to him—that the waiter had pushed the wrong buttons on their computerized ordering system. Yes, he confessed, that was exactly what happened—that’s something that would not have happened with the old pencil and pad system. But, the service and food were excellent, and we were given a wonderful plate of Kasseri cheese gratis.

On Friday, we subwayed down to Brooklyn Museum. We arrived at the museum shortly after it was to open, according to our guide book, 10:00 am. The museum had a strangely deserted look to it, probably, because it didn’t actually open until 11:00 am. This would have been a good opportunity to visit the botanical garden across the street, but it was about 83 degrees Fahrenheit, and what felt like 100 percent humidity, so we passed.

Roger has a love affair with Egyptian artifacts, and the Brooklyn Museum has a good collection. Now, my opinion of Egyptian relics isn’t quite like Reagan’s opinion of Redwoods—if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all—but it comes close. So, after we toured their very nice collection of American art—I especially enjoyed the painting of the Brooklyn Bridge by Georgia O’Keefe—we did a quick survey of their ancient art collection. They have some wonderful bas relief wall murals from ancient Nineveh, as well as the Egyptian collection. We had a very nice lunch at the museum, then, after touring the decorative arts floor, I went back to the Beacon, while Roger pursed his quest to see as much Egyptian art as possible in a few hours.

We went to a Mexican restaurant on Friday night. Yes, you can get excellent Mexican food in New York City. I had a chicken mole that rivaled what you can get in Old Town San Diego. The restaurant’s biggest hit is guacamole—since you can only get two avocados for five dollars here, it’s a bit pricier than back home, so we passed.

Yesterday morning we went to the United Nations to look around—couldn’t tour, because there are no tours on the weekend—not one of our better feats of planning, but we did get a good walk. We came back to the apartment for a lunch in, then got ready for our matinee—“Hamilton”.  It was an amazing performance, but we’re too old, I think, to really enjoy it. Couldn’t understand a word “James Madison” said most of the time. Also could have done without the lady sitting next to me whooping after every song. But the story, the talent, and the music was wonderful, maybe almost worth the price of the tickets.

After the show we had dinner at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station. We set next to a couple from Nova Scotia who had come down for the weekend to celebrate her birthday. I asked if we could move to Nova Scotia if Trump go elected, and they laughed. We all agreed it was hard to believe that someone like that could even be considered for President.

We were going to go to the MOMA today. We’ve been before, but the MOMA is a place that can be visited over and over again. Will depend on how Roger feels when he gets up.

 

 

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