Part 2: Spring in Manhattan

The second half of our day took us to the southern part of Manhattan. My mom had wanted to check out the Oculus, the new transport station that was part of the World Trade Center network. The building is out of science fiction – weirdly shaped and white. Inside, there are several floors with high end shops and as far as we could tell, one restaurant/cafe. Very odd. It was a dramatic place architecturally but I’m still confused how you can have a massive transportation depot without food.

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After our tour of the space, we headed to Trinity Church nearby. Inside we found beautiful wooden carved chapel and windows. Outside, we discovered that this was where Alexander and Eliza Hamilton were buried. However, it took some time finding their grave. We learned that there are burial grounds on both sides of church. When we paid our respects to his grave, the lady next to us starting singing the section about Eliza from “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story.” Her grave had pennies all over it as well. Nice touch.

We passed by the Bull of Wall Street and the Little Girl standing him down. There was a line of mostly women waiting to get their photo taken with the Little Girl. I declined getting my photo taken since it was a long line of chaos.

We then went to the National Museum of the American Indian next to Bowling Green Park. The museum is housed in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, which is a pretty astonishing building. Big rotunda with murals. We learned from the guard that Bowling Green Park’s fence went back to colonial times; on the fence, there used to be symbols of the crown that revolutionaries had sawed off! Plus there was an amazing plaque talking about how the rental of the park was only a peppercorn. Back in the day, peppercorn was a big deal.

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I had read about the museum and its current exhibition “Native Fashion Now” in the New York Times a few weeks earlier so I was keen to check it out. They had gone to Native American designers to showcase their work in the show. It was spectacular. For instance, there were these high heeled boots covered in beadwork with hummingbird motif by Jamie Okuma. Another was a kimono that depicted ledger art by Toni Williams. Astonishing. They also had a quiver made in the famous Louis Vuitton fabric. Or a pair of moccasins made from electrical parts. Innovative and astonishing.

The permanent collection had some pretty spectacular objects from a diverse number of groups. There were drums from Mapuche in Chile all the way up to various groups in the Pacific Northwest. They even had a room set aside for Native American Contemporary art where there was a paper jingle dress.

Another special exhibition included pottery from Central America, which was a treat. As I have gotten older, I have grown to love pottery, especially from Latin America. I love all the pots of local animals!

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We then walked from the museum to the Strand, not a small walk. It was delightful wandering around the city. I enjoyed all the street art, as per usual. The Strand was great as always. We met up with a good friend and my parents at a Spanish restaurant in Greenwich Village.

Afterwards, we wandered with our friend to find a speakeasy. There is a trend in bars in NY (and elsewhere) of speakeasies that are accessed in unusual places. The first place we tried involved going through a toy store. Sadly, it was merely a shelf of toys and the bar was extremely crowded and loud.

We then began our trek to find an available place. There was another one that involved going into a phone booth in a hole-in-the-wall hot dog stand. When we got there, there was a line, so it wasn’t truly hidden. When it was our time to get to the front of the line, a man pulled back a wall of the phone booth and I could peer inside. It was a quiet bar with a taxidermied pheasant on the wall. We were informed it was a three hour wait, which wasn’t happening. He ended up handing my friend and I a black business card with a number and the name of the address. Someday we’ll go.

Ultimately we ended up a regular bar, notably only for the strange channel it showed of people embarrassing themselves by doing stupid things. It wasn’t “Funniest Home Videos” but it was an actual channel that bars can request. Strange.

That’s all for now!

Part 1: Spring in Manhattan

I’m going to return for the next few weeks ago to my travel adventures. Stay tuned for more interviews with street artists!

Now I’ll talk about our amazing trip to NY, NY over Easter weekend. It was full of speakeasys, friends and family, and art. What else can one ask for!

The trip began with a hopeful quest to the Guggenheim on Friday morning. A few weeks prior, I had learned about Doug Wheeler’s PSAD Synthetic Desert at the Guggenheim where he built a room designed to minimize noise. You can enter the room for 10 or 20 minutes and relish in the silence and incredibly bizarre landscape. (Article from NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/07/arts/design/guggenheim-museum-doug-wheeler-synthetic-desert.html)  It is included with admission but you need a timed ticket since only 5 people can go at a time. Advance tickets were gone for the month of April but they had some walk-ins available. So I got to the Guggenheim before it opened in the hopes of securing such a ticket. THere were already lines there when I arrived but a separate line for the Doug Wheeler exhibit. While waiting I met this lovely lady from Oxford and her son who had spent 6 days in NYC and enjoyed the city. They had even more of an adventure getting to the Guggenheim, which involved checking out early from their hotel, getting on the wrong train and ending up in Harlem.

And we all got tickets! My ticket was for 12pm so I had 2 hours to kill. Fortunately, I was in a museum. The Guggenheim had a retrospective of the original art that Solomon Guggenheim had collected with the significant help of Hilda von Rebay, his curator. Much of the art he collected was during my favorite time in art: early 20th century. The first side room that I saw was filled with magnificent compositions by Kandinsky, one of my favorites. I was struck dumb by the beauty of his abstract colors and shapes. Clearly, I had made the right choice.

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I wandered my way up to the top of the museum where the Doug Wheeler room was. There was even a few works from his niece Peggy Guggenheim’s museum in Venice; her collection is a must see any time we are in Venice. It was like meeting old friends that I hadn’t seen in years. They had her magnificent Calder mobile that slowly shifted with people’s movements.

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I really enjoyed my experience in PSAD Synthetic Desert. The 5 of us and the museum staff person were brought into the room through at least 2 doors (requiring a key card). The room was out of Sci-Fi. These white foam pyramids lay in rows before me and on the wall. There was a platform you could stand on and survey the rows of pyramids. All was suffused with a light purple glow. We were encouraged to sit to  minimize movement. Early on you understood why.

The room was so quiet that turning your head seemed magnified. Even the shuffling of feet was audible. It wasn’t so quiet that you could hear your heartbeat but it definitely wasn’t just a silent room. I had expected to get very bored very quickly but I was surprised when our ten minutes was up.

I wandered down the Guggenheim, nodding my head at my old friends and new favorites (Those Kandinsky’s) and made my way to 5th avenue. It was a glorious day in Manhattan. I walked up 5th, next to Central Park, and met my husband in the middle. He had just arrived from Chicago that morning. We both walked back to our hotel, enjoying the fresh temperate air.

Next time, I’ll talk about our adventures at the Oculus, Trinity Church, National Museum of American Indian, and our adventures finding a speakeasy.

 

That’s all for now!

NYC Fall 2016: Part 2

What a lovely day. We started out walking the full length of the High Line, a repurposed elevated train line turned into walking path/park. We had originally intended to go to the Whitney but it was a wondrously beautiful day. I really love the High Line. I love the repurposing of industrial space into a place of nature and art. I love how it curves between and even through buildings. You never know what you are going to find on the way. We found people selling campaign buttons (Hillary yes, no to Trump). One time, someone was writing poetry on demand with a typewriter; another time a lady was walking her grey parrot.

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The art was amazing. There were various pieces of sculpture including this piece with a tree growing out of a car.

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 I also found some beautiful pieces of street art while on the highline. This one was the roof of a building that you can only see from the Highline. We ended up walking the entire length of it, passing the giant trainyard.

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For lunch, we needed a quick place and found this large but empty Italian place. We got some great NY greasy pizza.

It was time for a graffiti tour! We signed up for a tour of the Bowery and the Village with Graff Tours. We met at an intersection and our guide found us. The tour was great. Our tour guide showed us some amazing pieces around the neighborhood and told us about the artists involved. At first I was annoyed since we were walking by so many pieces that she wasn’t talking about, and then I realized that there was so much art, she could have spent hours going over it all. She took us the best pieces; ones that we wouldn’t have known about! I finally got to see a mural by JR who is a photographer who takes these incredible photos of people and puts them up in large form on buildings. This one (left) is of a NYC ballerina. I had seen a TED talk about his work in the favelas of Brazil. Next to it was this astonishing mural by Os Gemios (right). It’s so vibrant. Sadly, a building will be put up next to it and it may obscure the view of it.

We ended up at this impressively large stencil mural by Logan Hicks of a city street. He invited everyone he knew to go to a street, took a photo, and then made it into stencil mural. What a beautiful tribute to the city!

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Then it was time for more mischief! My husband and father went to see the battleship USS Intrepid the day before. They learned that Star Trek the experience was going on. My husband was kind enough to go back with me to see it. Holy cow, it was so cool! The whole premise was that you were trying to join Star Fleet. You take a series of tests and quizzes and you have a watch sensor that tracks your progress. At the end, they tell you where you may be best suited. You had to scan a klingon in sick bay to figure out what might be wrong. There was navigating of ships through dangers. Phaser game. There were seven kiosks quizzes that you had to take to get a good score. And yes, there were props of uniforms, objects like tricorders and universal translators. It was great.

But the best part was taking the Kobayashi Maru test while on the deck of the enterprise. I took it and failed… At the very end, I was sorted into the Science with a secondary in Command. Whoohoo!

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We had just enough time to go on the battleship and check out the planes on top.

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Next, it was time to meet a college friend for some drinks near Union Square. It was a nice little cocktail bar off 2nd. Tasty drinks and great company.

Dinner was with good friends and my parents at a Spanish place in the Village. We like it because we can get lobster there, a good staple of any trip to NYC. After dinner, we wandered through Washington Square Park, which was hopping. There was a production of Midsummer going on, which was rather neat to see a few minutes of. There was a pianist playing beautiful music into the September night.

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The following morning was our last day in NYC. We had a lovely brunch with friends in the cafe at Union Square. I had some delicious avocado toast. The weather was perfect, which was nice considering the fears about approaching hurricane. We walked around the area, taking in Madison Square Park nearby. What a wonderful trip!

That’s all for now!

NYC Fall 2016: Part 1

Now, I’m going to spend some time talking about our amazing adventures in NYC earlier this Fall. Museums! Food! Star Trek!

We arrived in Friday evening. We stayed in a lovely boutique hotel near Union Square. That meant we had about an hour to get to the Strand before it closed for the evening! There are a lot of great bookstores in NY and the Strand is one of them. I always find some really interesting books there. Last year, I found a book about the history of cooking utensils. This time, I found an unofficial Banksy biography. And their sock selection is amazing. Poe socks, enough said.

Afterwards, we found this restaurant that is best described as small plates Spanish. Not tapas, mind you. I ordered a dish that was effectively scrambled eggs with sea urchin. My husband got a lovely dish of guinea fowl. I had sea urchin for the first time a few months ago. I go back and forth on it. I’ve had one really amazing dish of sea urchin in Chicago. This dish was pretty good but not the best. My husband’s dish was rather tasty.

On our first full day of our trip, my first stop was the Metropolitan Museum. I was very keen to see Manus Ex Machina. I had thought that I was going to miss this exhibition but it was extended. It was amazing. This exhibition looks at how fashion balances machine made with man-made. The first thing you see when you walk in is a wedding gown from 2008(?). It has this amazing white train covered in gold beads. At first, you think it belongs in the baroque period but the explanation notes that the pattern was actually designed by a computer. The exhibition is categorized by different materials like leather,feathers, flowers, metal, etc. In the flower section, they have a remote control dress with wheels. It has these seedlings on it. You have to climb into it to put it on. At an appointed time, you can send the seedlings into the air. Crazy times!

The exhibition was mesmerizing. There were a lot of 3D printed dresses, which is rather awesome. Some seem like they belong in some future era; some don’t look 3D printed. However, my favorite dresses were by Issey Miyake. You can see her genius with shapes in these photos.

This fish scale dress took 1500 hours to make.

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I also loved all the laser cut dresses. This one is covered in seahorses!

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I spent about an hour and a half wandering around this exhibit. Afterwards, I took a little journey through the rest of the museum. Right outside the exhibition space, there was a little exhibit on ceramics from China including vases depicting West Lake, where I was in July! Also, this soup tureen is amazing. I went to say hi to the temple of Dendur, one of my favorite rooms there. I also ventured into the American wing to see my Tiffany glass windows. I had a sandwich at the cafe there. Sadly, I would not recommend it.

I also made a stop on the roof to see the Psycho House, or “Transitional Object (PsychoBarn),” by Cornelia Parker. The front half looks like a creepy house while the backside reveals that it is fake. I loved the contrast with the skyline!

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My next stop was meeting my family at the musical On Your Feet! On Broadway. It’s a bio-musical about Gloria Estefan. I was skeptical at first but I ended up enjoying it. The music is fun; dancing is great. It was a fun time.

We then rushed off to see a museum that I had never been to: Mmuseumm. It’s in a freight elevator in an alleyway. Three people at most can be in the museum at a time. It’s been open in 2012 and attempts to elevate the mundane. Several exhibits were on display including ISIS currency, screenshots of the last text messages they sent a loved one, frosted cookies commemorating events in a year, objects found as people were crossing into America, Iranian fast food knockoffs. We only had about 20 minutes before they closed but it was the right amount of time. It was very charming and a philosophy I adhere to.

We walked home to the hotel from there, taking in the amazing street art in NYC. Dinner was wonderful Italian food with a renderings of a map of Naples in German. An unusual combination!

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What a great first day in NYC!

NYC Spring 2016: Part 3

That Saturday was SWAN day! It was the 9th International Support Women Artists Day! We decided to spend it by going to a guided tour of the exhibition of Vigée le Brun at the Metropolitan Museum. Vigée le Brun was a famous female painter who was known for her intimate paintings of Marie Antoinette and other notables of the day. She’s quite an impressive painter who was one of four women in the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. However, initially her marriage to an art dealer made her ineligible but the king intervened and asked that she be admitted. Yeah, cause she was that beloved of the court. She eventually have to go into exile during the Revolution but she made use of the time traveling all over Europe. Read more about her here: http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2016/vigee-le-brun

We spent the next hour wandering around the museum, letting us take in this magnificent place. We actually ended up in the American wing and saw my new old favorite “Madame X” by John Singer Sargent. We also stumbled upon the original ballroom from Gadsby’s Tavern in Alexandria, VA. We had visited the house while we were there last summer and I remembered that they said the original room where George Washington danced was at the Met. And we found it. It is well-kept up with examples of period furniture. It was neat to see the real thing but it was weird that it was here in the Met and not in Virginia where the building is. But then again, the staircase from the Chicago Board of Trade is also at the Met…

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Gadsby’s Tavern

We finished up our trip at the Temple of Dendur, my favorite room there. I know I’ve mentioned it before; I can’t go to the Met without stopping by. It just still astonishes me every time I see it. Someday I’ll make it to Egypt to see the pyramids. For now, this will do. (Also, it doesn’t help that one of my favorite bands from college played a concert in that room last summer!).

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Temple of Dendur

We hopped in a cab to head to broadway for a matinee. We had a short period of time before the show. But then we found the most wonderful kind of place: $1 pizza. It’s a very plain utilitarian place but they have cheap pizza. You could get pepperoni for $2, which I opted for. My husband had 2 slices of cheese and a coke for $2-$3. It was perfect for our needs.

The show we saw was Disaster! It was a musical parodying disaster movies. It was fun at times but not a great new addition to Broadway. The first half was a bit slow since it had to establish all the different characters, aligning with different disaster tropes. The music was all disco that came up at predictable and unpredictable times. It’s not my favorite era of music, I have to say. There was also a borderline racist joke in there involving an afro, which did not sit terribly well with me.

The second half got better as everything started to go wrong. The random deaths from ridiculous occurrences really worked for me. It got silly and outlandish, which is what I wanted. So not the best musical but definitely had its moments. Plus it’s not Mr. Foote’s Other Leg. Ugh!

Afterwards, we decided to head to the NY Public Library, the main branch. I realized that I don’t think I’d ever been in there before! Craziness! It’s absolutely stunning. Sadly, the main room (i.e. the room from Ghostbusters) was closed for remodeling but other rooms were well worth a visit. The periodicals room was gorgeous with all the wood paneling. The map room was filled with book after book of maps!

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Periodical Room

Upstairs, there was an exhibition about Women in Printmaking, which was so cool. They had works by Marie de Medici and Queen Victoria! Apparently the Queen took it up as a pastime! So cool! There was also a Gutenberg Bible in a case in the middle of the floor. Because. Unfortunately, the Winnie the Pooh was not on display yet but it should be back later this Spring. There’s a great story about the Winnie the Pooh. England asked for it back and the response was “You’ll get it back when you return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.” Touche!

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Gutenberg Bible

That evening, we had wonderful tapas and seafood at a Spanish restaurant in the Village. I need to spend more time there, if only for all the food options! (Someday the Peanut Butter place will be mine to try!).


That’s all for now!

NYC Spring 2016: Part 2

The next day started with a trip to the Union Square Green Market. It’s a favorite of my parents and we always try to go when the weather is nice. It was a little brisk and early in the season so they weren’t many vendors out. But there were waves of beautiful fragrant flowers. Goodness, winter makes me miss nature so much! We had breakfast nearby at the Coffee Shop where I had delicious omelette. I love the entry walls to the place are covered in crushed up chinaware. Very cute.

I spent sometime wandering around the Strand bookstore, one of my favorites in NYC. Not only does it have a fantastic collection of books, it always has an amazing literary/nerdy selection of socks. There I said it.

Afterwards, we decided to walk up from Union Square to Macy’s. We briefly stopped into Rizzoli, a fancy bookstore, on the way. There used to be Rizzoli in Chicago but the chain contracted. Now it’s got a lovely bookstore near 26th street but it’s high end with lots of beautiful books. We continued our walk, watching as the neighborhood changed over and over. There were fancy boutique shops, then costume jewelry shops, and then to giant stores like Macy’s. The Flower Show was going on, which is one of my favorite retail events each year. While I prefer Chicago’s Macy’s Flower show, the one at Macy’s flagship was nice. The windows were fine but the interior is exciting. Throughout the first floor, there are flower displays that are out of this world. The theme this year was America so there were displays for the Midwest, the Pacific, NYC, and more. One display had mannequins modeling hats that I wanted to steal. Alas! There were some very patriotic flower displays as well. Good times.

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Macy’s. I want the hats.

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Macy’s

I continued my walk back to the hotel in midtown. I had a special mission to go to a coffee/chocolate shop on Park Avenue called 2bean. It was one of the few shops carrying a new spectacular chocolate bar called Marou, which was written about in the NYTimesThe bars are colored coded due to the color of the beans! They had just gotten a shipment the day before (I called) and were already out of two or three bar types by the time I got there. I was getting a birthday present for my best friend. The shop reminded me a lot of Hannah’s Bretzel because it is covered in different kinds of fancy candy bars. But it has even more than Hannah’s Bretzel. So cool.

I then walked up to Momofuku for my favorite truffle balls. There was a fairly healthy line but the balls are totally worth it. I got three packs of “Birthday Cake,” “Dulce de Leche,” and “Mint Chocolate.” I didn’t love the “Dulce de Leche” ones but they are still good.

Then I ran off to meet my husband who had just arrived in NYC. We decided to walk through Central Park to the Museum of Natural History and have tea at Alice’s, an Alice in Wonderland themed tea shop. I’ve been in Alice’s before but I had never stayed. It’s near the museum. We got there just in time as we were the top of a long line to get seats. The place was charming but not overwhelming in Alice in Wonderland mania. That was a bit of a disappointment. There were murals (especially in the bathroom) that made me very pleased. There were doors to the kitchen with keyhole windows in them, which was cool. But it could have upped the theme. We decided to keep it simple with tea and scones. (High tea seems to be too much for me these days). We had the Alice tea and I had the pumpkin scone. Both were delicious. So that was nice. It’s a tad pricey for tea and scones but it was nice to do once.

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Alice’s

I was excited about taking my husband to the museum since he had never been before. The last time I went was in graduate school when I was visiting my best friend who worked at school nearby. I had spent the entire time in the Ancient Americas’ rooms. When we got there, there was a line. Thankfully, it moved quickly so we were in the ticket line inside within about 10 minutes. Once in, we wandered accidentally into the Carl Akeley Hall, which was amazing. I had read a biography about him. He’s basically the man that made taxidermy into what we think of today. Many of the dioramas and specimens at the Field are his work. (The two elephants in the entryway were shot by him and his wife. She shot the larger of the two). So the hall at the NYC museum was wonderful. There was a herd of elephants in the middle (Possibly all shot by him though). Around the first floor were beautiful scenes of animals in the wild. Magnificent.

Then we made a beeline for the dinosaurs, both of our favorites. There was a dinosaur, titanosaur, that was so big that it couldn’t be kept in a single room. It kinda looks like a giant brontosaurus. Very neat. They had a good collection of dinosaurs including many triceratops skulls.

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We imagined this dino was a lot like my husband

We also wandered into the Ancient Americas to say hello to old friends. They have a giant Olmec head, which most would recognize as Olmec from Legends of the Hidden Temple. Of course, the people who made the head are actually the Olmecs…but anyway, it was nice to check out their collection. It’s smaller than the Field but I love checking out the pottery and stone carvings.

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Possibly Moche pottery

Before we left, we did check out the famous blue whale, which freaked me out as a kid. It’s still kinda insane. The museum has moved away whatever used to be beneath it and now you can lie down and stare up at it.

On our way back to the hotel, we strolled through Central Park. It was a really wonderful walk as nature was beginning to wake up. Budding trees, tiny daffodils pushing their heads up through the dirt. There were plenty of rocks to climb (though I never seem to wear the right kind of shoe for that kind of thing). We even shared a pretzel while walking through the Poet’s Corner. So classic NYC movie, I feel. But fun to do, nonetheless.

That night, we ate Italian food in a nearby restaurant named Teodora, that had food from Reggio Emilia. It feels like they took someone’s home and converted it into a restaurant. I had a wonderful plate of gnocchi, my favorite. Afterwards, we met a friend in Union Square for a drink. The place kinda had a speakeasy feel since there weren’t any signs. Inside, it was richly furnished with deep wood and low lighting. The cocktails were wonderful; I had champagne with raspberries, which made me happy. My husband got a wonderful drink of prosecco, sorbet and a third ingredient that I have forgotten. Very tasty. It was a lovely place to end the day.

That’s all for now!

 

NYC Spring 2016

Now that I’ve finished talking about our trip to France and England, I’m going to spend the next couple of weeks talking about my recent trip to NYC for Easter.  NYC is one of those thrilling places that I love to visit. I’m glad I live in Chicago but NYC is always fun.

Our first day there, we decided to go to the Frick Museum. Since it was a relatively nice and sunny day, we walked from our hotel to the museum next to CEntral Park on 5th avenue. Spring was already making its mark in NYC. We think that Chicago might be two weeks behind NYC. The magnolia trees were wearing their full glory while tiny daffodils were popping from the soil. We passed the petting zoo so we saw all the goats sheep and the one llama.

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The Frick

The Frick was wonderful as always. For those of you unfamiliar with it, the house and collection were Henry Clay Frick, an American industrialist and art patron. The collection houses several Vermeers, Hans Holbein, and much more. The paintings are displayed throughout the house, mostly how Mr. Frick had it in his lifetime. So you have the wonderful combination of astonishing art with beautiful furnishing. I did learn that one of the most iconic rooms, the Garden Court, was actually an addition after his death. Mr. Frick had always planned for the house to become a museum and stipulated it in his will. The area that the court is located was actually a road that connected 71st and 72nd street. When he died, they converted the coach house and other buildings to make space for visitors. The Garden Court is truly a gem in the building. I think Mr. Frick would have approved of it.

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Garden Court

There was a Van Dyck exhibition going on, which was interesting. Initially, we thought it was just the exhibit in the basement where we saw lots of his drawings. I find drawings moderately interesting. Later, we discovered there was a wonderful room filled with his paintings, which was superb. They did have a few drawings there so you can compare the drawing with the final painting.

My favorite room is the Living Hall with its deep brown and green tones. Framing the fireplace is Holbein’s painting of Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell on the other side. Above the fireplace, there is El Greco’s St. Jerome. Other works include Chinese ceramics and wooden furniture. It’s really a masterful room.

After our time at the museum, we decided to find some lunch at EAT on Madison. It’s a bakery/restaurant. We shared a chopped liver sandwich that was really quite good. For dessert, we had a really wonderful warm pecan pie.

We were only a few blocks away from the Met Breuer, which had opened a week previously. The Met decided to buy the building where the Whitney used to be housed and apparently will use it as a contemporary exhibition space. The building is a classic example of the awful Brutalist style that was popular several decades ago. Ugh.

The major exhibition, however, was rather fascinating. THe theme was “unfinished” works of art. It started with the middle ages and Renaissance. Very neat to see paintings where only a part of it was painted while the rest are drawing lines. There was a particularly haunting painting of a beautifully dressed woman without a face. They also had this Van Gogh painting that took me a moment to figure out how it was unfinished (how do you tell?). The sky was only a few blue brush strokes with the canvas peaking through. The painting was one of the last he did at the end of his life. Presumably, he would have finished if he hadn’t committed suicide.

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“Unfinished” at the Met Breuer

The second floor of the exhibition was a more contemporary and creative look at the theme. There were rooms dedicated to ideas similar to “Unfinished” like infinity or decay. It was moderately successful. I did scoff at a Pollock (how do you know it’s done?) but it made sense that there was a Pollock in an exhibition like this. I think this part of the exhibition was less successful than the first floor. They had a one woman show of Nasreen Mohamedi, an abstract artist. It was moderately interesting. I liked one or two of her early work but the rest didn’t do it for me. Alas.

The next stop was Soho/Bowery. There’s an artisanal market that I like going to in the Village called “Market NYC” but it’s only Friday through Sunday. Since it was Thursday, there was an alternative space in Soho that we went to check out. It’s a lot smaller but there were interesting artisans vending their crafts. Leather bags with eyes, animal head rings, mustache and beard wax. It was fun. We then took a lovely stroll through the area. I loved all the street art. We found a hole in the wall place that had bite sized cupcakes for a $1. I tried the cotton candy cupcake (less than two bites) that was quite lovely! Eventually, we ended up in Union Square for sushi, which was lovely.

 

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Art in the Bowery/Soho

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More Art

It was a fine way to end our first day!