Sunday, May 25, 2014

Oh, I Think So in New York City

I needed a vacation, I'd been saving for a vacation, I wanted to take a trip and go somewhere.  I wanted to go to Europe but everywhere I wanted to go was either a great airfare and expensive hotels or else cheap hotels and costly airfare or a flight would have been at 6 a.m. or I just didn't want to go there.  What to do?  Where to go?

After thinking and pondering, I finally found a hotel at a good price in a city I wanted to visit.  I stayed at a hotel in Brooklyn and I visited New York City.  It was excellent, y'all.

New York really is the greatest city in the world, a nonstop rush of people and things and scents and sights and sensations and feelings and tastes.  It is a crush of humanity and it is in your face.  I mean this:  In.  Your.  Face.  That's just what I like in a vacation -- something that is not like where I am.

One day I went to not one, not two, but three major art museums.  I started out with the Brooklyn Museum, just a few subway stops from my hotel.  There was a major Ai Weiwei retrospective.  He is very political which was totally different from the show by Swoon, also there and called "Submerged Motherland."
Moon Chest, Ai Weiwei, in detail

Moon Chest by Ai Weiwei (the holes are meant to remind us of the phases of the moon)

Swoon's Submerged Motherland
After a few hours at the Brooklyn Museum, I went to the Upper East Side and after lunch of a delicious lobster roll, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Temple of Dendur.  I'd never seen it.  Now I have and it's pretty cool.
Temple of Dendur reflecting pond

I also saw the gowns portion of the Charles James costume exhibit.  Wow!  What dresses they were!  No photography of any sort was allowed -- too bad.  There were gowns that had twenty pattern pieces in the bodice and the skirt was four very cleverly sewn pieces.  There were computer simulations of how the dresses went together.  There were cameras that swooped around and then under the gowns so we could see every part of the skirt and the many underskirts.  It was fantastic.

Of course, I'd not had enough and on Fridays, the Museum of Modern Art is free from 4pm to 8pm.  Their permanent exhibit is almost unspeakably good.  The number of people jammed in there was almost fire-hazardly.  No matter -- I saw great art and we all survived.

I am fascinated by people taking pictures and like to take pictures of them taking their pictures.

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh and the closest I thought I'd get to it
I then thought THIS was as close as I'd get (but I did get closer)

The Frida Kahlo Corner

Willem de Kooning.  I just liked it a lot.
The next day I did answer the riddle "Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?"  Grant is and his wife, Julia Dent Grant.  Side by side.  And over the entry to the tomb is a quote from Grant:  Let us have peace.

Later that day, I went to the dance parade. Dozens of dance companies from around the New York area -- and the country, really -- come to do their dance thing for about two miles.  It's a cool thing to have tap dancers followed by Estonian folk dancers followed by Michael Jackson dancers interspersed with many San Simon groups and hula hoopers and stilt walkers, just to show what their dance company does.

I didn't get their name, but to me, they're the Von Stilt Family Strollers
 The morning I left, I was determined to walk on the Brooklyn Bridge -- right by my hotel -- and I did.  A lot of other people had the same idea and many bicyclists, too, and they are not so pleased if you happen to go from the walking to the biking lane.  But the views were so worth the earful!

About 1/3 of the way across -- Freedom Tower to the left.

Extreme closeup of what I saw from the Brooklyn Bridge
It was a wonderful trip and I was sorry to leave.  If what you like in a trip is to have a town be all up in your video then you need to plan a trip to New York and go there NOW.

Next week, I'll have the movie of the musicians in Union Square.  They were talented and surprising and you'll see why.

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