Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ECRT - Days 6: Mostly Manhattan

Metropolitan Museum of Art

When I called my sister Carol, she suggested that we meet at her favorite place, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  There's an exhibit of work by the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen which she wanted to see.  I said, there were two things I had to do in NYC - have a slice of pizza and have a real deli pastrami sandwich.  We agreed to meet at the Met around noon - inside or out depended on weather and how Nick & I did with the train and the subway.

I probably haven't mentioned our cute little red Kia Forte that's gotten us up the East Coast.  It's worked out well for us, holds both red suitcases and various stuff.  I should put up a picture, of course I took them.  Also, haven't mentioned traveling with an Orienteer and a computer means that I only have to read the directions and navigate.  Nick does all the research, hands me the maps and off we go.  Today, he figured out how to get to and from the Rahway train station without making any dreaded U-turns on Route 1.  It actually all went quite well.  We're seniors on New Jersey transit - between us we figured out how to purchase four one-way tickets to/from Penn Station in Manhattan.  It did involve two short street hikes to/from the subway.  But even that worked out because we came out next to a pizza place selling plain slices for $1 each.  The guy was annoyed when i asked him to split the slice in two (Nick didn't think we needed one each, he later agreed we should have) but was happier when we left a tip.

We found the subway, got our passes, got to the upper east side, found Carol (who is looking good!) and headed to the exhibit.  For those who don't know, two things about McQueen:  He committed suicide last year and it was his second-in-charge person who designed Kate Middleton's wedding gown. Seeing McQueen's work - often stark, very edgy, I understand why fashion types were expecting something less conservative for the royal wedding.   The exhibit is fascinating,  My favorite parts were the video chess game played by models in his work and the dress that was finished live with the model/actress standing on a rotating stage while two robot arms sprayed paint at her. She was wearing a sleeveless, very wide dress, which was belted above the chest with a 2" buckle belt.  OK, so I was fascinated more by the video and the engineering.

The three of us, Carol, Nick and Esther, entered the exhibit together with a zillion other people. Nick waved to me as he went around the first corner and we didn't see each other for about 30 min.  He waited at the inevitable exit-mini-shop.  He says I was about 10 min behind him.  Carol and I stuck together much longer - but eventually I emerged before she did.  From there, we went down to the cafe to have lunch and just visit.

We agreed that everyone got to pick and exhibit.  The Guitar Heroes was right by the cafe and of course, I wanted to see it.  This was about the makers!   Somehow we did it backwards so didn't see the Stradivarius violin and mandolins until the end.  There was a well-done video of one of the masters making a guitar.  I watched it twice, once with Nick and once with Carol.  Nick's choice was to see the armor.  That was quite cool as well - diferent times and cultures represented, including for all us Highlander TV fans, Katanas (Japanese Swords.)

 And then there was my favorite odd moment.  Carol had to make a business call.  So we found a quiet place where she could sit.  Nick decided this was a good time to check in with his sister Karen (our next destination).  So there I was just strolling around checking out various exhibits to my heart's content.

A New York Experience

Jonathan, Carol's son and our youngest nephew, is in New York for 10 days between sessions at college.  When he heard we were considering having dinner at one of his favorite places, Arti's Deli, he agreed to meet us.  Then Carol reached Francesco, Roberto's brother (both are Caren's sons) and he decided to meet us as well.

But we had to take the cross-town bus to get there.  I've only ever taken the bus to the Bronx zoo.  We walked two blocks from the museum, with our umbrellas and rain coats and got in line with everyone else.  We worked our way on and whoa was it a bouncy ride.  I figured out why when I got to sit down - we were in one of the two-part accordian busses.  I was actually sitting in the first seat behind the moving part. It's a circular bit of floor that somehow rotates around corners.  I couldn't quite figure it all out but was fascinated.

We got off at the corner by Arties just as Jonathan walked up and Francesco hopped out of a cab. The five of us had a great time together - F&J get really funny around each other,  and I got my lean pastrami on rye.  And then, the time came to go.  Hugs all around and Nick and I were off again back to Avenel via Rahway.

A side note:  about this point, we were both carrying multiple extra swipe cards - our train tickets, the Metro Passes, our room keys and the parking garage ticket.  There's a not positive message in all this - but we won't go there now.

Coming up:  Liberty Island, the Hubble telescope and Broadway theater!



At some point when I didn't have computer access, I realized remembered something I wanted to share.  For the sake of those who might have already read this post, I'm just adding it on here.

Back at the Museum, it was always understood that before leaving, we would go to the shop. They have an amazing, large shop, full of books and cards and prints and items with the logo or various artwork.  The cat items alone could further overflow our overflowing house. 

It took Carol and I all of ten seconds to agree to go up to the sales section on the second floor.  I had already decided that the only thing that would save this blogging effort was to get a small pad or something on which I could keep jotting down notes. I had also told Carol that when the $60 Guitar Hero messenger bag, $60 was seriously marked down, I might like it.  Well, upstairs we found one for $30 but I decided against it.  I did find a set of three passport sized notebooks and did get them.  It was weird because these items were still full-price elsewhere in the museum (it's large with many shopping opportunities)   I also found a fabulous black T-shirt with a dragon embroidered down one-side marked down.  Very classy!  With Carol's discount, even better.

When I opened the notebooks - it turns out one is lined, one is blank and one is music staved.  I'm happily making notes in the lined one.  Angela, my soprano and music teacher gets the music.  The sketch is up for grabs.  Did I mention they all have a photo of a hand-made guitar on them?

Nick and I had one final thought on this day - we are totally museumed out!

© 2011 Esther A. Heller

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