Thursday, May 22, 2008

New York. Part 3.

It seemed like the theme of the trip was day of rain leads to a decent day leads to a day of rain. Tuesday was pretty shitty. So I went to the Met. If you're in New York, go to the Met. Don't pay full suggested price though. I did and I felt stupid about it all day. I don't know though. I felt a bit guilty cheaping out on the 20 bucks.

I think you could spend a good couple of weeks just touring the Met. There's so much to see, of so much variety. And it's absolutely filled with beautiful spaces.

You have your classical junk (I'm kidding, of course), which goes on for-ever-and-ever.

You have your modern stuff, which is not quite as expansive a collection as the MOMA, but pretty impressive in it's own right.

And I think the most impressive is the turn of the century European art collection. Oh. Look. A room of Van Goghs.

And a room of Monets.

I got soaked walking home and I didn't think there was any way the ball game was going to happen. We met up at Grand Central, had a beer in the Oyster Bar in the basement and then headed for the game. When we popped out of the subway tunnel it was a fairly nice night. We missed the top of the 1st and, unfortunately (not because I'm a Yankees fan, but just because it would have been nice to see an actual game), the score was already 7-0 before the Yankees even hit. Here's Ruth and Peter.

Here's the view from the cheap seats that I bought. They were supposed to be 35 bucks a pop, but I somehow got them for 5.

We then snuck down to some 80 dollar seats and it was much nicer and warmer.

And a bench clearing fracas ensued and people cheered like you wouldn't believe. There was no punches thrown though. Watching every run across the field from the bullpen to join in was pretty funny.

The ball game itself was actually kind of dull, simply because it was out of reach. But it was still a really fun time. There was so much going on. The peanut guys can throw peanuts about 50 feet up a steep incline and hit a lap with no problem. People busted out a genuine Bronx Cheer for the Yankees on numerous occasions. And, most importantly, I got to see Yankee stadium before it gets torn down. What a fuckin' dump.

I made Ruth wake me up so that I had a full day in New York. I still somehow didn't get out of the house until 11:00. The sun was out so I headed straight to Central Park for my long awaited nap. I can't explain with words how wonderful it is to nap in Central Park. It's this monstrously happy place where everybody gets along. Kids run around playing. People just chilling out. It's fantastic. I had to use a lot of self control to not pick up Lenny's on the way there. I wish I had.

This picture is from last year, but you get the idea.

From there I decided to walk to the Whitney, which kind of sucks as far as New York museums go. They don't let you take pictures so I had to take a few from my pocket just to prove a point.

The permanent collection was fairly small. The Whitney Biennial was on and it took up most of the place. It was okay. There was some pretty cool stuff, and some pretty bizarre shit.

From there, I walked down to Bloomingdales and looked for some pants. Didn't end up buying any pants.

As my day wound to a close, I decided I would hit up the Museum of Natural History for its last hour. It's such a great place. I walked to Columbus Circle and caught the train. Unfortunately...I hopped on an express train that didn't stop for 60 blocks. I ended up in the bottom end of Harlem and decided to walk home.

Now, Harlem isn't actually all that bad a place. However, it's pretty much impossible to grow up with constant TV/Movie reinforcement that Harlem = The place where white people go to get killed, and not feel a little bit on edge. I know, I know. That sounds a bit racist. But I didn't perpetuate the stereotypes, did I? I just allowed my brain to accept them. So I made it out of Harlem and walked by the Seinfeld diner at 112th and Broadway. It's not super exciting.

Then I walked home and packed.

So, Ruth and Peter were flying home on the same flight as me. By the time we got to the airport, things were pretty crazy. Ruth and Peter checked in before me and managed to get seats together. By the time I got to the front there was only middle seats available. Was Cathay Pacific finally failing me?

I went and bought a couple of bottles of booze and approached the counter to see if my seat could get changed. They gave me a window seat and as I boarded the plane, I realized I'd gotten the prime 2nd from the back row seat, where there's 2 instead of 3 and a nice, long aisle up the side of the plane for my legs. Cathay comes through again. Except the woman that sat beside me farted a lot.

So. Now I'm home. How do I feel about that?

Well, I feel a bit inspired and a bit empty. It's hard to visit a place where there's so much going on and not feel a bit empty once you leave.'s also nice to leave a place where you're so obviously a nobody.

For me, the greatest thing about New York is the incredible feeling of discovery with each passing moment. You literally can't turn a corner without discovering something new. I think it would actually be kind of sad to live there and have all these wonderful things turn into pedestrian banalities. I think it's pretty special to be able to visit a place and completely disappear within it for a week at a time.

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