My third day in NYC I bought a 7-day bus/subway pass which allowed me to get on and off buses and subway trains as much as I wanted. It was great. I got my pass at the 34th & 5th Ave. station and then hopped on and went up Lexington to the closest stop to the Guggenheim Museum. Along the route I met a lady who was going because she was also a Frank Lloyd Wright fan. I passed a school named after Robert F. Kennedy and took a picture. There were lots of tulips blooming everywhere — in the middle of the boulevards and in square planters along the sides of the streets — and apple trees were in full blossom. Everything looked lovely — as if spring had finally come.
The day itself was rather drizzly on and off. There was a great, long line-up at the Guggenheim so I first went across the street to take my own picture of the building. Like my trip to Colorado, I wanted to have my own pictures of these famous places that I had long admired. I was less interested in what was inside the building than I was in the building itself. I was pleased that I had created my own “Go Pass” online that gave me entrance to the Guggenheim, the Met Museum, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and the Twilight City Cruise around Manhattan. I showed my pass to a Guggenheim employee and was sent right inside to a much shorter line. I was in in no time at all. I did see a number of exhibits including the photographs of Carrie Mae Weems and watched one of her movies in the basement but I was there for the building and the FLW tribute which they advertise as being long overdue. Not only overdue but rather minimalist. The basement level is very nice but you’d think they could have put it somewhere more prominent for the genius who provided this incredible building which is a major work of art in itself. They had pictures, archival letters and blueprints along one wall of the corridor that leads to the theatre and the research and computer labs. It’s a wide corridor painted white like the upstairs and is nicely done, I just expected something a bit broader and more accessible. You had to go to a second floor gallery and go to the back of it to find the elevator that takes you down to the basement.
From the Guggenheim, I walked into Central Park and bought some lunch from a street vendor of which there were many to choose from. There was lots going on in the park — skateboarding, bicycling, dog-walking, even a young man with bubble liquid in a huge pail and he would dip 2 poles about 5 ft long into the liquid, bring them up, pull them apart, and presto, gigantic bubbles. After eating, I strolled down to the Metropolitan Museum. There were people all over the massive steps in front — eating, reading, finding their next stop, taking a break from walking their dogs — and even more food vendors along the sidewalk near the road, as well as a saxophone player busking. There were groups of students, families, couples, singles — people of all ages. It clearly was THE place to be! Inside, I used my GO Pass again and was quickly into the exhibitions. I began with the Egyptian collection, ancient Egypt being one of the favourite things I taught back when I was doing that. Lots of really interesting sculptures, statues, sarcophagi, and whole buildings with wall murals. It was amazing.
Another favourite part was the Medievael Armour section. Life-size mounted knights on a wooden plinth down the middle of the gallery with heraldic banners hanging along the sides above. It was all very impressive. Also many beautiful stained glass windows from churches and homes. I lost track of time and got some wonderful pictures.
When leaving the Met, I was able to get a short video of the sax player that I think you’ll enjoy. (As you see, I’ve finally figured out how to include videos.)
Central Park was delightful! An old tower rises up through the trees somewhere in the middle of the park called Belvedere Castle. Very narrow steps going up and mirrors mounted so you can see when the way is clear. It gives a great view of the city skyline beyond the park. Also, there’s a lovely stone bridge across a part where the lake narrows. Just near the Central Park West exit there is a tribute to John Lennon that people still place flowers on and at the park entrance by Columbus Circle there is a giant golden lion which I got a picture of on Saturday. Hope you enjoy them. Tomorrow — shopping, Lincoln Center, and The Circle in the Square Theatre.