Day Two in New York City, I started the day by taking the subway to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and booked a ticket through to Hartford, Connecticut for the 27th June. Then it was on to the West Village to meet my friends’ (Jane and Cathi Ogden) lovely cousin Sara. Once there, we wandered around the tree-lined streets and lunched at Café Blossom, a vegan (no food containing animal products) restaurant and swapped life stories for a couple of hours.
Normally my diet sides more towards my inner tyrannosaurus but my meal at Café Blossom was not only aesthetically pleasing but delicious to boot. I ordered beet carpaccio (small confession: I originally read it as, beef carpaccio thinking maybe raw beef was okay for vegans?), herbed cashew ricotta, marinated figs, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic drizzle.
Next on my sightseeing agenda was a trip to the World Trade Centre site and 9/11 Memorial. I doubt anyone will ever forget the horrific and senseless terrorist attack that occurred on the 11th September, 2001. Two hijacked planes bound for Los Angeles were deliberately ploughed into the twin towers, in less than two hours the buildings had collapsed, taking the lives of almost 3,000 people. Today, the site contains two pools surrounded by cascading water. Called “Reflecting Absence” they are set within the footprints of the Twin Towers.
Walking south towards the Staten Island Ferry terminal, I stopped to admire Arturo Di Modica’s 3,200kg bronze sculpture, “Charging Bull” in Bowling Green Park near Manhattan’s Wall Street Financial District. A symbol of aggressive financial optimism and prosperity, the sculpture is over three metres tall and nearly five metres long.
A short walk later and I was boarding the Staten Island Ferry. Running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it is a free service that connects Staten Island residents to Manhattan it also enables tourists an excellent view of the internationally recognized Statue of Liberty. Designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and presented in 1886, it is a gift to the United States from the people of France.
On my return ferry journey I sat next to a Californian family (Nanna, Mattie, Jess and Shay) who invited me to join them for dinner. We all enjoyed a delicious meal on Pier 17 and then journeyed to Eately in the Flatiron district for a very welcome gelato.
The next day I was ready to escape the noise, frenetic pace and general sensory overload of New York City. I walked down 5th Avenue, under the shade of Central Park trees until I reached the MET (Metropolitan Museum of Art). What a sanctuary it was.
|Temple of Dendur|
|The American Wing|
|Magnolias and Irises, 1908 by Louis Comfort Tiffany|
|The Houses of Parliament (effect of fog), 1903 by Claude Monet|
|Irises, 1890 by Vincent van Gogh|
|The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer by Edgar Degas|
|The Horse Fair, 1852-55 by Rosa Bonheur|
Founded in 1870, it houses a massive collection of art and artifacts from around the world. I spent more than five hours soaking up the visual and intellectual feast before me. I stopped for a sandwich in the American Wing Cafeteria and was joined at my table by two retired English teachers; Ruth from New Jersey and Marcia from Massachusetts. They were a wealth of information and I joined them for a tour of the American Civil War (1861-1865) exhibition.
Reluctantly, I dragged myself away from the MET, concerned that I would run out of time to visit The Frick Collection. The collection was assembled by the Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919) and is housed in his former residence on Fifth Avenue. The museum opened in 1935 and contains an extensive collection of aesthetic antique furniture and beautiful art by old world masters. Gainsborough, Turner, Constable, Rembrandt, Holbein, Whistler, Goya, Manet, Monet, Degas, Renoir and Titian were just a selection of great works I saw.
Feeling recharged from my tranquil day immersed in art and history, I decided to walk on down to the famous department store of Bergdorf Goodman. While in the store I chatted with Sammy, the makeup consultant at the Edward Bess cosmetics counter. As it turned out, the young man himself was there and Sammy took a photo of us together and then proceeded to make my face up with his range of cosmetics.
Like my mother, Sammy was concerned my entire makeup collection only
ran to a couple of sticks of lipstick…
|Me and Edward (about to put his products to the test)|
|Look Ma, I'm wearing makeup!|
My final stop for the day was a brief visit to Macy’s, the world’s largest department store where I bought a clean polo shirt (I’d had no time to enjoy a NYC Laundromat) and a small cup of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.