2 friends, 4 days, little money, lots of food: Heather and Zach in NYC during July 2007.
Wednesday July 11, 2007
Our bus was scheduled to leave at 10:30pm. This meant that I was supposed to arrive by 9:30, but there was traffic on the way home from work, my cat wanted cuddles and the Ville-Marie Tunnel was closed on the way back into town because of those lovely fireworks I have yet to see this year. This means I was ten minutes late. Luckily, Zach was not, so he saved me a spot in line before dashing off to pass his paycheque the minute I arrive.
The bus ride down was relatively uneventful. When asked by U.S. Customs what was in NYC, we responded, “What isn’t?” It’s a response I am particularly proud of considering it was past midnight and I was past my prime hours of wit (if I have any to begin with).
Sleeping pills are a wonderous invention. We didn’t even get up at the pit stops.
Thursday July 12, 2007
NYC’s Port Authority is quite the monstrosity. Intimidating as hell it takes a page from McGill’s books by not placing maps of the building’s lay-out in even remotely strategic places. We didn’t get lost though. Just felt a tad bewildered, which Zach OF COURSE blamed on the sleeping pills rather than having been jostled around on a bus for 7 hours to be thrown into an urban swamp of unfamiliarity.
Found the Chelsea Star Hostel with little problem and then headed out, on foot, to the EJ’s Luncheonette on 72nd where we split a plate of gy-normous flapjacks (yummers) and each consumed a black-and-white milkshake.
Fueled up on sugar, we wandered over to the Met another 10 blocks away. We made a bee-line through the “new” Roman and Greek sections (Andromeda and Lucrezia were highlights), actually did our best to avoid the medieval section (but I ran into both a stunning wooden Madonna and Child and bronze “La Frileuse” [see pictures]) before heading up the stairs into the European Painting Sections.
My thoughts on the Met, after having now been privileged to visit the Rijksmuseum, the Louvre, the Musee D’Orsay and the Uffizi galleries are as such: It has a beautiful collection with works from most of the great artists – but not the masterpieces by those artists. I kept turning corners and not recognizing works by artists I can usually pinpoint from miles away. I didn’t know I was looking at either a Rubens or a Botticelli…how can you not recognize a Rubens?
Luckily, the special exhibition they had was the Clark’s Brothers’ Collection of Impressionists. Woot! Renoir and Degas among others. I was pleased. Very pleased.
We decided to go down to 14th St. (Soho) to shop for Zach (with relatively little success mind you). We lost track of the time and realized we were not going to make it to our Comedy Club (tickets already bought and reservations made) so we walked through Washington Square Park (avoiding the lecturing epistemology-guy to Zach’s chagrin) and went for showers at the hostel.
Dinner was pizza at Arturo’s in the Village. It was a bit of a let-down. VERY good, but not worth the money. Maybe it was worth the ambience of jazz in the background, low lights and the Village crowd. I am undecided. We gave our leftovers to a homeless guy and headed back to Washington Square Park to listen to some free music before heading in for the evening.
Our first night in the city that never sleeps saw us in bed by midnight.