Folds in his Cossack
May 27, 2017
|After a good long sleep, we awake about 7:30, showered, dressed, and went down for breakfast. It was very chaotic - people everywhere carrying food or searching for it! C found a table in the corner and we all had cereal, fruit and yoghurt, plus eggs and toast. Then we made coffees, and took them up on the roof and sat in the sun - J took a few more photos of course.
I had my photo taken with a typical NY backdrop - fire escapes! We then went to the foyer where J booked tickets for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They printed out after some whirring and clanking. The Concierge was astounded and said that he hadn't seen the printer working before! J and C wondered what would have happened if the tickets hadn't printed! The idea was that there would be no need to queue at the museum. ( famous last words!)
Next stop was the subway station at the end of the street. It was not obvious how to buy some 7 day tickets, so J asked - strangely they had to be paid for in cash. So we then ventured forth and jumped on the first suitable train that we hoped was heading up to Times Square. After a few minutes we hopped out and were there. People everywhere, bright signs and billboards, theatres, and as well concrete barriers, and many police, some armed with automatic weapons. We passed the area where the people had been killed quite recently in a vehicle attack. J and C had their photos taken with people dressed as Muppets and Disney characters, for which tips were required. Then a short walk to the uptown station to Central Park.
We were in luck getting the right train, and detrained at the Natural History Museum which is opposite the park. At last some space and greenery after the claustrophobia of the midtown streets. We strolled down Central Park West watching the passing parade, viewing the apartment complexes, and looking across to the park. We walked as far as the Dakota Building where John Lennon lived. Across from there in the park was Strawberry Fields, a sort of substitute for a Lennon grave (there is none) - it is meant to be quiet and reflective, but was not so. Even someone playing guitar and singing Across the Universe off key - J thought it a pity he wasn't sent across the universe!
We then spent a couple of hours wandering through the park. It is very green and wooded, with large rock features, lakes, and numerous meandering paths. Through gaps in the trees you could catch reminders of the city. Many birds seen and heard, many squirrels, turtles in a pond, and of course thousands of people. Surprisingly, every so often you could be on your own and feel as if you were deep in a forest. It is a holiday weekend, so there were many families with children. We saw some who had built a bridge out of tree branches - J was impressed.
Time for some lunch so we stopped near the large oval where food was available - J had to have a Dog with sauerkraut and mustard; C had corn chips with salsa and cheese sauce. A bit more walking and we came on the famous bridge (the one where the always find bodies in Law and Order!) called Graywacke Bridge. Just around the corner and we reached the Met.
It was a huge building, the front steps full of people. We had to queue to get through the door, then we were told to queue at a ticket counter - after a ten minute wait, we were told we had to go to a different counter. Then we managed to exchange our vouch for tickets and we went in.
It is a huge gallery and we only scratched the surface. We first went to the European art section - Italian, Dutch, French and Spanish. Many famous artists and sculptors - Ruebens, Picasso, Pisarro, van Dyck, Matisse, Vermeer; the list goes on. We also spent time in the modern art section as well. We were looking at a painting by an Italian artist called Guercino, and C commented on the detailing in the clothing of a religious person. "Look at the detailing in the folds of his Cossack" she said - then corrected herself to say Cassock! J knew that he had the title for today's Tassiegolly!
We had a long winded trip back to the hotel. Walk to Park Lane and down to the subway only to find no downtown trains. So we caught an uptown train, got off, then got a downtown train all the way to 28th street. Then it was only a few blocks to the hotel. Our feet were killing us ( well mine weren't because I was being carried!)
After a break we had a simple tea nearby - pasta, pizza, salad - then back to the hotel. There must be a Police Precinct nearby - J counted about 8 police vehicles parked in the street.