A Small Bite of the Big Apple

NYC was a blast. It was a very short visit last weekend, but we packed a lot into such a short time.  I went with friends, Colleen, Cathy, and Marilyn and had a terrific time!  Who knew temperatures would be in the 60s in December in New York City?   You may wonder what one can possibly see in just three days’ time.  Below is my personal answer:

Friday

We started out the day at the 9/11 site, but realized we didn’t have enough time to see the Memorial Museum in the morning.  We changed our tickets for a later time.  We then went up into the new 7 World Trade Center Building, where we visited Casey Family Programs.  The wonderful staff there told us about their experiences on September 11 as we looked over the NYC skyline. L1330012

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View from top of 7 World Trade Center, home of Casey Family Programs

View from top of 7 World Trade Center, home of Casey Family Programs

We then had a delicious lunch among the delegates at the United Nations.  We had to go through strict security and then were escorted to the dining room.  There was an Italian Food Festival taking place and the whole experience was outstanding!  After lunch, we walked around, saw the Meditation Room and the artwork in the lobby and surrounding grounds.

United Nations

United Nations

Sculpture: Globe, gift from italy, and Reflections

Sculpture: Globe, gift from Italy, and Reflections

Textile Art at the United Nations

Textile Art at the United Nations

Chagall at the United Nations

Chagall at the United Nations

Back to the 9/11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center.  Words that come to mind?  Powerful, solemn, sobering, death and survival, human dignity, valued human life, extraordinary compassion, triumph of the Phoenix Rising.  I am glad I went and I think it is a visit everyone should make, but only once for me.  It was distressing to relive the horror of that fateful day.  Exploring the museum was like being in a labyrinth.  At the nucleus of the structure are the most disturbing features including haunting voice recordings, one from the 105th floor: Mom, I just want to tell you I am ok. The other tower just got hit, but our building’s ok.  We left and quietly went back to our apartment rental at Central Park West and watched a relaxing cooking show on Netflix!

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Names surrounding the Reflecting Pool. Family photo near father's name.

Names surrounding one of the two outdoor Reflecting Pools.  Family photo near father’s name.

Two steel structures, remnants of the World Trade Center, like two arms reaching for the sky.

Inside the 9/11 Memorial: two steel structures, remnants of the World Trade Center, look like arms reaching for the sky.

Saturday

We started out the day at the Brooklyn Museum, where we saw the exhibit, The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago.  When Judy Chicago began thinking about The Dinner Party in the late 1960s, there were no women’s studies programs and no women in history courses!  The Dinner Party is a feminist art masterpiece.  Chicago came up with the names of 1038 women who made history in the world.  She then set a table for 39 of the women.  The women were chosen based on the following criteria:

  1. She had made a worthwhile contribution to society
  2. She had tried to improve the lot of other women
  3. Her life and work had illuminated significant aspects of women’s history
  4. She had provided a role model for a more egalitarian future.

30 individual place settings dazzle the eye and each place setting uses a variety of traditional women’s crafts such as beading, embroidery, lace work, and cross stitching.  To add to the uniqueness and power of this great work of art, each woman has a unique plate at her place setting. The plates are either in the shape of a shell or of a vulva.

I admit I felt ashamed at how many names I did not know or recognize as I walked around the table.  For example, I had heard of Hypatia, but I didn’t really know who she was:

Hypatia, (born c. 355 ce —died March 415, Alexandria), Egyptian mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who lived in a very turbulent era in Alexandria ’s history.

And that is the beauty of this work:  many significant historical women are now alive in my mind because I had to do some research and give life to these lost sisters of history. More information

The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago

The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago

A shell plate for Hypatia

A shell plate for Hypatia

Tenement Tour and Museum:  Definitely a highlight.  Our tour guide, Julius, took us on a historical and modern day tour of the tenements.  We ended up near Katz, a long standing deli where we wanted to eat.  The line, however, was more than one block long and wrapped around a corner.  We decided to go to Russ & Daughters Deli instead and enjoyed it a lot (thank you, Carol and Rebecca for recommending it)!

Scenes from the Tenement Tour (highly recommended!)

Scene from the Tenement Tour (highly recommended!)

Street Murals (Tenement Tour Scene)

Street Murals (Tenement Tour Scene)

Mural

Mural

Katz

Katz

Russ & Daughters

Russ & Daughters

Sunday

The warmest day of them all -in the mid 60s- started at the new Whitney Museum, where we saw a comprehensive retrospective exhibit by Frank Stella.  His work is grand in scope.  Paintings, sculpture, prints, reliefs, drawings, and maquettes graced room after room.  We then went up to the 8th floor to see the work or Archibald Motley, a Jazz Age Modernist, one of the most important Harlem Renaissance figures.  His paintings depict an era and a slice of life from Harlem, Chicago, Paris, and Mexico in the 20s.  The new museum is light-filled and spacious. It overlooks the Hudson River and bicycle trails along the river.

Frank Stella

Frank Stella

Frank Stella

Frank Stella

Frank Stella

Frank Stella

From the Whitney, we walked the High Line.  I can say that New York City has a pulse and I really felt it while walking the High Line!  Rick and I were last in NYC shortly after 9/11, when the city was stunned to silence. Back then, there was a vast sense of sadness permeating the air.  Not this time.  I felt the throbbing heart beat of this risen Phoenix filled with people, a rush of humanity.  Everywhere you look, you see murals and public art, new buildings being built, and the city sky line dotted with construction cranes.  New York City is unlike any other city in the world with its bustling energy and its vitality.  How I enjoyed this populous, magnetic, and cosmopolitan city!

Scene from the High Line

Scene from the High Line

a whole lotta building going on at the High Line

a whole lotta building going on at the High Line

At 3pm, we went to the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater to see China Doll, a play by David Mamet, featuring one main actor, Al Pacino!!  The play got several scathing reviews, but I was hell-bent on seeing Al Pacino on stage and the play turned out to be fantastic! Of course, Mamet’s plays can be bleak, but I can now say I was within spitting distance from Al for 2 hours and 10 minutes ( you know how you can see the actors’ spittle fly in the air?).  Raw emotions, charged energy, shocking ending and some of the best stage acting I have ever experienced.

Ah, a much needed drink at the bar, Joe Allen’s, in bustling Times Square.  It is a place where actors go after their theater performances.  Though we didn’t see anyone famous (was kind of wishing ol’ Al would show up and casually sit next to me at the bar!), I did get to meet Marilyn’s dear friend, Larry.  I felt as if I have known him my whole life.  We had the nicest time.  And though Al Pacino didn’t make his way over to Joe Allen’s, I did end up sitting next to another ol’ chap whose name was Sam.  He was all alone, in his late 60s perhaps, very cultured and gentle and we spoke of his work in theater.  He said he comes to Joe Allen’s every evening after work, has done so for the last 25 years and then goes home and makes dinner.

We topped off my last evening in New York City with dinner at Shun Lee.  This was definitely the best Chinese food I have ever had in my life and I would be a regular customer if I lived in New York City!

thump thump thump

thump thump thump

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One Response to “A Small Bite of the Big Apple”

  1. Barbara Lenhart Says:

    Your email address has disappeared from my contacts, can you resend privately? I sent two emails that didn’t get sent.

    Liked by 1 person

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