I say last three, but in reality it’s more like two since I came down with a random 24-hour stomach flu on Monday while visiting Dreyka’s hometown of Rutherford, New Jersey. Her family was really great taking care of me, this random sick girl from the Midwest, giving me a bed, medicine, and chicken noodle soup. Miraculously the next morning I felt fine, if not a bit weak, and was able to go back to the city. After dropping my stuff off at my cousin’s place in Brooklyn Heights, I took a train to Chelsea to check out the galleries. I had two in mind I wanted to see, but of course the one showing Rachel Whiteread was closed, womp, but luckily the Gagosian was open. Which meant I finally got to see the Jean-Michel Basquiat show. Which was mind-blowing. His work is the type that you have to see in person: to get up close and then take ten steps back and observe from afar. The aggression and immediacy of his work is hard to describe, but once you see it you get it. Anyway, after spending a long while there I started making my way to The High Line, but on the way ran across the Chelsea Market. I had no idea this market was a thing, but it is everything I love: sandwich shops, wine cellars, spice stands, bakeries, and souvenirs out the ass. I spent at least 30 minutes looking at jams and chocolate alone and then another solid half an hour watching all the people bustling about. I loved it.
Finally I removed myself from the marketplace and continued onto the High Line to walk the near 1.5 mile pathway across the old New York Central Railroad to get an awesome view of the upper west side, gardens, and graffiti. It was a peaceful walk that I could only imagine being idyllic in the summertime. I enjoyed my time walking across the old tracks until it started to rain a bit. Of course by the time I got back on the street the sky cleared up, so I walked to Washington Square Park to read while I waited for Dreyka for our afternoon tea reservation at Sanctuary T in SoHo. Sanctuary T is a cute little tea room that does breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as Tea for Two, which provides any tea from their extensive menu and a tower of toast and pastries. It was an awesome break from walking and sightseeing and the overstimulation natural to the streets of NYC. Plus we got to shove our faces with crostini topped with garbanzo puree and kale as well as nutella stuffed doughnuts, as any lady would do. After that we exploded SoHo and Chinatown and meandered around Little Italy, salivating in the windows of bakeries and pizzerias until I went to meet my cousin at her place for wine, after which I immediately passed out.
My last day in NYC was spent with Dreyka, jotting from museum to museum. First we hit up the MoMA in hopes of catching Tilda Swinton sleeping in a glass box, but sadly she didn’t feel like napping that day, apparently. We did get to catch an awesome Munch exhibit where we both fell in love with his “Madonna” with its concepts of sexual power of women and conception. It’s sexy and aggressive and I love it. Inventing Abstractions was the other main exhibit at the museum, which mainly displayed the works of Kandinsky, Picasso, and Franz Marc, among others. After the exhausting time in the MoMA, Dreyka and I walked a few blocks so I could be a true tourist and eat a Magnolia cupcake. Honestly, I half expected it to be overrated, dry, and standard, but my German Chocolate cupcake held its ground. Especially the icing, which, you know, is easily fucked up and essential to the cupcake experience. Then we skipped along to the Met. I. Love. The Met. Even though I would have really appreciated three more hours there, I saw a lot of what I came to see. Although the Costume Institute was closed for some reason, their main exhibition, “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity” reminded me of the Costume Gallery in the Palazzo Pitti as well as the Americans in Firenze exhibit I saw in Florence.
After the Met closed I had to make my way back to my cousin’s apartment to pack up and head out, grabbing one last slice of pizza on the way. I can’t wait until my next excursion out to the city to see my girls and cousin and even more of the gems that NYC has to offer. Any one have any suggestions for my next trip?!