Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Serendipity Sunday in NYC

Sunday, October 9th, 2011 Frick Collection

We enjoyed our lazy Sunday morning before leaving about 11:00 am to ride the bus over to what’s known as the Museum Mile because of all of the different Museums, including the Metropolitan Museum. There were fewer buses running today so we had a longer wait but it finally arrived and we were off on our journey.

Our destination this morning was the Frick Collection just south of the Met. It is a wonderful collection of a private individual displayed in his home. Every Sunday morning we discovered during our Internet surfing, from 11:00 to 1:00 pm, admission is “whatever you want to pay” and includes an audio player. I was amazed how many people were just giving one dollar. But we did have to stand in line for the privilege of the reduced fees.

They had a special exhibit on Picasso’s drawings which was very interesting. The rest of the downstairs of the Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) home was devoted to the art work that he acquired during his lifetime with additional works that have been donated over the years. He was such an avid collector that he had a large gallery built as part of his home to display his acquisitions. Frick was known as a "robber baron" by many of his business associates because of his business practices...not illegal but on the cutting edge.

Upon leaving the Frick Collection we walked further north past the Met to the little Austrian Art Museum called Neue Galerie. We had gone here on Wednesday and missed the tearoom. Arrived about 2 pm and had to wait for a table in the Café Sabarsky. We enjoyed a delicious lunch/early dinner before starting back to the bus for a trip downtown and the Empire State Building.

Jim had not been up the Empire State Building so that is our one really touristy thing that we are doing on this trip. Our timing was good and there was hardly any line when we arrived. We purchased our Senior Discount tickets for $20.00 each and headed for the elevators. That had a line because everyone had to pose for a photo before heading up. The first elevator went up to the 80th Floor. Then off and around to another elevator and another twenty minute wait. We considered doing the stairs with the younger people….it was only six more flights….but the guides wouldn’t let us…too much gray hair I guess. But, glad we didn’t.

Once up we weaved in and out to get the various views around the four sides of the building observation deck we again started to get in line for the first elevator…suddenly they announced that you could walk the first six….they again said we should not but we did and did just fine. Then it was back in line for the final elevator!

We decided to find the Brasserie Les Halles, made famous by Anthony Bourdain, a famous chef that once worked there , who is an author and television star. As we walked from the Empire State Building we spotted the Flatiron Building (so named because of the shape of the building) and walked a bit further south than needed so that we could get a better view. Along the way we took a photo showing the water towers that are on the top of the buidings. It is a good example of the water system for NYC. We've learned that EVERY building...old or new....has a water tower on the top. Often it is camouflaged by design...but it is there even if you can't see it. Every so many years they have to replace them as they are made of wood.

Then as we headed east, we passed another Egyptian obelisk and then discovered Madison Square Park where we knew from reading David McCullough's new book "The Greater Journey, Americans in Paris"... that there was a Farragut Monument by Saint-Gaudens….what a serendipity walk we’d made! And we finally did arrive at Les Halles. Still full from lunch we each had a beer, a basket of bread and I ordered an apple tart with ice cream….so good!

Finally called it a day and found the north bound bus for an easy trip to Mid-Manhattan and our apartment. It was dark by the time we’d picked up some things at the store and arrived home.

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