Monday, January 21, 2008

Getting out of New York, Dec 27 or 28 and 29th.

So New York:

Photobucket And a Flickr gallery
Well, Ellie and I went to Battery Park, where she said to the unresponding crowd that whatever they were waiting in line for, it COULDN'T be worth it (the ferry). We had done lines the day before.

So we went to the New York branch of the Museum of the American Indian. It is set in the old Customs house, from an architecture of a triumphalist, solid, beautiful bygone day. We visited an exhibit on the Indians of the Northwest Pacific Coast. We enjoyed it (even though it was not Roman and was, I suppose, modern. But not modern rubbish one bit). It displayed beautiful, useful, and interesting objects softly lit, very well labelled, not crowded, and FREE: it was very good. As was the gift shop, where I only bought three books, a t-shirt, and a mola for Doug.

Before we had much trouble with the feet as bleeding stumps, and because I wanted to encourage my polite but not necessarily a wild fan companion to continue being so courteous as to not sulk and to ask interesting, solidly ethnological questions --basically, because she wasn't bored yet and I figure she'll let me come back if we ever do this again-- we left for lunch at the Cozy Burger and Doughnut

Photobucket, where we had egg salad and chocolate milkshakes (I had mine malted). After that we did not need to eat again the whole day. We went in search of Kate's Paperie, which is near the hotel, apparently, not where it was on our map; of a shop rhapsodized by the NYT, which we did find, and it was okay; of an additional bag, which I did not get the most practical one ever. We had ended up with the Daughter not carrying a purse or backpack, which would have been fine except that I ended up with her wallet and her water-bottle and the guidebook and the subway and bus maps, as well as the camera, my wallet, my knitting, and my water-bottle, some emergency food, the kleenex, the sudafed, the pocketknife, just a few things to make life more civilized... anyway,it was heavy and I wanted to split it up. The bag is a lovely red linen with one pouch (not enough) and no structure and the strap was so long the bag hit Ellie in the back of the knee. It is, however, very beautiful and one can carry a lot in it. We managed a more equal distribution of luggage.
I bought it from a very nice man who spoke perfect English. He was from Tibet but lived in Nepal. Some people have less luck with governments than we do.

While searching fruitlessly for Kate's, largely because we were around there, so we thought, we came across Pearl River, the place where everyone in New York can buy their Chinoiserie (and a certain amount of Japonaiserie). It was huge, two stories with a loft, and full of things in bright colors: clothing, slippers, wall scrolls, Chinese New Year's decorations, and everything you need for a fairly nice Chinese restaurant. It made me happy. I wanted to wander. The daughter followed me silently, keeping me from buying things I didn't need like a visible superego. I had assumed the daughter was being polite, when she announced that she liked this store and the tea sets were remarkably inexpensive... It wouldn't have been the suspicion of anyone I know that it would be she, not I who came out of New York with a teaset, yet there it was. They wrapped it securely in ethnic newspaper and it survived all the way here (and I hope will make it back to Northampton).

We staggered back to the hotel and went to bed.

The next day was our last in New York. So we had to check out by eleven, and I had thought we should leave not before five pm. So we had the damned luggage. So we thought to return to the Met and check it. Wrong. The Met doesn't check suitcases, unlike the Museum of Natural History (where they are used to elephants packing their trunks, perhaps...). It was chilly but a sunny morning. After some discussion I established a secure beachhead with the luggage and my knitting and my Sansa not-an-iPod and NPR, and sent Ellie inside, where she found another whole room of Roman. She came outside to make sure how I was doing and we ate the lunch we had prudently bought at a deli on the way. I pointed out that if I were at home I would very likely have been knitting and listening to NPR, and it was nice there. She want back inside. Those socks got a lot done. Eventually she came out again, and gave me a chance to go look at the line to the bathroom, and also some very nice Egyptian paintings, and we were both happy. We headed to Penn Station, a little late to be as early as Ellie would have liked, but the train was an hour late getting in and by then we had had enough of being there early. It did not hurt, however, as the train was fully booked and we were able to get seats together.

I had a wonderful time. I liked travelling on the bus, where you could see everything, like the Chrysler Building and the New York Times Building and as much as I wanted of Ground Zero, and the names of all the places in songs (Seventh Avenue, Broadway, Herald Square, Uptown (with Billy Joel's Girl), Downtown (with Petula Clark), 42nd Street, and on and on). I liked travelling on the subway, which was fast and mixed modern mosaics with the original station decoration. There is food everywhere.
I would like to go back to everywhere I went. Only in better shoes, and not the week after Christmas. Conspicuous absence of fiber shops on this tour (daughter and I trying successfully not to test one another to destruction). I gather there are several other places I might enjoy going, as well.

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