Friday, February 05, 2010

Right then, it's Fore-Spring

We went to New York. It was good. Not only did we fail to need to kill one another, we often enjoyed one another's company.

Tourist in New York
Our hotel and my father, looking like a Hopper painting LBJ photo

My mom had found a hotel that gave us two rooms (I could go to sleep!) for $149/night. My parents had the one on the street side and were not happy with the noise or the mattress, and though the hotel had a $10/day internet scheme the room was in a nearly dead zone. My room was quiet, my bed was fine, and we had a microwave and a tiny fridge so I had proper early morning tea. I loved it.

And my parents liked the Danubian exhibition, which, as well as being small but choice, was free admission.
Hamangian figures
Funerary figurines. At least they were from a grave.
We regretted not taking more pictures, since we didn't know they were allowed as long as they were not with a flash. Although the NYT article has an excellent slideshow, they left out my favorite bowl. It had a little naked clay couple in the bottom of it.

We ate simply. My father is allergic to gluten and my mother doesn't do dairy, and the smell of the pizzerias we passed wafted unanswered. The price of NY restaurants was breathtaking (a very nice unspecial lox and onion omelet was $12.95, but two eggs any style was $7.95) and the portions were too big. But it was tasty, and I like the Bialy very much. Something like a cross between a bagel and an English muffin.

We went to the opera, as my mother loves the opera; my daughter imported herself from New Jersey and joined us at Lincoln Center. I am not much for concrete structures and I missed the gorgeous pseudo-classicism of older concert halls, but it was not bad inside despite having no murals of half-naked people.

Swarovski crystals are always welcome. LBJ

The opera itself was Stiffelio, a strange tale of jealousy and maybe forgiveness among the 19th c. Protestants. This had an unfortunate effect on the costumes (black) and all of us wondered why Verdi thought it had been a good idea to write. I thought a couple of zombies would have helped a lot, or some poisoning or an elephant. Apparently you are allowed to have opera without any of these. I am told they sang very well. I don't think I am made for Culture, at least not High Culture.

The Silk Road Exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History (why here?) was okay, but for me it exemplified many of the stupidest tendencies of modern museum-ship. It had a couple of interactive things (mostly broken machines to 'stamp' your 'passport;' some much better perfume amphora to smell) and a lot of 'gee! look!' kind of commentary. But they were trying to describe a long stretch of caravan route over several hundred years, and as a result I had no feeling of any place at any time, and it was bit like generic Orientalism, which was almost certainly not what they wanted to do. On the plus side, my father had never heard of the place and said it was a decent introduction. I'm a history snob, I guess.

But the book store was great, containing several of my favorite books in a very select sample, and I bought The Mind in the Cave.

One way and another we ended up at MOMA without time to look at the museum properly, so we did the tacky but satisfying thing and went to the gift shop(s). They were overpriced but delightful, and now I know where ThinkGeek gets some of its stuff.

We were very lucky with the weather; I have been so very cold in New York, and although it was sometimes a little breezy, it was mostly above freezing and sunny, very walkable. I love New York. I was sad not to see Beckett (LOTS of police presence, though, and nasty murder on the TV)or Mia but it was pretty cool anyhow. It started to drizzle as we made our way to Penn Station.

I like travel by train. I took the bus from Concord to Boston and back, and that went very seamlessly as well.

Then I came down with my father's cold and had to sleep all last week. It was a fluent headcold. My brain was on hiatus; I have found great comfort in punctuating the Castle transcripts at the Dustjackets wiki. And the transcribers say they are delighted since they are just trying to get the damned things written out and to hell with the hyphens and commas!(shocking.) They are otherwise really fine internet friends. Since I have been trying to finish a regular plain-vanilla (except for the soapboxes, which taste about as good as you would suppose in a vanilla confection) police procedural fanfic, the wiki has been useful. I am not going to defend fanfic right now, but of course I wouldn't feel like it if it weren't several rungs down from pulp fiction. But it feels good and leaves no marks so I am doing it (and at least I'm not a furry). (You should look at the link in the previous sentence, it might weird you out or it might make you give the Smile of Recognition).

And last week I went to the SCA market in Manchester, but my cleavage would not behave and I felt like this. I behaved well and only bought a cup and a bowl and a book.

And now I must be human, as there is the SCRAP party tomorrow. Every year lately we have it in the NHDHR office building, which has no possible sightline for a decent photograph, although it does have heating (which is why we no longer have it in the much more picturesque State Library, which does not have heat on weekends). There will be food, and I must make some.

And finally, on a seasonal note: I survive every winter hanging onto Groundhog Day, or Candlemas, or Imbolc, when I KNOW the light will have improved, and by Copernicus, it has! Still light at 5pm, the analemma is making it hard to sit by an SE window between 8:30 and 10 am, and this morning a chickadee made the first 'Hey, Baby?' call of the year.


Carter said...

That picture of me entering the hotel is gorgeous. Had I known you were taking it, I'd have turned around and smiled. :-)

How's the cold? Mine is slowly getting better.

Lots of love,

Imperial Daddy Sir

Laurie said...

Quite the commentary, and yeah, I just got somebody else's cold too. Mine is not getting better.