Sun. Sept. 9, 2012:
I wanted to sleep in so badly, but there was still so much to see and it was our last day in New York City! I hastily packed up my bags and ran downstairs to get some Dunkin’ Donuts coffee- while Brent kept sleeping. I rushed back and started getting on his case: there was so much to see!! We left our bags with the concierge and headed out for our last day in the city. We cut through Grand Central Station on our way to the Waldorf Astoria; I was feeling remiss about not having gone in to see the interior. I wanted to see what it actually looked like, whether it was as depicted in the movie Home Alone 2. It was not, at all. The floors to the elevator were carpeted; there is no sliding across carpet into a closing elevator.
Our next stop was Ess-A-Bagel, in the lobby I had looked up the address to it. From across the street we spotted it- and the giant line snaking out the door. Moving on, I was starving and could not wait to get to William Greenberg for some black and white cookies. I still have no idea what they have to do with New York City, all I can say is they are scrumptious. The cookie was borderline a dense cake, and the icing on top was just thick enough to not be too much. A woman walking by even commented that it looked good. And it was not just because I was starving that I was so crazy about the cookie, it really was a delicious cookie. I cannot say the same for the brownie, it was subpar.
As we walked to the Metropolitan Museum of Art we passed by The Whitney Museum and there was a line out the door and around the block. This worried us a bit; what if there were as many people at The Met? Thankfully there was no huge throng of people vying to get in. We got there just before noon; we had plenty of time to see everything. We did not have to leave until 6:30 to head back to the hotel. We set out at a leisurely pace. We had decided to follow the room numbers this time so that we would not miss anything. The first set of rooms was all sorts of cool Egyptian stuff and I learned so much: for instance, the problem of house hippos goes back to Ancient times, who knew? I thought it was only Canadians who were affected by it during the 1990s. It was really weird to transition from Oceanic art to a Dali painting and then back to other artifacts. There was a painting by Munch on display and it hit me: I only knew of his one painting, I had no idea what else he had painted; I had never seen it before. In the modern section there was a weird mirror piece by Anish Kapoor, sadly it did not hold a candle to Cloudgate (The Bean) in Chicago. As if we were not sick of him, there was even more Degas works. I can only look at so many sculptures and paintings of dancers before they all start looking the same. At one point there was an entire room of a house on display, and being the geeks that we are we both correctly guessed that it was Frank Lloyd Wright’s handiwork (the uncomfortable looking chairs were a dead giveaway).
We had to stop for lunch in the café; there was no way we were going to make it out of there with time to spare to stop en route to the hotel. Something that no one seems to mention is just how large The Met really is. We spent six and a half hours in there and we finished the first floor, but barely even made a dent in the second floor. There is just so much stuff on display and such a large variety, it is unimaginable. They have entire interiors and exteriors of houses, the storage area where they keep stuff that is not on display has been turned into a display showing how they store stuff, there were even some door hinges on display and there is an unbelievable amount of little tiny shards of stuff even! My legs and my back were killing me, I was so tired. And the exhibit halls just kept going on and on, there was no end in sight. We eventually had to forfeit and leave, lest we miss our flight. The Met bested us: in order to see everything we would have needed an entire day, from open til close.
We walked a little bit north so that we could see the exterior of the Guggenehim Museum, because it was designed by our favorite: Frank Lloyd Wright of course. We walked back to the hotel through Central Park so that I could see the Alice in Wonderland statue and carousel and Brent had wanted to see the Sheep Meadow (which does not have any actual sheep in it, I am sad to report). There was also a weird obelisk in the middle of the park. As we walked we saw a weird sight, weirder than the obelisk: some LARPers engaging in a battle. There were about as many people off to the side just staring and watching out of curiosity. The Alice in Wonderland statue was covered in kids, climbing and crawling all over it. The lake was full of people rowing around in little boats. The carousel was actually closed, there were doors around it and I couldn’t even get a glimpse of it and the band shell was blocked by construction.
The walk back to the hotel was so unbearably exhausting, my legs were throbbing. It felt so good to sit down in the hotel lobby while waiting to get our bags back. Equally nice was sitting in the cab, driving to La Guardia airport, going over a suspension bridge instead of the smelly tunnel. La Guardia airport, at least the terminal we were in, sucked. There was no promised Five Guys Burger, just a lame pretzel shop. It was not all bad, I did get to sit some more: that was nice. On the plane we did not have seats together. I was stuck beside a zombie of a woman. She kept falling asleep and slowly leaning over, falling onto me. Back home when trying to get through Customs, the guy asked me if I had bought anything, I answered truthfully: no. He raised an eyebrow, I, a woman, had not purchased ANYTHING while in New York City?! And I responded in a deadpan: no, I am broke. He laughed and waved me through.