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Manhattan, Thursday

Short form: long island to manhattan; cloisters, dinner and broadway. Yes? Yes.

We left dan's parents' 10:30. Arrived at Penn Station 12:30. Checked into hotel near Grand Central; caught the subway up to the Cloisters, the A line up to 190th Street. I meditated, listened to Tapestry podcasts. One had the gem pointing out if we're lucky, we get 80 years- 1,000 months. This sort of stopped me in my tracks, and was one of the filters through which I spent the rest of the day. I guess last week was my 475th?

We got off the subway into a park, which led to a castle made in the 1930s to hold medieval world art. I spent a while looking at gorgeous 800-year-old chess pieces. They were found in Scotland; they think they are Norse. One of the rooks seemed to be a Berserker, chewing the top of his shield. The kings and queens looked  adorably nervous.

Saw wonderful medieval sculpture, tapestries, and paintings; then we caught a bus and the subway back to hotel.

Dinner at "Craft": simple foods, done expertly. I ordered squash ravioli with sage, then scallops (with a Meyer lemon hollandaise) and brussels sprouts. Dan got raw tuna, then swordfish (no longer overfished, it seems) and kale. My favourite of the mains were the scallops- having now had two incarnations of dry scallops to die for, they might be my favourite seafood. Maybe. Deserts: 3 kinds of ice-cream (olive oil ice cream: just OK). But dan got doughnuts, with Meyer lemon curd dipping sauce and dark chocolate. These were the Best Doughnuts Ever. I have never had a transcendent doughnut experience before, and didn't realize it was a possibility. Just wonderful.
Drinks: I tried a sparkling wine from North Fork Long Island (very good); dan tried a citrusy mixed drink. With dinner, I had a taste of "Gruvurtz grape  juice" but, um, it was way too sweet (as I guess you might expect; but our waiter was happy to let me try it). And with desert I had hot chocolate, which I realized in the first sip was gilding the lily. Ah well. So tasty.

Then we caught the train to 42nd avenue and saw Follies. Bernadette Peters was amazing; the show was neat, and leaves me thinking once again about choices we make in our 20s that we live with through our 50s and onward. Thankfully, I have a less dramatic set of choices and mistakes than the leads of this show- I haven't been pining for my best friend's partner for the last twenty years!

Today? Well-seized. 


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 31st, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
The Cloisters is always one of the locations I recommend to visitors of New York. It's a little out-of-the-way so not everyone takes the time to see them. They used to have a great Pet Elevator at the subway stop up there, but it's since been taken down. :( It's even better in summer when the gardens are in bloom.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC)
I am somewhat puzzled at the idea of a Pet Elevator, because it sounds much more specialized than (say) a human elevator...

I have heard great things about the Cloisters in summer, especially the medieval gardens... I've been twice, both times in winter! Ah well, I expect I can go back some summer!
Jan. 3rd, 2012 02:41 am (UTC)
Oh! I got lost while looking for the link and forgot to tell you what the Pet Elevator was...

On my first trip to NYC, I went to the Cloisters by myself. The station seemed abandoned, and the only way up was by elevator, which did not sit well with me. So, I pushed the button and waited, while searching for another way out. When the elevator door opened, there was a guard sitting at a desk with a fan and a radio inside. And on the walls where hundreds of pictures of people with their pets... all donated by subway riders in the neighborhood. Several years after I moved to Manhattan, the MTA made them take it down. I've always secretly hoped that it was still operating. Those pets made me feel safe a way that a mere guard in a uniform never would.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 04:09 am (UTC)
Ah, yes, I can see that being more cheerful... I don't remember specifically what art was in the elevators on this go-around, but it wasn't particularly cheery.

I imagine that station, when unoccupied by anyone else, would be pretty damn creepy.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )