Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New York, New York. New York?!

Twice in a week, even!
This was Mr. Wonderful's first trip. We went into the city on the Sunday morning following my Monday Fashion Week visit. Sunday is an excellent time to have a poke around if you're new to it. I say this like I know. Having been there a whole four times myself, I am apparently now an expert.We took the train from our hotel in Stamford into Grand Central Station.
We headed out onto the street with a loose objective in mind. So loose I can't remember what it was any more. Whatever it was I promptly got us lost with the assistance of my iPhone, and we found ourselves wandering around a bit confused until we stumbled on this:Radio City Music Hall.
Then more stumbling around yielded this:Times Square.
And this:Rockefeller Center.
And this:5th Avenue at St. Patrick's Cathedral on a Sunday morning with dudes with big guns. No, I don't know why. And no, they and their guns didn't really concern me much, beyond wondering who we were fussing over. I never did find out. At two other churches on 5th there were similar gatherings of dudes with guns. Maybe this is just a typical Sunday in New York. Wouldn't want to show up at church without my body armor and my AK-47.Inside the cathedral is breathtaking. I need to go back with the good camera. I'm not even Catholic and had a sudden urge to genuflect, spit out a few Hail Mary's (yes, I know it), cross myself and light a candle.
Wandering onward, we suddenly found ourselves in familiar surroundings.Even in Manhattan the mouse finds us. It felt like World of Disney at Downtown Disney Marketplace, really. All the same stuff but without the 2.5 hours of air travel, thousands spent on hotel and meals and park tickets. I get the same feeling from Disney stores. I seek them out in malls to ease my mall fatigue (I hate malls). A little mouse is always good for what ails you.
Anybody know what this is?Yup, that's Tiffany's!
At the Apple store we found a very Hollywood Pomeranian - click on her for the full effect.This actually made me wonder where he got this stuff, and would Dazee wear it, particularly the glasses.
This was the intended destination, the reason we'd come,The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I may be the only person in my reading audience who's seen just about all of the Sister Wendy series formerly on PBS and now on DVD. I adore her. I have a secret goal to visit every museum from every show she's ever recorded. Shh, don't tell anyone. It'll just be between us, right?
We paused for lunch and Mr. Wonderful found out first hand about the cost of live in the city. It didn't help that we ordered drinks.I had a very yummy Maelstrom Martini, which is named for the exhibit currently on the roof of the Met:This is Roxy Paine on the Roof: Maelstrom, or at least one small bit of it. While Gene hung over the side of the roof staring at endless city vistas I was entranced by the twisting flow of this. At first it feels chaotic, but a moment of stillness reveals this strange peace about it. Difficult to describe, but as we say around here "I know what I like, and I like this."
Back at our hotel the next morning there was a roof display, too.This is the "Jobs Mister Wonderful Will Never Have" exhibit at the Hilton in Stamford.
Oh...why...what have we here? Is this a blue box? A gift for me? and a gift for him too in the little white folder.I think it's nice that they give him something too. It would feel very one-sided if I got my little blue box and he didn't get something out of the experience.
After a delightful (no really, they actually had real oatmeal) breakfast at the Hilton we headed to see Lyme Guy who gave me more drugs and no good news, or maybe it is good, I am not sure, so we'll skip that and move onto the best part of the day - The Eastern States Exposition!
Also known as the Big E, this fair runs from September to October.I never went as a kid, but lots of my friends did. When my kids were young we got free attendance homeschool vouchers from our support group and started attending. I love it. There's so much to see and do, and I always wish I lived closer so I could go more than once. There's a ton of agriculture here, although no poultry which is sad.
We saw sheep,some of whom were a bit envious of their neighbors who'd just been fed.
There are miniature replicas of the state capitols of the New England states along the Avenue of States. Each state building contains native products and vendors displaying a wealth of local goods. My favorite state is probably Maine. They have baked potatoes for sale, tourist information and most importantlysalmon on a stick. This is about the best smoked salmon I've ever had and it's traditional that I go back for some every year. Mmmm! I also stop in Massachusetts, who's prime crop appears to be state police and lottery tickets, for a pickled egg. I jest. There is much more to Massachusetts than lottery and state cops. Vermont has the most amazing but I can't have it any more flatbread pizza which they prepare for you in a wood-fired oven right in the building, and a Ben and Jerry's scoop shop. New Hampshire has maple products and catnip from Harvest Thyme Herbs in Dublin. Mel prefers Mice Dreams. Rhode Island has quahogs in various forms - chili, fried, you name it. Connecticut has...well...Timex watches? I always feel sort of bad for Connecticut.
Please Don't Feed the Penguins!They love Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Mr. Wonderful gladly obliged.
We stayed late enough that I got to watch the free for all horse pull. I have not seen a free for all in ages.A free for alal is pretty much just what it sounds like, only with rules. Any team, any weight class, although usually it's just the big guys. I sipped a "glass" of a wine I call "French Poodle Chardonnay" (because if it really is, then I am one...) and Mr. W had a draft Budweiser which is alleged to be beer, but I have my doubts there. The final pull was, I believe, 16,000lbs. which is something in the order of four of my car, maybe five. The winners were a team owned by Durgin and Cole, which takes me back to my childhood when the name Durgin was heard in the draw pits at the Franklin County Fair every year.
We finished the night with a quick roam around the midway and bid the Big E goodnight.I headed to the car with a caramel apple in my hand, fingers sticky, the smell of barn in my hair, and just happy to be alive. I feel that way a lot lately.
More fall adventures this weekend: Lexie Barnes sample sale at her studio in South Deerfield and Linda Burt's (well, Linda and family's) Pioneer Valley Vineyard will be opening for the season. If you need me from 10am-5pm on Saturday, look at those places! And then on Sunday we're attending the Garlic and Arts Festival where I'll be scrounging for new seed garlic to add to my own, and tasting all manner of good things like garlic ice cream and sauce so hot it should be illegal.
I think autumn in New England is about the best thing on earth! Or do you have something better near you?


booksNyarn said...

It's amazing what you find when you get lost, isn't it? :)

We are supposed to go to the Big E this weekend - I may need to bring waders. :(


Yarnhog said...

Busy, busy, busy! I used to love fall in New England, back when I lived where there was weather.

I am in the middle of a 24-part lecture series on the art of the Met, and now I am dying to go see it in person. May never happen, but I fantasize, all the same.