|Cindy Sherman in one of her famous "film still" photos|
Much to our delight although it is raining in Toronto, it is sunny and warm in NYC when we arrive. We have to find a better way to get from Newark Airport to Manhattan. We fly from Billy Bishop Airport on the island via Porter Airlines and land promptly at 10am; however, finding the airport shuttle, boarding the shuttle and disembarking just outside the New York Public Library, finding a cab to the hotel ... all this takes two hours before we arrive at our hotel the Cosmopolitan. More about the hotel later ...
Starving, we wander down Chamber St. and hit upon Baluchi's Indian Food at 125 Greenwich Ave. We are in luck! We order chicken vindaloo, chicken tandoori, butter chicken, nan, rice and peas and a mango shake for less than $40. Our lunch is half price and mighty good.
Cindy Sherman at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). We have been following Sherman's work literally since R and I met in university. Still find the b&w movie "film" still photographs captivating as well as newer photos of the aging, affluent matriarchs from 2008 just before the economic downturn arresting. The crazy clown photos (c. 2008) and the sex photos (early 1990s) do not appeal to me although I admit that I am a Philistine and appreciate the beautiful more than I do the hideous in art. R and J wander off to the photography section of MOMA. I sit and contemplate my new shoes meditatively. Even though they are especially built for comfort and walking ... they are new and require a bit to be broken into.
From the sublime to the ridiculous ... We promise the kid that we will visit M&M's World, just north of Times Square. For me, that place is a nightmare cocktail of very loud, bad pop music, chocolate, candy and tourists. I enjoy all of those things but not all at once.
And Times Square is really dispiriting. I really dislike the way they have created this big lounging space on the street for us dumb-ass tourists so we can schlub around in our flip flops and shorts stuffing our faces with junk food. I saw a 1938 b&w photo of Times Square at our hotel. It was really striking in that the huge advertising board that marks the centre was the most stunning image in that space. Now everything is set on stun, there are so many electronic displays that you are overwhelmed by the visual cacophony.
|An old school image of Times Square|
Cab home (after asking three drivers to take us, the first two declining our fares, what's up with that?) ... rest then take the subway to a great Japanese restaurant we found last time called Tataki, 3 Lispenard St., in Tribeca not far from the hotel. It's not beautiful or trendy but the food is very fresh and plentiful even if the staff is somewhat lackadaisical.
We walk north up Broadway. J wants to return to Yellow Rat Bastard, 483 Broadway for some T's and tank tops. I want to go back to The Strand Bookstore at 12th St. & Broadway. I pick up some lovely books: a new copy of Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway; I Was Told There'd Be Cake, a collection of essays by Sloane Crosley; Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and a slight volume entitled First Love by Turgenev. R and J are a bit worn out so they wait for me in a cute new coffee shop called The Bean, 824 Broadway, across the street from The Strand. Cab home ... luckily for us, a taxi driver finds us worthy enough to take home on the first request.
P.S. The Cosmopolitan Hotel is a sad affair and deceptively photographed on its website; it has very small rooms and minuscule bathrooms in which only one person may stand (if that). No closet (just an iron bar to hang clothes on), no fridge, few toiletries (all of them cheap); the street outside is unfortunately torn up for construction and resembles a war zone; the window faces ... a brick wall (not uncommon in NYC). Oh well ... the only plus is the free NYTimes in the lobby and a pleasant staff.
NYC: Saturday, June 2, 2012
What a fabulous day! Sunny and warm with no hint of bad weather. We have a great, if slightly expensive breakfast at the Cosmopolitan Cafe, 125 Chambers St., which adjoins the hotel. Eggs, pancakes, brunchie items, orange juice, great coffee!
|Weegee at work ... one of the photos included in the exhibit|
|Bryant Park outside the New York Public Library|
|The original cover|