I think I should admit right now that my attempts to have this trip be any sort of cultural adventure have been an unqualified failure. First there was the whole MOMA/closed on Tuesday thing, and then I didn’t make it to even one Broadway show (my original plans had been to try for two, including the much longed-for but yet-unseen Spamalot, currently starring Clay Aiken). And today, my day to explore Uptown Manhattan, during which I planned to visit the Greek and Roman galleries at the Met, which I missed last time, became instead a day of sleeping, smoked fish and turtles. But I did manage to acquire an absolutely tremendous number of free books, so I guess that counts for something.
As I mentioned, last night Lisa and I had an evening of epic super-fantasticness, with the cocktails and the prociuto and the prosecco and the fabulous pizza and the wine, and yet I woke up this morning with only very minimal negative consequences (primarily a somewhat dry mouth, though that may be attributable to the incipient head cold/allergies), which I feel supports my belief of water as the best hangover preventative. Unfortunately, I also woke up rather late, when the alarm on my ipod, which is set for 7:45 California time, went off. So, between that and buying my train ticket to go to DC on Saturday, pretty much took care of my morning and then some. Which meant that, aside from my breakfast Coke, I didn’t have anything to eat until I made it to Barney Greengrass (“The Sturgeon King”) on the Upper West Side at one. And by then I was hungry enough that I didn’t care that I was ordering the same thing as every other tourist there, and there were a lot of them, all eating our bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon. It was good smoked salmon, anyway.
It’s true that, had I gone directly there after lunch, I would have had time to do at least a partial museum visit. But, the thing is, it was a nice day, and it seemed like a shame to waste this outdoor weather on indoor activities, so instead I went to Central Park.
I believe I am on record with being relatively unimpressed with what many New Yorkers apparently believe to be the finest display of nature in the known world. The truth is, it’s a nice park, a beautiful one, even, but relative to, say, Golden Gate Park, it is small and artificial, with a tragic shortage of redwood groves. But, on the other hand, in a place where a front yard is unheard of and true wilderness is barely a distant dream, I would see how a place like that could take on a certain special appeal.
So I spent most of my afternoon wandering around there, and I enjoyed it. I particularly liked the Turtle Pond which, as its name suggests, is absolutely lousy with turtles. At first you don’t see them, and you think maybe it was just a marketing thing, but then you start being able to pick them out and your realize that there are turtles everywhere. It is almost, but not quite, turtles all the way down.
Aside from the turtles, probably the highlight of my Central Park experience was coming across some sort of fashion shoot. Two models, a man and a woman, were standing stiffly in their fashion-y clothes while a group of people in vaguely Sixties/hippie garb came up and leaped behind them and a man lay on a pillow in front of them taking pictures upwards. This scene repeated for a while, and then they picked everything up and moved to a different part of the lawn to do it again.
Tyra can talk about energy and fierceness all she wants, but I think the real key to being a model is the ability to not get bored. That, and being very skinny.
Anyway, by the time I had seen as much as I wanted to see of the park it was too late for any sort of meaningful museum time, so I started to head back, window-shopping in the way-too-good-for me stores along Madison Avenue along the way. I did stop in at one store, where I tried on a pair of teetering four-inch heels with gloriously art-deco style crystal ornamentation. I never had any intention of buying, at eight hundred dollars they were outside even my range of temptation; I just wanted to see what it was like to were something that fabulous. (It was nice, but uncomfortable.)
In the end, I decided that as much as I like looking at this world, I don’t belong there, so I got myself a cup of cocoa and a blueberry muffin at a tiny little coffee shop and caught the subway back to the apartment to get ready for the Edgars.