Friday, April 13, 2012

I've Been [Almost] Everywhere, Man

I'm going to post this before we go to our last show, "Ghost," because I think my internet will run out before we return from the show. Our hotel, The Edison, has entries from both 47th and 46th Streets and this show is right out the door on 46th. "Death of a Salesman" starring Philip Seymour Hoffman is right out the door on 47th, and, when we were coming back from our show last night, there were about 100 people of all ages waiting at the stage door of that show.
Bob and I started out the day together at the market at Union Square. Then we split up, agreeing to meet at suppertime. Bob walked and walked and then rented a bicycle and biked and biked both in Central Park and the Greenway Bike Path in Riverside Park. He also got to eat at a Shake Shack, something I had given up all hope for as the line-ups are always so long.
The market at Union Square had some root vegetables, lots of greens, wine, elk, ostrich meat, baking, flowers, and bedding plants. Eight inch pies were $15 and they looked delicious.
I love how I lined up this sculpture called "Big Elephant" by Miquel Barcelo with the building behind it. I don't have a clue what the building is.
Then I found the Max Brenner ("Chocolate by the Bald Guy")Restaurant and ordered the dark, spicy Mexican hot chocolate just so I could have the fun of sitting in the cafe.

Not far from there was the Strand Bookstore which boasts it has 18 miles of books. I think they need to retally that, but there are definitely lots of books.
Look who I could have heard (and drooled over!) if we didn't have tickets to "Ghost" tonight.
Next I headed to Washington Square which was abloom ...
...and had wildlife ...
... plus an off-leash park that is perhaps a third the size of Weyburn's small dog part. I should have taken a photo of the chocolate lab who decided it wasn't time to leave yet when his master thought it was. The dog went into "down" position and really dug in. The poor woman had to yank with all her might to get him to leave...
... and there was great jazz. This group didn't even have a bucket for you to throw change in. They had CDs for sale and that was all.
Next I walked over to the first block of West 10th Street which is called the most beautiful block in all of New York. This was blooming in front of one of the buildings. Do you think it's magnolia?
The block really was lovely as seen here.
Then I caught the subway to the American Folk Art Museum on the Upper West Side. I was hoping for a quilt show, but the show was some of their permanent collection. Elizabeth, the following folk art will show you why I named you Elizabeth and not Liz!
There were a few quilts. Here is one displayed behind characters made entirely of pop bottle caps.
For all the times we have been in NYC, neither of us have ever been to the Museum of Natural History so I decided to go. It was certainly easy to find as I got off the subway train.

You can even gain admittance right from the subway. However, that entry had a log jam of people so I went around to the front of the building. There was another log jam and so I saw this much of the museum. I'll try on another trip when all the New York school children aren't on spring break.
I crossed Central Park to get to the Upper East Side. Here's how New Yorkers enjoy themselves when the temperature in April hits 64F.
Bob spotted a bridal party in Central Park yesterday and I saw this bride and groom and photographer entering Central Park today. The bottom of her dress was already grimy. Note her running shoes.
On the Upper East Side I went to two thrift shops; one was the Arthritis Thrift Shop which is supposed to be the best in Manhattan and the other was a branch of the Housing Works one. Definitely items were upscale. Some shoes were $50/pair. To me that isn't thrift! Almost all of the customers ... let me change that ... all of the customers looked a lot wealthier than I am. If I could have got it home unbroken, I would have bought this.
I have taken dozens and dozens of photos of flowers.
Bob and I had supper at the Edison Cafe. It is famous for being the model for the cafe in Neil Simon's "45 Seconds from Broadway." Neil must have been walking slowly when he researched his title because Bob and I can do it in about 10. Last time we were in the cafe it was all peeling paint, but it has since been redone.
Bob perused the menu and decided against the chopped livers and the bologna and liverwurst sandwich. We both said no to the cold borscht...
but I did have the matzo ball soup.
Here's a photo taken from our hotel room window. I love how the cruise ship looks stuck between the two buildings.
We better get ready for the show! See you in Weyburn soon!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my!

Nathan, my dearest grandchild, I know you have lots and lots of onesies but I really felt you need this one too. We'll bring it to you next weekend.
Before I get to today's photos, I have to dash Barb's wish to live in NYC. Here are some stats: the average rent in NYC is $3416/month. Soho is the most expensive with monthly rent averaging $8000/month. The fastest growing area of NYC is Brooklyn Heights and rents there have jumped 25% in the last year. Cost of living in Weyburn is looking good right now.
We started the day at the Bronx Zoo. It opened in 1899 and is the largest urban zoo in the world. I loved the old buildings, I loved the vegetation, and I loved that there were photos from the early years of the zoo ... ladies in Victorian era dresses looking at wild creatures were great.

We were there to see the animals though and this peacock was pretty impressive. I told Bob that if he would do the female peacock mating call, this boy would spread his plumes. Bob claimed he didn't know that particular call and then I remembered that it's my brother-in-law Marty who used to be able to do this.
In case you missed this photo on FB, I am repeating it here. I imagine this buzzard was looking at me and thinking, "hey, babe, you don't look that great either!"
The monkeys were really active and this youngster got the most oohs and ahhs as he played. At one point he jumped on his mom's back and she looked annoyed.
There was glass between me and this tiger! Thankfully! The zoo is very proud of their area called "Tiger Mountain" and rightly so. The animals have much room to roam and an excellent jungle environment.
The photo below is not indicative of how most of the Bronx is. This shows some urban blight but most of the ordinary part of the Bronx that we walked through was neatly kept projects.
Little Italy is now in the Bronx as Chinatown in Manhattan has swelled to take over most of what was Little Italy there. More about Little Italy in the Bronx in a few minutes, but first let's go back to Manhattan. Bob and I caught the subway back and headed to Riverside Church on the Upper West Side. It's a magnificent non-denominational church and we were there because we had seen in a guide book that you could take an elevator to the 20th storey of the bell tower (pictured below) which was correct. We also read that then you could climb 100-and-some stairs to get an amazing view of the city which was incorrect. The stairs were blocked off. So the picture you see of Manhattan is from the 20th floor. The building in the foreground is part of Columbia University. All of the stained glass in the church was beautiful.

Back at Times Square this Stanley Cup fountain was installed. Tap water is pouring from the fountain and you can put your cup under it and have a drink. Since I have been very anti bottled water for the last three years, I was happy to see this promotion of safe tap water. You can see the televisions mounted as well. You can watch the hockey playoffs right in the middle of Times Square.
Now back to the Bronx and Little Italy. We left the zoo and walked into the area that is Little Italy. In a guide book I had read recommendations of stores to check out. One was Teitel Brothers Grocery and this was their outdoor display. I can't imagine rebuilding it each day, but that's what they do.
We went into the Arthur Avenue Retail Market which had a number of vendors with their foods. Here you could buy tripe - if you aren't sure what tripe is, check a dictionary; I don't want to be blamed for spoiling your appetite by telling you what it is. In the foreground are pig knuckles, but I missed getting their price in the photo.
And here's some more food, and I use the word "food" loosely here!
A little farther along the aisle, there was food more to my liking ... good Italian sausage.
Here is some heavily salted fish in the same market.
We stopped at Arturo's Bakery and bought the following selection of cannoli, lobster tail, and almond biscotti. Glenda, this biscotti may look as pretty as yours but it isn't as tasty.
After Bob and I visited Riverside Church, we split up, him to walk in Central Park and me to check out a few more things I had read in guide books. I read that a visit to Fairway Fruits and Vegetables on Broadway was worthwhile if only to look at the mushroom section. Here it is.
All their fruits and vegetables were presented so nicely, stacked vertically; the stockboys must need physics lessons before they attempt to make the perfectly balanced presentations. Below are some of the fruits sold there that I'm not familiar with. I was hoping they would have passionfruit in stock but they didn't.
I also strolled through Zabar's and bought knish and rugelach. Yum!
Tonight was our night to see "The Best Man" with a number of stellar stars. Angela Lansbury's role wasn't huge but she played it well and her costumes were perfect. John Larroquette had the lead and his performance makes me wonder if he will get a Tony nomination for it. I preferred James Earl Jones in "Driving Miss Daisy" which we saw on another trip here. Candice Bergen was good too. After the show Bob and agreed that we prefer two genre more than comedies. Those two are musicals and serious plays which have issues we continue to talk about days after seeing the shows. Elizabeth, here we are talking about the type Live Five mount. With that said, I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled that I saw Angela Lansbury perform.
We've made no decisions about what we will do tomorrow, but we know whatever it is, it will be fun.