Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Weary and Foot-sore, I Am Home

Foot-sore doesn't begin to cover it. Trust me, never wear anything but your trusted, old running shoes when you go to a city that begs to be walked, as New York does. I wanted to be hip and current, so I wore my new chartreuse Keds slides, but they must not have wanted to be there, because they literally tore up the bottoms of my feet, which now feel like chopped liver and look worse.
What can I say about New York? Probably nothing that hasn't been stated and debated before. It is epic noise, dirt, and debris, but it is also fabulous architecture, museums and FOOD! More about that later.
We used every form of transportation known to modern society on this trip, except bicycles or Segways; planes, trains, taxis, rental cars and putting one foot in front of the other for miles and miles. The first day, our host had to work, so J and I walked. We saw Trinity Church, St. Paul's Church and St. Peter's Church, and no - we are not religious fanatics! J is into history and genealogy, though, and since he was born and raised in NYC, he wanted to visit the scenes of his childhood and those of his ancestors.
We went to Ground Zero, which looks smaller to me than the grounds of the World Trade Center when it was still standing, for some reason. Maybe it is the tall fences that make it look smaller to me.
I don't know what the heck happened, but I had just written about 3 times more than what you see here, and I clicked "Italic" and I lost most of the post. Why? Why? Why? I am too tired to finish it now, so I will pick up where I left off tomorrow.
Ground Zero is a grave and solemn place, and whether you knew anyone who died there or not, you get sad reading all the names of those innocents who died. After Ground Zero, we walked all the way down Battery Park to Castle Clinton. Originally built as a fort, it became the entry point for foreigners coming to the United States before Ellis Island was used for that purpose. Some of my husband's ancestors entered here, so he wanted to see it again. This is the place you board boats to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and there were hundreds happily waiting in line that day. After we had walked around the area, we sat on a bench in the park and noticed a contortionist, whom I called the "human pretzel" performing for the crowds. He was whippet thin and able to make his body do amazing feats, such as folding himself up into a box the size of a computer monitor (unless you have a flat-screen). Imagine my surprise, when returning home to read all the posts I had missed in my favorite blogs, I read this account of a trip to NYC this weekend: http://thecerebraloutpost.blogspot.com
"Weary Hag", as she so colorfully refers to herself, also went to NY and happened to be in the same spot as J and I, at the same time, and we had no idea of it! I sent her an email suggesting we should have worn red carnations in order to recognize each other, and she wrote back that she had worn red that day, as had I. It is truly a small world!
That night we went to MoMa, in it's new home, for the Friday free entrance - otherwise it is $20 per head. I am such a bargain hunter! MoMa is a very interesting place, but I suggest you go early enough to see it all. We were late getting there, and had only 30 mins. or so to see it. I am not much into some extremely contemporary art, but they have wonderful classics such as Van Gogh's "Starry, Starry Night" and Dali's most famous work, "The Persistence of Memory". That may not be the exact title, but it is close.
On Saturday, my brother-in-law joined us. He is a good tour guide and knows how to get around, having lived there more recently than J has. We went to the Nomadic Museum on Pier 54. Their web site is www.ashesandsnow.org. There are over 200 huge, sepia-toned photographs of animals (some with people). The main way I could describe them is haunting, especially those of elephants and children. The housing of this exhibit is interesting too. They have stacked up hundreds of cargo containers to create walls, and you tour it walking on a wooden path much like a boardwalk at the ocean. After that, we went to the Metropolitan, where I always immerse myself in as many Egyptian artifacts as
I am allowed time for. The rest of the family do not share my love for all things Egyptian, but they are kind enough to let me feed my fetish now and again. I could sit in the Temple of Dendur for days; I feel at home there. We also saw an exhibit of Chanel clothing and accessories, which was interesting, as well as a quick pass through the Old Masters and some Impressionism.
Walking through Greenwich Village, we spied a place to get back and foot rubs. I decided against doing it - as my feet were already feeling like bloody nubs - but J never turns down an opportunty for a cheap massage. He declared it was heavenly; try it at the Chinese Health Center at 45 Christopher Street, NY 10014. It is $10 for 10 mins., but an hour is only $48. I spotted a celebrity in the Village, and I cannot remember his name. He is one of the stylists who show people how to maximize their assets on the Style Network, in shows like "The Look for Less" and "How Do I Look". As soon as I can find out his name, I'll mention it. Note: I saw him on TV, his name is Philip Bloch.
If you are in a shopping mood, do not fail to see "Century 21" on Trinity Street across from the WTC. It is billed as the best discount clothing store in NY and I must agree. Don't go on the weekend, however, too many people to even get through the aisles.
Later, I'll share the restaurants we went to and the foods we ordered. You should probably read it on a full stomach!


Angie said...

I have never been to NYC but I have been to Amsterdam wearing new stylish shoes and I learned the same lesson you did. My feet were not the same for over a week. I wanted to dip my hot, blistered, aching feet into the cool water of every canal I crossed. But I didn't. I did get to put them in the icey cold water of the North Sea instead.

Angie said...

ohhh a foodie post! I am coming back after lunch to check to see if it is up!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

An acquaintance of mine, guy who lives in Salem, Or., wrote a book "How to Find It, Buy It, Eat It" in New York. And it's a Great Seller.

I too am an Egypt freak. Birds of a flock feather together.

Nice to have you back, Jude. Nice report. Thanks.

Mildred Garfield said...

Just found you and I sure will be back. Have not been to NY in years and remember it as a VERY EXCITiING city. I will be back to read about THE FOOD.

I felt like I was on tour with you but did not have the aching feet!

vicki said...

Great post Judy. The link to Nomadic Museum- that last photo of the boy and the elephant- yowser! That alone is worth a trip. We got stranded in NYC about a year ago and NWA put us up at some dump but it was right next door to the temporary home- I look forward to seeing the new MoMa. Welcome back and vote no on yeast.

The Complimenting Commenter said...

That sounds like a great trip. Very entertaining post. Nice work.

Weary Hag said...

Beautiful post! As to your reference on the WTC, I wonder sometimes if the enormity of the Towers themselves lends one to believe there just HAD TO BE more ground space than there actually was. I recall watching them as they were erected, floor by floor, and thinking at the time "where on earth did they find the space in downtown to put these things?"
I so enjoy your writings (and thanks for the plug!)

ps - my legs are finally working again. Ohhh to be in the kind of shape that pretzelman was in!

Zee said...

I can't visit NY yet. Too painful.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Thanks for stirring up fond memories of my home town! Glad you had a good time there.