The freshness of the autumn rain in New York is already a distant memory, and my jacket, socks and long-sleeved tops are waiting to be stored back in the wardrobe… until next time I leave the island, for Christmas in Spain.
Here are some photos to show you what I was up to last week in New York:
The 6 o’clock morning flight from San Juan to Newark is at least two hours too early… but the sunrise is always beautiful! And it is great to arrive in New Jersey already at 10, and to be able to be in NYC by 11.30 or so.
I didn’t care that it was raining in Newark… For an autumn-lover like myself, living in the tropics, it was the perfect weather!
When I arrived to my hosts, my dear blog friend Saltis & her family, a sick M greeted me with a hot cup of tea and a little chit-chat before he headed back to bed. Saltis came home and we had a chatty lunch over Thai food (the fried rice with chicken was almost as good as in my favourite Thai restaurant in Brussels). In the afternoon I headed to The Guggenheim to see the Kandinsky exhibition.
My favourite Kandinsky painting was one called Bleu de ciel (Sky blue) – it was just so cheerful and I loved the different circus-looking shapes. I am considering buying the print from art.com…
It was my second visit to The Guggenheim in New York but I have also visited The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice several times – a wonderful museum by the Canal Grande. I can recommend the Peggy Guggenheim autobiography “Out of this Century” – what a fascinating woman and life!
I walked along the Central Park three times in the rain on Tuesday and Wednesday and every time with a smile on my face under the umbrella! I told Saltis that I would treasure this experience and think of it when I walk in San Juan in the heat and humidity…
Yes, it rained and it was grey – but I enjoyed it! After my museum visit on Tuesday I headed to Crate & Barrel (best free toilets in this area of town!!) where I looked at Christmas decorations and mused over the fact that the Swedish Höganäs pottery is sold under the name “Nilsson”. The Marimekko textiles haven’t been renamed Heikkinen or Virtanen though😉
The evening turned out to be a real girls’ dinner since M was too weak and feverish to eat with us. Saltis took advantage of the situation and served gnocchi, one thing that M doesn’t like and I love*. The meal was great and we talked non-stop until I realised that my early morning (woke up at 03.15) was starting to take its toll… I had a great sleep on the comfy Ikea sofa, even though the very charming cats Lipton and Tazo made me jump a few times when they tried to cuddle with me – since I was already sound asleep by then!
On Wednesday morning I went to the second museum of my trip – The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I love their slogan “It’s time we Met” – very clever.
At the Met I saw Vermeer’s The Milkmaid and an exhibition called “American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life 1765 – 1915″ – just the kind of art I like; of ordinary people doing everyday things, instead of kings and queens posing stiffly on horses…
After having walked down to 59th Street for the third time, I decided it was time to take the subway – to save some time. I headed to Union Square where I was to meet up with Saltis for lunch. However, I had some time to spare so I visited my favourite shop in NYC – Fishs Eddy and then nipped across the street to ABC Carpet & Home, another cool interior design shop.
The ABC Carpet & Home shop window had this text displayed – register on the website www.hopenhagen.org and show your support for the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December!
It was still raining and while I waited for Saltis, I went to Barnes & Noble to look for a place to sit and read, without having to buy a coffee. I found a row of chairs by the window on the 1st floor, perfect for a tired walker… I love that you can sit down in American bookshops, either on chairs or on the floor (it is quite common in France and Belgium as well), to read a book or magazine. I had brought my own book though, the first Paul Auster book “The Brooklyn follies” that I have read and I loved it!
Saltis and I had a yummy noodle lunch at Republic on Union Square and it occurred to me that if my last New York visit had a French bistro-theme, this definitely had an Asian-theme**! My hostess was in desperate need of some new jeans so American Eagle was our next stop where she actually found two pairs of jeans. Our shopping motivation decreased rapidly and after a quick visit to GAP and H&M we decided to call it a day (the 80’s inspired fashion in H&M might have contributed…).
The sick husband, M, was still fast asleep when we came home, but he did feel strong enough to have dinner with us – sushi! I was amazed at everything that can be home-delivered in New York City – not just food but diapers, and food for both humans and cats… So practical and it must be great to not have to haul heavy shopping bags around town. It is something I have been thinking about lately, and I suggested to O this weekend that we should consider getting some of our basic grocery shopping ordered and delivered when back in Brussels. However, I am married to a man who loves shopping (!!) so he was sceptical “as it takes away the pleasure of supermarket shopping” 😕
After dinner I was treated to the amazing view from the 38th floor in the neighbouring building. Saltis & co live on the 18th floor, and their view is already quite impressive, but on the 38th floor you can actually see Manhattan in all directions, as well as the East River and Roosevelt Island and the beginning of Long Island City where O and I were staying in November last year.
Some more photos of my visit on Saltis’ blog… And I still have some sunny photos from last Thursday to show you.
*) When Saltis & co were visiting in Puerto Rico, M and I discovered that we have very similar taste in food – unlike our spouses we don’t like intestines (liver, kidneys etc) and they think that we are quite picky…😉
**) I was also reminded that I still haven’t written about our Philly-trip in August, which had a certain Belgian beer café-theme…