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Published: August 8th 2011
Woke up bright and early today feeling like I had a lot to see and do! I went to breakfast at a place near Park Ave and 42nd Street. It is a landmark NY restaurant called Pershing I think, but I didn't know that at the time. It was pretty pricey, but good. I walked over to 5th Ave and headed north. My first stop was the Metropolitan Museum of Art which is just inside Central Park on 5th Ave. I walked a long way with Central Park to my left and then there it was in all its glory. The Met.
I walked in and looked for the ticket window. Didn't see it. I had my NY Pass all ready to activate, and then I just walked in. No ticket. No nothing. What? Could this be right? An American Museum is free? Surely not. I walked in to the Greek exhibit and no one asked me for a ticket. So I walked back out. I saw a line of people buying tickets, but from what I could tell it was for the special exhibit, not the museum itself. So I just walked back in again. I skipped the Greek
exhibits since I've been to Greece and seen a lot of pottery, but it was an impressive collection. I went to the Americas exhibit first, and Papau New Guinea stole the show. The wooden statues, the wooden roof hanging from the ceiling, everything was just so beautiful and so impressive. Most of it was for use in ceremonies and included masks, headresses, and carvings to ward off evil spirits from the house. I walked through several other exhibits, including Tibet, China, India, and Iran, and I thought the collections were interesting and pretty impressive given that this is an American museum. Not because museums in America are not good, but because they are young. I had been told The Met was mediocre, but I disagree. I loved it.
Outside I decided to head further north to the Guggenheim Museum, also on 5th Ave. It is designed by Frank Lloyd Wright who died before its completion. There was a lot of controversy about this museum being built where it is. Its concrete spiral design doesn't exactly fit in with the pricey apartment buildings on 5th Ave. It was strange looking, I have to say. I took some photos and decided
I was hungry and 5th Ave had nothing nearby, so I headed east to a bagel shop I read about, but I didn't quite make it. I found a deli that appeared to be old and famous at the corner of 88th Str and Park Ave, so I went in. I have no regrets. It is called Ottomanelli Brothers and they claim to be New York's best deli since 1900. Now I don't know if that's true, but I can't prove it's not. I had a turkey club (with bacon!!!) and chipotle mayo and it was delicious! I tried to finish it, but it was too huge. It was $7.95 and totally worth it. I also had a fantastic ice coffee. So in case there's any doubt, I highly recommend Otto's Deli.
Can't say the same about the Guggenheim though. I finally activated my NY Pass and the $18 entry fee was included in the price of my pass ($129 on sale). The featured artist was a Korean artist named Lee Ufan. There are some nice pieces in the permanent collection from Degas, Picasso, and other artists I'm not familiar with, but Lee Ufan? Well, there's an hour of
my life I'll never get back. Thanks Lee. Ultra modern art is just not my thing. Lee Ufan's exhibit included giant blocks of cotton with fake sticks sticking out of them, rocks on pieces of sheet metal, strips of sheet metal arranged like pick up sticks. Righty ho. After an hour I decided the building was the most interesting part. It is also a spiral on the inside and from the lobby, you can see all the way to the ceiling. That's enough in my opinion. You can do that for free.
I decided to head back to Times Square to try to get half price tickets to a Broadway show. I unwisely decided to walk, after a pit stop at Rockefeller Center to people watch. From 88th Str to 42nd Street and into Times Square. I was wearing leather sandals. Big mistake. On the way there, I met a Turkish guy selling ceramics and glass from Turkey on the street near the museum. His wife is American and lived in Turkey when they met, and he'd has a really hard time finding work in New York. Not surprising. I wished him well and was on my way. Walking.
But it was worth it. I got half price tickets to Billy Elliot. Had an hour to kill and I had killer blisters already, so I managed to find a seat in a Starbucks and have a coffee before the show. I was tired and needed a pick-me-up.
I arrived just in time to be seated in Q11 in the orchestra section to watch a fantastic Broadway show. I had seen the movie, so knew what to expect, but it was still a great performance. I laughed a lot, cried a little, and totally enjoyed myself.
I was dead tired afterwards and my feet were killing me, so I got on the subway and headed home. Hopefully, less walking + comfy shoes = no pain tomorrow.
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