Thursday, September 13, 2012
NYC Day 4 - Hitting the Museums
Being a tourist was the focus today with the "work" part of my trip behind me. My husband and I hit 4 museums, 3 tourist highlights and several favorite shops in NYC all in one day. We bought a one day New York Pass, if we had more time we would have bought a 2 or 3 day pass. The one day pass is $80 and the 2 day pass is $130, less if you buy online ahead of time. You really have to be disciplined at getting to as many of the locations as possible to get your money's worth. Having the pass also gets you to go to more places. I tend to be a lazy tourist, I like to stop by a district or neighborhood and just wander. I seldom have an itinerary so having this pass gave me a game plan. It's also comparable to the City Pass, but has more museums and gardens and sites associated with it. I also recommend getting the 7 day unlimited MetroCard if you're staying close to a week in NYC. This card will work for both bus and subway and you can use it as many times as you like. Each ride on the subway is $2.25 and there's no transfer ticket. So every time you get on and off it's $2.25, that can add up fast.
Our first stop was the Guggenheim. It was the furthest north, we wanted to start there and work our way down. They were cleaning the exterior that day so we got to see a mid-air rope dance with the cleaners. I really enjoyed seeing Rineke Dijkstra's retrospective. A big thanks to some French ladies to took this pic for us!
Cleaning the Guggenheim.
We also hit the Neue Gallerie, but they were closed to install an upcoming exhibit? I was SO BUMMED!!! Many of my favorite artists are in there. I wanted to make a run for the elevator, but NYC has some of the biggest and toughest (looking) doormen! The doorman was really nice at the Neue, I tried to talk my way in, but no luck. I'll just have to come back next time.
Our next stop was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. HOLY WOW this place is big. I had no idea how huge it is and how much work was in there! We spent more than 3 hours and barely made a scratch. I could see visiting NYC just to see the Met.
The lobby at the Met
One of my favorite pieces in the Greco-Roman wing.
Roman, about A.D. 220-230
Dionysos on a panther with this attendants. The Four Seasons as winged youths, Tellus (the earth) and Oceanus (a river), reclining.
Probably found in Rome.
Getting to see some Fabergé work up close was also a treat. Being a carver of tiny things I'm totally in awe!
More pictures of the Met
We took a quick lunch break after the Met and made our way to the Whitney only to be surprised with a HUGE line! I don't know what was going on that day, everyone was in line to see Yayoi Kusama's work. We debated whether or not to spend our precious hours standing in line. We had bought a pass already, but still had to wait... we stayed and finally got in. They really need a better ticketing system, it was very inefficient.
We were museum-ed out after the Whitney and decided to wander through the Upper East Side. We popped into this TINY Chrome Hearts store and window shopped. I like some of their stuff, my husband is a bigger fan.
We made a visit to the Ladurée shop next door and purchased some sweets for later. ;)
By now our feet have melted off our body and everything is sore from 5-6 straight hours of walking. We stopped back in the hotel to freshen up and lay down for an hour. We ate some macarons from Ladurée's and sipped on a giant cup of coffee from Starbucks. I normally don't drink Starbucks when I'm in Seattle, there are too many great coffee shops here, but when traveling they're consistent and dependable! We Seattlites will curl up and die if we don't have coffee in our veins. LOL
OK! The evening's sites include: Grand Central Station, Top of the Rock @ 30Rock and Times Square. Can you tell I'm trying to pack everything in? My poor husband got dragged along, he calls it "The Bataan Death March".
We took the subway to Grand Central, the sun was setting and I was losing light fast. I didn't get a lot of good pics of Grand Central, but it was cool to be there at rush hour. I tried not to get in people's way, but it's nearly impossible. The crowd dynamics in NYC is much different than in Tokyo. I would say Tokyo is much denser, but no one ever bumps into you. It's pretty incredible how the Japanese can navigate a crowded subway. I loved seeing the diversity in NYC though, there are so may distinctively different people and cultures. I'm sure it's a cause for abrasion at times, but the variety you get to live within is well worth it.
It was pitch dark by the time we made it to Top of the Rock. I didn't have a tripod with me and my hands are shaky. This is a shot of Times Square from Top of the Rock. It's that bright spot in the dark. The city lights are incredible from up here. We decided to make our way to Times Square from here.
You knew where to go by the volume of light emitted! What a stunning sight and total visual overload. We were lucky to be there when a few streets were closed. I guess they had a parade earlier in the day? We got to wander through the streets without worries.
It was fun to walk through, I think night time is when Times Square really shines.
And that's it for our 4th Day in NYC!