Monday, September 25, 2006

The Objector Visits The Big City.

It was great to be back in New York. As usual, we had a list of things that we wanted to do but we only go through about half of it. It always seems to work out that way.

Our first evening we hit Times Square, almost by default. We had intended to make it downtown to the Blue Note, but traffic was so bad getting into town that we never made it. But we were in the city so we decided to do the tourist thing. I already mentioned the band, but there were a few other things that were cool.

I had never seen one before, but there was a street corner Rabbi preaching away at 43rd and Broadway. Who knew?

It's apparently good to be a fireman in New York these days. A fire truck pulled up to a hotel and three of the six crewmen ran inside to take care of whatever they were called for. The other three guys stayed with the truck where they were mobbed by female tourists taking pictures.

The other two days were spent wandering from neighborhood to neighborhood seeing the sights and enjoying ourselves.

We went to the Whitney Museum, which is a nice small-ish collection of American paintings that includes a good deal of Edward Hopper, as well as some of the 50s and 60s pop stuff. The great thing about their Hopper collection is that they have the archive of all of his drawings, so they are able to put a single painting in a room and then also exhibit all of the pencil studies for it. It enables the visitor to see the genesis of the painting by following the studies around the room until you inevitably get to the final study that is closest to the actual painting followed by the painting itself. Very interesting.

I love going to Chinatown. It's chaotic and foreign and just incredible. On Saturday it was also amazingly crowded. The sea of humanity shuffling down Canal Street - navigating around guys hawking fake Rolexes and Prada bags - was a single, unstoppable mass of folks flowing along, spilling into the street.You couldn't stop to tie your shoe. There is a place on Mosco street, just off Mott, called the House of Dumplings. The whole place is about six feet by ten feet with half of that being taken up by a grill. The dumplings are amazing and at five-for-a-dollar they are hands-down the best bargain in Manhattan. We didn't get to spend too much time in Chinatown - essentially we went for the dumplings - but I could have spent all day there. Fortunately, it will still be there the next time we visit.

Even yesterday, as we were leaving, we stopped and picked up a pizza. I am an ardent believer that there is very little good pizza west of the Delaware river, so we took a pie home with us.

Obviously three days is not enough time, but we had a lot of fun and, personally, I can't wait to go back. You will never run out of things to do in New York. It was a great trip!


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