Saturday, September 10, 2011

NYC in a whirl wind II

Since the forecast called for rain we decided Sunday was to be the day for museums - our CityPass included admission to MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and that's what we had planned for the day.

MoMA had a fun interactive exhibition called "TALK TO ME" - but other than that, there were a lot of "art" we didn't get.  Okay, maybe not the famous Monet or the Starry Night by van Gogh, nor the cool message coded in images of the moon.  But for a lot of the art shown in the galleries, we wondered "that's considered art too?" - like canvas with a simple strip pattern that hung on the wall, or a wooden stick painted red that stood in the middle of the room, or mini "sculptures" made up by wads of gum - yes, chewed gum...

The Metro, which we visited next, was much bigger and so much more fun - we regretted not having spent less time at MoMA so that we could spend more time at the Metro.  There was a huge solarium housing an Egyptian temple and an entrance in the shape of a pyramid.  We saw mummies and were in awe of ancient Egyptian arts and crafts (their elaborate necklaces and gold-plated sandals wouldn't look out of place if worn today).  Then we saw a range of musical instruments from wind instruments like bagpipes and a ceramic French horn to string instruments like harps and early versions of the piano to a full-sized organ.  We also saw full plate armours but alas there were no knights to be found.

It was late when we finally got out of the Metro (we were literally shooed out of the museum), and after a long search for a reasonably-priced restaurant to sit down and eat in the ritzy neighborhood of Upper East Side, we settled for a little bakery-cafe called Corrado Bread.  I wonder if the turkey quiche tasted better than what it actually was because we were starving by then - but the almond macaroons and fudge cup were definitely amazing.

We tried another form of transportation typical in New York (just to complete the experience) and made our way to the south entrance of Central Park in a yellow taxi.  New Yorkers have it good - the taxi is equipped with a machine that allows for payment with credit cards and a touch-screen interactive panel that showed the map, news, and other info.  Whereas the cab I remember from Toronto felt just like any other passenger car... but then again, the cab drivers here don't drive like maniacs.
We tried to look for the "main entrance" of Central Park (if there was such a thing) but didn't see any banners or signs, so we gave up the idea of posing for pictures to say we've been there.  From there we made our pilgrimage to the Apple Store, went aboard its futuristic sci-fi looking cylindrical glass elevator, only to find it comparable to the Apple Stores here in Canada, except maybe it's even more crowded.
We then walked to Rockefeller Center, making stops at whatever stores still open along the way, including A|X where we found out that items below $50 in NYC are not taxed, and Swarovski - where we saw a pendant fashioned after the Statue of Liberty and a Hello Kitty clutch with full-on bling.  Most of the other stores had closed for the day, however, and we could only peek through the windows of Tiffany, LV and Cartier.

When we finally got to Rockerfeller Center it was well after 9 - but the line up was much much better than at the Empire State building.

We passed by Times Square and ate at Patzeria Perfect Pizza, which held the #5 spot of Top NYC Restaurants according to the Trip Advisor website.  Not bad for pizzas but be warned there is no decent place to sit and no service - you pay, you wait then you either eat while standing on the street or if you are lucky like we were, sit at the old dirty table on shaky wooden stools.  My brother's girlfriend was practically falling asleep with pizza in her mouth, but still vowed to return so she could get some shopping done on Fifth Avenue.

- End of Day 2 in NYC

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