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ruthless compassion
26 March 2006 @ 10:00 am
I love sleeping in. So I did.

My hotel room is funny. They're going for some kind of modernish posh thing, so the carpet is black and white "tiles", and all the furniture is white and kinda funny, except the headboard, which is a big, gold painting frame holding a reproduction of some old painting that I don't know. Odd. The bed is also as low to the ground as any bed I've slept on in ages. Now, that's not hard, since I keep my bed high, but I have slept in other beds in the last few months, and this one is only like a foot and a half off the ground. I guess they're going for "unusual posh" or something, but for me, they miss the mark on the bed, because in my mental categorization, a high bed signals posh, and a low bed signals dorm room. I feel terrible for the people who have to remake tens of these low beds every day. I'll have to leave a good tip when I leave.

I'm basically right in Times Square, or just a block away, so there's a lot happening. I'm also right next door to the church of scientology, so I've had more opportunities to make disgusted faces while saying, "No, thanks," to people trying to hand me pamphlets in the last day than I've had for several months. Yesterday, I walked down Broadway to the Village (failed to hit Mexican Radio, fennel) stopping at a really nifty farmer's market in Union Square on the way. A farmer's market! In March! Maybe I could live here. That's where I got breakfast before continuing on my way, also accidentally discovering The Strand along there.

The neighborhoods downtown were much more interesting, of course, than the Times Square area, but that's to be expected, and I walked back uptown by way of Park, Madison and 5th Aves. The one thing I was thinking I might like to buy while here (I'm not much of a shopper) was a new midseason coat, and when I stopped into a vintage store that was doing a half-off deal for their coats, I had a good feeling about it. I found a really nice wool coat that's just right, though it needs a tiny bit of mending. Still, I'm psyched.

I've been eating street food, because that's what I do in a new place, but after a couple of hot dogs and a pretzel (why did I get a pretzel? I don't even like pretzels.) I was glad to have an actual sit-down meal with my cousin Lucille last night before the opera. We had Greek, and the opera, as an experience, was fun, though I didn't love the show we saw (Mazeppa by Tchaikovsky), as it was fairly grim and was hard to connect with the characters. By the third act, I was having trouble keeping my eyes open, but fortunately, that last act wasn't too long. We had rude seat-neighbors, who kept shushing us (actually Lucille, which, granted, I also wanted to do, but still, and besides that, she couldn't hear them because she was talking) and said, loudly enough for me to hear, "Yeah, these two are really annoying," which didn't impress me. Nevertheless, now I've been to an opera at the Met, and I'm glad of it.

Today, brunch with a friend, and, I hope, MoMA, natural history, or maybe something super touristy like going up the Empire State Building. Tomorrow, everything I missed yesterday and today, plus, maybe this wacky sex museum I've heard rumors about.
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ruthless compassion
26 March 2006 @ 09:04 pm
Today, I met up with a friend for brunch. We went to Vynl (sp?) on 9th Ave, near my hotel. It was a good start to the day, and then we headed to the Museum of Modern Art, which was, in a word, fantastic.

I was especially intrigued by the special exhibition, Without Boundaries: 17 Ways of Looking, which was so up my alley that I had to go back to it three times for a total of four turns around the rooms. There was also a Munch exhibit that was so crowded that it wasn't worth struggling through the people in order to peer at sections of paintings between people's heads and shoulders. I should've known better than to hit a museum on a weekend, I suppose. Fortunately, other rooms weren't quite as crowded (and, bafflingly, the Without Boundaries rooms were relatively clear).

I'll happily talk (a lot) more about the Without Boundaries pieces and themes that struck me, if you're interested, but probably not via typing.

Notes for myself here:Collapse )

One of my goals for myself for this trip was to try going to a bar, which I did this evening, and unsurprisingly discovered that going to a bar alone is not really my thing. I did not embarrass myself by asking for a ridiculously froofy drink or something so obscure that the bartender had to ask how to make it (and then not know myself).

Tomorrow: more museums, lunch or dinner with a childhood friend, and maybe something truly touristy, like a trip up the Empire State Building.
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