After two long and intense days, we gave ourselves a late start today. We got up around 5 a.m., but we lolled around the room working with our writing and photos. Then I needed to make a run to a drug store.
The whole process of getting into Manhattan—shuttle to subway station, subway to Times Square, then catching a cab downtown—must have taken an hour, so it was about 1 p.m. by the time we got to Gansevoort Street, at the bottom of the High Line Park. As we disembarked, the driver, knowing we planned to walk through the park, said, "If you want to get lunch first, Pastis is just a few blocks down."
We had been thinking of having a perfunctory lunch before hitting the trail, but Pastis turned out to be an authentic Parisian bistro. Well, there was no smoking, so I suppose the ceiling was painted nicotine yellow instead of acquiring that hue naturally, but seriously, the menu, the seating, the service, and especially the food was FRENCH, praise the lord. I love French food. Yes, it was expensive. The special for the day, sole meuniere, was $42. We settled for the sea bass in a lobster sauce with nuggets of lobster over a bed of spinach for $26. For my taste, it doesn't get much better than this. Because of our impending walk, we stuck to ice tea.
|View from the High Line Park|
|Maximum foliage on the High Line Park|
It would have been a travesty to spend such a short time at one of the country's great museums, except that we have toured it at least four times over the years. The thing that surprised me was how well some of the paintings at MoMA hold up over time. Dan concentrated on documenting some of the most famous images in modern art. I'll present a selection with just one for each painter, but for major artists like van Gogh and Picasso, the museum has several famous works for each. I got more interested in some works that I hadn't seen before; I'll mix a few of those in, too.
|The Bather, c. 1885|
by Paul Cézanne (French, 1839-1906)
|The Starry Night, 1889|
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890)
|The Sleeping Gypsy, 1897|
Henri Rousseau (French, 1844-1910)
|Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907|
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
|Dance I, 1909|
Henri Matisse (French, 1869-1954)
|I and the Village, 1911|
Marc Chagall (French, born Belarus, 1887-1985)
|Dynamism of a Soccer Player, 1913|
Umberto Boccioni (Italian, 1882-1916)
|Three Women, 1922|
Fernand Léger (French, 1881-1955)
Varvara Stepanova (Russian, 1894-1958)
|Dr. Mayer-Hermann, 1926|
Otto Dix (German, 1891-1969)
|Kenneth Fearing, 1935|
Alice Neel (American, 1900-1984)
Jasper Johns (American, born 1930)
|Wood, Wind, No Tuba, 1980|
Joan Mitchell (American, 1925-1992)
Dan and I found each other when the guards were funneling the crowd out through the doors of the gift store. Then we were standing there on Fifth Avenue parched, wobbly, and overwhelmed. Fifth Avenue is too ritzy to have cozy little bars and restaurants, so when we came to the Peninsula Hotel, I made a snap decision and marched Dan through the grand lobby and into the luxurious bar. We both had Stella Artois on tap. Dan winced at paying $13 for a beer; I enjoyed the conspicuously tasteful decor and the suave service. A few men in suits were chatting at tables far from us, and the sound system played quietly. We let our minds idle for awhile. Then we used the fancy restrooms. In front of the hotel, the bellman efficiently hailed a cab, and we headed back to our hotel in Queens.