Saturday also involved sleeping in, because sleeping in is awesome and site-seeing is exhausting. The first stop of the day, after Jon and I became people, was the Whitney, because Jon should see where I work. I showed him the whole museum–easy to do, as the museum is small–and attempted to explain the Dan Graham retrospective but as was evidenced in the article to which I linked in an earlier post, Dan Graham is difficult to explain. Still, I appreciated people who don’t know art but are still interested and curious about said art, and Jon is certainly interested and curious, so it all works out.
We then went on a hunt for NYC hot dogs, and ended at the Gray’s Papaya on 3rd and 86th. We each had a hot dog and shared an order of large spicy curly fries and a large papaya drink. Awesome. (The trend of the weekend was not healthy, eating, as you can tell. Sometimes you just have to go for it).
It was rather hot and sunny outside, so we walked crosstown to seek solace in the air-conditioned confines of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We started in the Egyptian galleries, because Egyptian art is neat (and the Met has tons of it) and because the Temple of Dendur is impressive.
The rest of our time at the Met was a walking tour of various cultures: China and the really fabulous Astor Court, India, a breeze through Europe to see the Goya painting I love and Michelangelo’s so-called first painting, etc. We wandered through the Francis Bacon retrospective, which I would like to revisit–his work is creepy and visceral at first glance, but I’d like time to really study it. We also went to the roof to see the Roxy Paine installation, “Maelstrom,” and it was actually one of the more striking rooftop shows I’ve seen at the Met. The installation is one large single-piece sculpture (it is site-specific) that sort of resembles an eerie, frozen, leafless forest. If the sun catches the metallic limbs just right the structures looks as though it is blanketed in snow. You can wander in and around the sculpture and you can touch it, so it is definitely an interactive space. Which, of course, I love.
After descending from the roof we took another jaunt through the museum to see Damien Hirst’s icky formaldahyde shark (also known as “The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” from 1991″) and then decided to head back to my apartment to rest our sore and tired feet.
After a brief rest and a bit of fandango-ing we took off, once again, to see Up, which neither of us had seen (evidently we are behind in regards to the cultural zeitgeist). Pixar really cannot fail. Though I do not think that Up is better than recent films such as Ratatouille or Wall-E(easily my favorite Pixar film) it is still better than most movies that are currently playing in theaters. Also, the sideplots involving the dogs were hilarious, and the spectacle of countless colored balloons lifting a house was really beautiful and touching. Some people also think that the marriage montage at the film’s beginning was a little manipulative, but I found it quiet and lovely and honest. If you haven’t seen Up (you probably already have, I was a bit behind) then go check it out. Pixar is victorious again!
After the movie, continuing our busy Saturday, we took the subway downtown to the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall stop to take an evening stroll across (and back across) the bridge. It had rained while we were in the movie (perfect timing!) so the evening was lovely and cool; earlier, the day had been blazingly hot. Also, the rains left behind a bit of a rainbow. The Bridge walk was beautiful. The city seems peaceful and full of possibilities when you are not actually in the thick of it. One can understand how people romanticize Manhattan when you are viewing it from a bridge above the river.
We walked to Brooklyn, and then walked back (rather than hunt around DUMBO for a subway). We then took the subway back uptown to get New York style brick-oven pizza at the Upper East Side location of Totonno’s, the famous Coney Island pizza joint that was established inthe 1920s (and which suffered a major fire late last year). The UES location did not, thankfully, suffer a fire. Also, it is much closer than Coney Island.
We arrived at the restaurant around 9:15, starving and tired–I don’t understand how people in this city eat dinner at 9:00, but I guess one adapts. We split a half-white half-magherita pie with sun-dried tomatoes. Jon preferred the magherita side but I actually liked both sides, though I think I liked the white pizza a bit more (it was nice and garlicky). I loved the charred crust, though I wish the pizza had been served a bit more piping hot. However we were sitting outside, so the breeze could have been a factor in the rapid cooling of the pizza. Also, the pizza doesn’t reheat that well–the crust gets tough. Still, for better-than-average New York pizza without trekking to Brooklyn or downtown, the UES Totonno’s more than delivers.
After dinner I introduced Jon to Pinkberry (Red Mango please come to the Upper East Side) and then we stumbled home, exhausted and footsore after an extremely long but extremely full day of running around New York.
Almost caught up with the weekend. I’ll try to post tonight about Sunday’s activities, which mostly involved the NYC Pride Parade!