adventures in the Big Apple

It is possible to go to New York multiple times and never retrace your steps. I am sure yesterday was that kind of day. I saw only things that I had never looked on before. We began the day at the Morgan Library where we had planned to see the exhibit on Jane Austen, and upon showing up I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Library also had an exhibit on William Blake’s illustrations from a variety of projects--as an English major I was most familiar with his illustrations for the Book of Urizen, Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. Jessi and I wandered through the galleries, looking at (among many things) some of Jane Austen’s letters to her beloved sister Cassandra. It was quite wonderful to see writing in Austen’s own hand, to see the handwritten letters which referenced some of my most beloved stories; letters which talked about the possibilities that lie open for Austen’s antagonists and heroines. Magical. The exhibit on Blake was nice, less interesting to me, since he is definitely less of a favorite, though I did enjoy looking at his interpretations for the Book of Job.

More Subway travel led us to the Museum of Modern Art (or MOMA to NYers). MOMA is this colossus of a museum that is almost as full of priceless art works as it is of people: both tourists and locals, it seemed. Besides when I was at the Prado in Madrid, I don’t know when I have seen so many amazing and famous pieces of art in one place. The Detroit Institute of Arts (D.I.A.) is ok, but oh, man, the MOMA knocked my socks off! Every floor, every gallery found something that I had seen before only in print, something so recognizable. I was so awestruck that I was able to stand only feet away from Monet’s Water lilies, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, over a dozen Piccaso’s, and the list goes on and on. I would like to go back one day at a less busy time of day (if that even exists there?!), but I enjoyed every minute of our time there and definitely want to go back and see the upcoming exhibit on Tim Burton.

The night wound down with Jessi and I eating dinner at this cool little place called the Burger Joint, which is sneakily tucked into the Park Meridian Hotel somewhere in Manhattan. Finding the Burger Joint is half the fun of eating there, but once we got in and got our food, oh, man! It was so good. Home-cooked cheeseburgers and greasy fries—AMAZING! From there Jessi and I met up for drinks with Farm friends Tizzy and Horseback riding and Tizzy’s brother Adam who was also visiting the Big Apple. Drinks and chatting led to us walking through the amazing Times Square. It just blows my mind to see the huge advertisements on the sides of the buildings; and how bright the square is at night—it is like daytime! And in no time we were saying goodbye on a Subway platform and Jessi and I were heading one way and my friends were heading in the opposite direction. Such is the way of NY, I guess.

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