Sunday, March 28, 2004

new york stories (2)

Note: Still tracking down the images that originally appeared in this post.

Day 2 - Metropolitan Museum of Art/Harlem/American Museum of Natural History/32nd & 2nd area
All early indications pointed towards decent weather for our trip. As Monday night rolled around, all of the local stations suddenly predicted a monster storm, going into the full-panic mode American TV stations love to go into when more a dusting of snow occurs. We figured there wasn't anything to worry about.


At least our plans could handle a storm. If it had been an episode of Polka Dot Door, it would have been "get ready, get set for Museum Day." By the time we hit the Met, the storm had started in earnest, with strong winds making it hard to walk from the subway station to the museum.

The day soon became an exercise in seeing how long Amy's feet would hold up. The Met is not a puny museum - unless you spent a few days there or had Flash-like powers, it's impossible to see the whole thing in a day. We roamed for almost three hours, stopping here and there to observe or give the feet a rest.

Even the statues have to take a time-out

The following picture features the most pathetic-looking piece in the Met. Not even the Cowardly Lion looked this hangdog.

For lunch, we crossed 110th St into Harlem. The snow was coming at a furious rate, so we quickly made our way from the subway to our destination, Manna's Soul Food & Salad Bar (Frederick Douglass at 125th, about a block from the Apollo). I'd been there on my last trip and enjoyed it - a buffet-like set-up, but not all-you-can-eat, that offered a wide variety of soul food staples. I loaded up on fish, meatloaf and greens, while Amy went for some good chicken wings. Guess others like it too. Far from the healthiest meal of the trip, but very tasty and hopefully enough calories to get through another museum.

With conditions too miserable to do any exploring, we headed back to the subway. Next stop...

Another pic from the NYC Subways site. This station is well-decorated - an idea Toronto could use with Museum station (for the ROM) or St. Patrick (AGO). Ad campaigns don't count.

Like the Met, we spent three hours in the Museum of Natural History and weren't able to cover the beast. An odd mix of curator styles in the building, from mammal exhibits straight out of the 50s (text straight out of an old Disney animal film) to the new space exhibit build in the old Hayden Planetarium. Showing how much of an editing/design geek I am, I could identify when exhibits were put together by the lettering style used. Our feet grew wearier as we tried to catch as much as we could. Better inside than out, as this shot from a window in the dinosaur exhbits shows.

Looking out onCentral Park West. The streets were bare in the morning.

Declaring defeat (and an inability to decide on future gifts for friends in the gift shops - would anybody want a slime-making kit?), we dragged our aching feet back to the hotel around closing time.

We summoned up our remaining energy to head over to 2nd Ave. In Amy's city guide, I noticed there was a Borders at 32nd and 2nd. Figuring this would be a relaxing place to end the day, also figured there'd be someplace to eat nearby. Maybe it was the wind, but the snow felt like it was turning to sleet. A miserable trudge until we finally found a spot to eat - Mee Noodle Shop (2nd Ave at E 30th). We couldn't believe how low the prices were on the menu, so we figured the portions weren't large either, making it easy to order several dishes.

Wrong again.

Healthy-sized helpings of food. We ordered one dish too many, but made a valiant effort on a shrimp/noodle dish, a twice-sauteed pork and especially the green beans, which were similar to one of our favourite dishes at Shin Shin in Windsor. We waddled over to Borders and browsed for an hour. On the way back, stopped at a grocery store to see if we could find any oddball goodies. Not much, but one item caught our eye - Trump Ice bottled water (99 cents/bottle as big as the Donald's ego). Not being a devotee of "reality" TV, we didn't realize this product was part of The Apprentice. Bought a bottle for a laugh, keep forgetting to bring it as a gift for a couple co-workers.

Two days down, one to go...

No comments: