Thursday, October 25, 2007

NYC Recap (Saturday)

Saturday was dubbed "Culture Day!" We started off the morning with big fat bagels and cream cheese and headed towards Central Park. We walked up the west side of the park and stopped at The American Museum of Natural History first. (insert great pictures from my lost memory card here) We endured the dripping with evolution planetarium movie and then headed to see the dinosaurs and elephants! I was just so shocked out how many things in this museum were attributed to the Big Bang theory. Gag.

We then set out to cross Central Park to stop at the Guggenheim museum next. Right after we stopped and took the pictures above, we walked right past Woody Allen sitting on a park bench! He was sitting there in his trademark fisherman's hat and glasses. He was talking intensely with a younger man in a suit. After we walked passed him, I informed the rest of the family who we had just passed. So as far as celebrity sightings go... he tops our list. (more to come later)

As Central Park paths would have it, we ended up a little south of the Guggenheim and right at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This by far was my favorite museum of the three we visited. One look at the front of the building had me inspired. It was so grand and just oozed of culture. After a quick hot dog snack we climbed the 28 steps. I could have spent all day wandering, but we decided to see the Rembrandt, Egyptian, South Asian Buddhism, and Roman exhibits.

The Guggenheim Museum was next...but upon arrival noticed that the exterior was under restoration. That didn't stop us though! We took the elevator to the top of the spiral building and worked our way down. The architecture of the building itself is breathtaking. The current exhibition was a tad bit scandalous, so we walked briskly to the Guggenheim's permanent collection. I was literally beside myself as I tried to breath in works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Degas, and Renoir....just to name a few. I'm pretty sure I was inwardly squealing.

It was just about dinner time, so we headed back to the hotel to put on a few more layers of warmth before dinner and the Empire State Building. We walked across the street to the Le Parker Meridien and found the secret Burger Joint I had read about online. As we were walking in, this bride and groom were joining their guests for an atrium reception. She was stunning with her bright red lipstick and vintage style. The lobby of the hotel was so gorgeous and when we walked in, it took us a minute to find where we were going. It was like the managers of this snobby hotel didn't want anyone to know that the public could get a great, cheap burger! We turned the corner and there behind a floor to ceiling curtain was an arrow pointing us to a secret room filled with tacky vinyl booths, dated wood panelling, celebrity pictures, and the menu written on a piece of cardboard with markers. A couple of the signs read, "If you don't see it, we don't have it," and " Cash, cash and cash only." The french fries came in a brown paper bag, and the burger was wrapped in butcher paper. It was hands down...the best burger I've had in a long time.

To cap off the day, we planned to arrive at the top of the Empire State Building right at sunset. Much to our dismay, the line was about 2 hours long! By the time we got to the 80th floor observation deck, it was dark and sparkly all over. The crowds were ridiculous, but we managed to get some gorgeous pictures. Here are some of my favorites.

Day 2 ended and we marveled at how much we had packed into one day! 3 museums, Central Park and the Empire State Building! This was our busiest day for sure. Blogging is a great way of debriefing!


missy said...

it sounds marvelous to me!!!!! it sounds like you did your research before you went - good thinking:)

and thanks for throwing the woody allen story in. i can't believe he was sitting on a bench in central park... that's perfect:)

Cindy said...

oh my, I love New York!!!The shots of Central Park, the Empire State Building, celebrity sightings, all make me want to go back. There is just no place like it, is there?