Tuesday, May 12, 2009

City Quilter Today, Empire State Building and the Guggenheim Yesterday

Since most museums and virtually every art gallery, and even the City Quilter, is closed on Monday in New York, we went to the Empire State building yesterday instead. The Empire State building is near the flower district, which we got to a little late, that is, past 6am 8-), but there was still lots of greenery around. (I think for the movies they probably add more flowers, but it was still pretty cool.)

We got to the Empire State building very early, so there weren't any lines and we went right on up. It was windy and cold up there, but you could see for miles. It was really neat to be in such a famous place! Having seen an Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle more times than I care to mention, (not to mention the Trixie Belden novel, "Mystery of the Blinking Eye" - blushes) I felt right at home. Funny, I don't remember any of them having to pay to go up... The view was really spectacular, Larry took lots of pictures that are still in the camera. We took the audio tour, so I now have a much better idea of how New York is laid out. I'm afraid of heights, though it doesn't keep me from gondolas, glass bridges and tall buildings (that which does not kill you makes you stronger!) so I was ready to leave when the audio tour was over and it started to get crowded.

Only two museums were open for business on Monday, the Guggenheim and MoMA. Unfortunately we picked the Guggenheim. What a disappointment! About 60% of the museum was closed (the top 4 spirals) because they were busy installing an exhibition. There was no art at all on the ramp, just architectural drawings/layouts of Frank Lloyd Wright (the exhibition being installed.) There were only two small galleries open, one with Impressionists and cubists and one devoted to Kandinksy. It's sad when the best part of the museum is the sandwich in the cafe. We've read too that Van Gogh's famous Starry Night is NOT currently viewable at the MoMA; no reason given. Sigh. I really wanted to see that one! Oh well, better luck next time.

We walked back from the Gugg through Central Park. We saw the reservoir, the great lawn and the obelisk. Central Park is fabulous; it feels like getting out of the city. I had envisioned something more like the Mall in DC, but this is hilly and secluded feeling; it would be very easy to get lost! We shopped our way back to the motel at Louis Vuitton and Tiffany's. Sparklies!!!! (And more security guards than customers!) The building still looks exactly like it did in Breakfast at Tiffany's; I recognized it without reading the sign. One more stop at the Lindt chocolate store (all that walking made us hungry!) then home to relax.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Susan in New York - Paula Nadelstern Quilt Exhibit

Larry and I got to New York on Saturday afternoon and have been having a blast! Yesterday, after Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral, we went to the America Folk Art Museum to see the Paula Nadelstern Kaleidoscope Quilts exhibit. It was awesome! Many thanks to everybody who recommended it to me.

Paula Nadelstern's quilts are spectacular. Nearly all contain kaleidoscope images, made from beautiful combinations of cotton and silk. She sews them together so that the seams are mostly obscured. This
quilt, in memory of 9/11 was spectacular. So was this one. There was one non-kaleidoscope quilt that really took our fancy. This quilt of the Brooklyn Bridge was fabulous. I bought her book, which is amazing, as well as some of her fabric and notecards. Larry and I went so early that we had the entire exhibit to ourselves. It was great for standing back and viewing from a distance. Some of her spirals seemed to just float on air. Highly recommended!