Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New York New York... it's a wonderful town!

I've been wanting to visit New York City for a while now. I've had the opportunity but never felt like dragging the kids along for the ride. It seemed like more of an adventure for grown ups. The past few days after paying my dues (I watched my brother's kids in Philly then he watched mine) I got the chance to take a quick overnight trip into the city.

The lovely and talented Melanie Testa and I spent two days walking and playing and having, in general, a fantastic New York experience! Here she is getting ready to unwrap a tasty lunch packet we got at the Japanese store. Oh, my - a whole floor of books. A floor of stuff including office and art supplies and a cafe on the top floor. Check out this lovely pen that Melanie had me try out - refillable ink cartridges and an actual brush tip - bristles and everything. Naturally I had to come home with one. The lunch packets were rice with spicy cod roe, wrapped in seaweed. Of course it took an engineer to open the thing. There was plastic between the rice and the seaweed as well as the on the outside and if you opened it just right then it all lands together in a lovely packet. (No - neither one of us got it quite right but they were delicious anyway!

Our first stop was Central Park and the Zoo. It's the tiniest zoo I've ever seen but it was lovely. We truly enjoyed the tropical house with lemurs and birds and a few reptiles here and there. 

Check out these legs. Coming from a woman who loves, loves, loves crazy socks, this was my favorite shot of the morning.

We traipsed up through the park to the Met, but had forgotten that it was closed on Mondays so we simply walked west a while then hopped onto the subway and would our way to Melanie's lovely (tiny) apartment and studio. I must say she has made the best  of her situation. She's very organized and everything had a space. I'll not complain about my studio any more. Hers is the size of my closet. Literally.

Day two and we went to Spring Studio in SOHO. It's just a basement room but they have life drawing sessions two to three times every day!!! We spent a full three hours drawing two, five, ten, and twenty minute poses. (I think this is a five minute pose.)

What a fun opportunity - not having had the opportunity to take life drawing courses in college. It was three hours of drawing - sometimes fun, sometimes frustrating - but a wonderful chance to learn.

Next it was more subways, more walking, more quick stops into churches, shops, (even a quilt shop), and elegant train stations with beautiful constellations on the ceiling.

We ate our lunch outside of Melanie's Alma Matter, the Fashion Institute of Technology, the popped in to their gallery to view their current exhibit, Eco-Fashion: Going Green. I found it quite interesting to see how they fit some of their historical collections into the theme, as well as spotlighting some very forward thinking current designers.

One of the big impressions I'll take from the city is the interaction of so many people sharing the same space. Standing together on the subway. Making way on the sidewalk. Enjoying a pleasant sunny day.

People going places and doing things. So many all together in one place. And guess what. They weren't rude or all dressed in black. Just as many people smiled and were helpful as in any other place I've been. Guess what? I love New York! Two thumbs up. 

Just remember to bring very comfortable walking shoes, be prepared for adventure, and just soak in the humanity, the art, the environment and all the wonderfulness in its colorful and myriad forms when you visit. NYC will definitely be seeing me again.