Music, MoMA and Marathon

Empty wine bottles fill the frames of City Winery’s staircase wall

Saturday morning’s plan was to visit the Museum of Modern Art, a 15-minute walk from our home base. Of course we have no car here, and wouldn’t drive in this crazy city traffic if we did! Walking, subway and taxis for us – and for 99.9% of New Yorkers.

 

It’s ironic to me how easy it is to get into the “walk to where we need to go” mindset here as opposed to how it is in Little Rock, especially since we live downtown there too. Of course here in New York, you can find anything you need within a few minutes’ walk. In downtown Little Rock, more things are available now than in recent years but still a long way to go. But I digress… 

Music

Backing up a bit… We enjoyed a delightful dinner and concert Thursday evening at City Winery (http://citywinery.com), a working winery, restaurant and intimate concert venue in SoHo. Singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin was the headliner but the opening act was Charlie Mars, a very talented singer-songwriter who was born in El Dorado, Arkansas, but grew up in Mississippi. The handsome southern boy charmed the city folk and put on a great performance.

Not many 40/50 year old women could pull off this look but Shawn did!

Shawn Colvin’s voice sounded amazing and she really engaged the audience with stories of her songwriting and concert tour with Sting.

It was magic being in the audience as the whole crowd sung along to her biggest-ever hit, “Sunny Came Home” (listen to song on YouTube: http://youtu.be/qfKKBDFCiIA).  Periodic rumblings from the subway trains passing below were the only thing that brought me out of the transfixed state that only a perfect concert experience can evoke.

 MoMA

Saturday morning, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was abuzz. We happily joined in, picked up the free audio guides and headed upstairs to the deKooning exhibit (http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2011/dekooning). I guess I shouldn’t admit it, but I had no prior knowledge of his work, but really enjoyed the exhibit. There are hundreds of the influential Dutch painter’s works on display and working our way through them took longer than we had allotted and expected.

We then sought out the museum’s collection of impressionist paintings by Degas, Monet, VanGogh and many others. The enormous panels from Monet’s “Water Lillies” took my breath away. It’s surreal to see in person works of art that you’ve known about your whole life but only seen in the pages of books or on postcards and posters. I highly recommend it!

Hangin' with VanGogh

VanGogh’s “Starry Night” is at the MoMA and it is Kelley’s all-time favorite painting. We found it, paid our respects along with hundreds of other museum-goers and I snapped a picture of Kelley beside it. Amazingly, given the painting’s popularity, there were no ribbons or railings in front of it, though there was an assigned guard who admonished Kelley to be sure and not get close enough to brush against the frame while he posed for the shot. There is never any flash photography allowed in museums, so my picture isn’t the best (see below).

Unfortunately, we ran out of time to see much of the “Talk to Me” exhibit there which is so “down my alley.” The exhibit examines the modern and developing communication and connection we humans have with machines and technology. I hope to snag a book online that details the exhibit.

The New York City Marathon

This is my second-ever trip to New York; coincidentally, both times have been during the weekend of the marathon. Kelley has been here dozens of times. He says the chatter of streets always has a mixture of non-English languages – plus the NYC dialect, which is nearly a language in and of itself – but it is even more so when the marathon is on. Indeed we have seen many T-shirts, bags and hats bearing various country names, particularly a lot from France.

Marathoners - and we - cruise the finish line area in Central Park the day before the race

Our home base is along Central Park South which, as you might expect, is at the southern end of Central Park. The last mile of the marathon runs right by our building so there has been an elaborate maze of barricades, fencing, signage and spectator bleachers along the street and in the park.

The past two mornings we’ve enjoyed long walks among all the logistical preparations. Hundreds of the race participants were milling around the finish line area yesterday morning (see pic), I suppose scoping out their ultimate destination for today’s race. My friend, Stacey Jones, ran the marathon today, her first. Congratulations, Stacey! (The NY Times has a great blog about the marathon: http://marathon.blogs.nytimes.com – worth visiting for the pics alone.)

At noon today (Sunday) we had a family brunch here at the apartment with Kelley’s NYC nieces and nephews, and with his Parisian sister who is in the U.S. for a few weeks. This is her place we’re happily staying in. We’ve just returned from a matinee on Broadway where we saw the FABULOUS “Relatively Speaking” (http://relativelyspeakingbroadway.com/about/synopsis) – a play that recently opened to rave reviews. Tonight we’re going to dinner at a fine restaurant of meat-lovers’ acclaim, Quality Meats (http://qualitymeatsnyc.com).

Another big day in the Big Apple! It is also our one-year wedding anniversary, the main reason for our trip. Happy anniversary and a big thank-you to the man, who, as previously blogged, has revolutionized my life.

Monday holds in store a trip to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, then the 9/11 Memorial and an evening at New York Taste (http://nymag.com/taste). Wheeeee!

A delightful morning walk along Central Park West yielded this shot

The marathon has a great ad design team

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