I apologize for abandoning my post for so long. I have returned from New York City where I had the time of my life! The vibrancy and eclectic nature of NYC is beautiful. I could as easily imagine Spiderman swinging from building to building as Marilyn Monroe strutting about the city like the classy lady she was. One of the best things about my stay there were the constant exposure to books. My significant other can not restrain himself from traveling with his own personal library, and of course we had to visit the Strand Bookstore where we purchased more written works.
On the plane ride to New York, I read “Lady Windemere’s Fan” by Oscar Wilde and began reading one of his short stories, “Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime” (which I have now finished – absolutely ridiculous – it’s a great read). While in New York, I purchased two books: Writings from the New Yorker 1927-1976 by E. B. White and Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey, both of which I read in intervals while traveling about and on the plane ride home. I finished reading Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman, and loved every minute of it. I have come away from New York with a renewed lust for reading which I hope does not become dulled by the oppressive heat and banalities of Texas.
We briefly explored Central Park on two occasions. Once, just meandering through it with friends, and once on a group picnic. I loved the contrast between the city and the park. It is a great place into which to escape. The park was more crowded than I thought it would be at first, but then I reasoned, “who could resist a day in such a park?” We saw several brides and wedding parties having the pictures taken, and kids running around having a grand old time.
I must confess that I was a little jealous of the kids playing in the playground citadel. What an awesome place to play! Here we were standing on the rocks with a good view of the buildings and the park.
I mean, come on! It’s a citadel! What better way to learn about Rome than to reenact it in your neighborhood playground. Et tu, Brute?
And of course, what is a trip to New York without seeing Times Square? Squandered. Unless you’ve seen it before. Seriously. Once is enough, but once was worth it.
The light at the end of the tunnel as we wander through the dark streets of Manhattan:
Behold! The Platonic Form of Musical Theater! No shadow on the cave wall! We have turned around and seen the light!
Here there is daylight where all else fades to night! The path of righteousness leads us left, while the green arrow tempts us down another route.
I feel as though I am Dorothy, only instead of Oz, I have landed inside the internet. Flashing ads. Every major brand you’ve ever heard of. And every building is a place to itself. Buy! Buy! Buy!
And the most sinister of all: Disney FOREVER (Good placing there, Disney) BUY! BUY! BUY!
We escaped, tired, sweaty, and overstimulated. A giant blow up hand beckoning us outside the subway entrance, explore more, or perhaps waving us farewell.
At one point, we visited the Lego Store outside of Rockefeller square.
That snake like tail in the window? That’s made from Legos. The creature winds throughout the store dipping in and out of the ceiling. The thing behind it? Also made from Legos. Inside, there was this bad boy:
I urge you to check out this store if you’re ever in New York, though you may want to leave your credit card behind. I seriously considered plunking down over $60 for a Lego kit version of the ghost ship from Lord of the Rings, Return of the King because it was that cool, and then there were all of the kits to recreate scenes from The Hobbit. If you’re a Star Wars fan, they have that too. However, I do have a bone to pick with the makers of Lego. The “girls” section. I, as a female, can attest to the fact that girls can and do appreciate the full spectrum of colors beyond pink and purple. (I would have taken a picture but there was a little girl with her nose literally pressed against the glass, and I thought it might not go over well shoving her aside for a photo). More than that though, what really bugged me was that the toys for the girls seemed wholly devoted to doll houses. Don’t get me wrong: I love a good dollhouse. But, I also like to build my own doll houses, especially if I’m playing with Legos. These houses seemed to be pre-made out of the box. How about a Little House on the Prairie build your own cabin and woods? Or a minimalist mansion with endlessly configurable walls, stairs, doors, and windows? Really, how about a Lego doll house kit that allows the child to build their dream house? One the that parents can buy expansions for like medieval style doors, Baroque architectural details, straight and circular stairs, etc…
All in all, visiting New York City was absolutely wonderful. Word of advice for those who have never been there: bring some hand sanitize for those moments when you are just so tired and are getting off the subway, look up to see the four flights of stairs you now need to climb, and thoughtlessly put your hand on the railing right into some unidentifiable sticky stuff as you try to command your legs to obey and not collapse out from under you.