|On left: Elisa dancing|
I swear there is a choreographic quality in the very arrangement of objects!
A dance studio with shoji screens divides the living area from the bedroom.
I usually traversed this space with the old familiar chassé...glissade...jeté from my years of ballet classes!
The Asian influence continues particularly in the meditative atmosphere of the bedroom.
The fabulous little terrace off the bedroom is perched near treetops in a rare green courtyard behind neighboring buildings.
Elisa herself is full of vitality and charisma. She oversaw her dance company's last performance as choreographer only one week before and was now officially retired. What fun to compare dance notes, eras in the city, travels. Ben is recovering well from the heart scare, and is one of those thin, wiry guys who looks like the picture of health, clogged arteries or not. They explained how appliances work and left us notes about their favorite restaurants in the area.
What a fantastic two weeks we had there. Newton had his office corner for work, I had all my convenient rendezvous' around the city, and we loved entertaining on the terrace and in the living area. The neighborhood is fantastic for shopping, food, museums, and getting anywhere easily in Manhattan.
The twin pools offer a moving tribute. The instant I saw the engraved names, the shock and sadness of that morning came back to me; very emotional.
We did not wait in the long line in the heat for the museum, which I am determined to visit someday, nor did we pay the ridiculous $35 per person to ride to the top of the new World Trade Center building. There are other elevated views in the city. We did spend the afternoon walking and walking... eight miles' worth!
We walked the Westside Promenade for the first time, then took in the Battery Park Esplanade. Both areas were in gorgeous condition, full of lush plantings and happy summer activity.
|West Side Promenade with Lady Liberty|
|View from the Battery Esplanade|
|Happy kids in Battery Park|
|Summer blooms with bee|
|Battery Park Swedish Festival|
The Whitney Museum of American Art had not only been overhauled since I last visited, but moved to quite a fantastic new building near the Hudson River, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. It's previous building by Marcel Breuer now houses the modern and contemporary collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
|Portrait of the avant-garde Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, American sculptor, collector, and founder of the Whitney Studio Club in 1918, which grew into the Whitney Museum|
|Walking Camera II, gelatin silver print by Laurie Simmons|
|Self-portrait by Edward Hopper|
James Dean, Marfa, Texas by Sid Avery
|For Internal Use Only|
Stuart Davis, a founding member of the Whitney Studio Club, had his own striking exhibit.
|Shapes of Landscape Space #3|
At closing time, Newton met me right outside the museum for our first walk along the High Line - the former West Side Line of the New York Central Railroad, now a mile-and-a-half long elevated public park.
|South end of the High Line at the Whitney|
|The railway bed|
|Newt filling his FitBit with LOADS of steps!|
|The landscaping was effulgent green!|
We exited the High Line to have dinner at Chelsea Market - a bustling place teeming with eateries, overflowing with hungry locals and visitors. I had fresh, exquisite oysters and a dry martini...my senior equivalent of a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup.
|Museum of Mathematics door|
I read about the Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) a few years ago. It was nearby at 26th and Fifth Avenue, so I had an afternoon presumably designed for kids, but clearly exciting for adults.
|Honeycomb and other patterns|
|Entry floor...and my flip-flop|
|My personal favorite: a floor maze with various challenges|
|The bathroom sink in the Museum of Mathematics|
|Light Grooves, Z-intaglio in alloy by Matthew Brand|
Lucia Gratch - my touchstone. She is the kindergarten teacher at Blue Rock School and generally magnificent. Lucia drove in from the Hudson River village of Nyack to go to the Museum of Modern Art together. This time I shared the joy with a consummate artist/photographer. We had lunch, explored special exhibits, strolled through our perennial favorites from the permanent collection, and shopped in the fantastic MOMA gift shop. (Our sons were meeting in California at this time, completely independent of us!) Seeing Lucia is like being 'home' - wherever we may be.
Our favorite special exhibit was of Japanese architectural models:
|Most striking to me: this evokes the sculptural kimono in Kabuki wood block prints!|
|I would really like to explore this building|
The Degas special exhibit was intriguing with drawings and a monotype collection.
Among our perennial favorites:
|Rousseau, Sleeping Gypsy|
|Matisse, Goldfish and Sculpture|
Carolyn McMonegal - Longtime textile designer friend and revered family friend to all of us. Carolyn is retired and lives with her cat in the same jewel box of an apartment since I've known her ('78). It is filled with her amazing artistry and innate taste. We shared this trip's lunch and always-interesting gab session with her old friend since Art Student League studies, Stephanie, and a mutual longtime textile designer friend, Jean...
Desiree & Jeff Greene - speaking of artists! Desiree is a painter and Jeff restores buildings all over the world via his famous EverGreene Architectural Arts studio. He is also a World musician in the group he co-founded, TriBeCaStan. All their children are artists! We've known them since their daughter and Elise attended Blue Rock elementary school together. We had a great evening entertaining them at our 'home,' where they also appreciated our hosts' fascinating space. I was super happy to see Desiree again - in her kitchen - for girl time. She has a gentle, collected presence and intelligence that I highly treasure.
|Ethan, Samuel, Jennifer & Todd|
Nancy Taylor - a world traveler if there ever was one...as in a tent in Ladakh; crossing the Sahara with eleven people in a sedan; getting shot at in Papua New Guinea, and on and on. She was recently in the West Bank laughing with two Arabic women farmers, though she found their situation anything but laughable. She gave me one of the best history books I've read, My Promised Land by Ari Shavit, which illustrates the ever nuanced and complicated story of Israel through the stories of individuals from every side. Enlightening. She grabs life by the shoulders, and any tidbit of her impressions she shares is sheer gold. I was lucky to see this curious and brilliant woman twice!
|Katie & Windy|
|Bill & Charlie, reading Todd's book|
|Amy & Nori|
|Windy reading Todd's book to Daphne & Nori|
|When I saw this incredible photo of Daphne & Nori, I understood what Windy was doing with such a fancy camera!|
|Cooper-Union student-designed housing|
I'm always attracted to interesting architecture. Here are some buildings we passed in our wanderings.
|An old favorite!|
Our last night we went on a jazz cruise around lower Manhattan. The music was great and the views, spectacular.
People may complain that Manhattan is too intense or too harsh. For me, Manhattan is a salve full of grace.