Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fasten your seatbelts, Part I

For yet another whirlwind weekend in the Big Apple!


Houston Sunrise...................................

Vanessa arrived early Thursday afternoon (having departed Houston at sunrise). We grabbed a Chinese lunch round the corner from me and just spent time with each other, in fact I even gave her some of the dresses I've grown out of. In the evening, we headed into the city to meet one of V's friends from tango who happened to be in town (happens every time that someone somebody knows is always in town), and then back to Laguardia to pick up V's boyfriend Pierre.


Most NYC subways are filled with mosaics, each stop having its own theme. This could be a blog post in itself.

City of contrasts (between 5th and Madison)

Apple and Bergdorf Goodman

On the way back through Manhattan to Brooklyn we got out at Union Square and went to the University Diner (near NYU). At 10pm we had a salad Nicoise and some REALLY good handmade pasta in a pink (between red and creamy) vodka sauce with zucchini and portobello mushroom. It really was deliciously yummy and I can't wait to eat it again. I've never eaten such tender, springy pasta - maybe THAT'S what
al dente means...



We were a bit useless, despite waking up rather early, we only managed to make brunch (my now famous scrambled egg in a wrap with sausage patties), and left the house in the afternoon! The afternoon, I tell you!

Going up a few stops into another part of Brooklyn, we got out at Union Street subway and explored Park Slope towards Prospect Park (there's even a mini-movie), where we saw Grand Army Plaza and the Brooklyn Public Library.

No two houses are alike in this city...

Fairytale alert!

Grand Army Plaza, in memory of those who died to preserve the Union (Civil War, 1860-1865)

A gazebo at Prospect Park

The Brooklyn Public Library (wiki), built between 1912-1941 (no typo here). Brooklyn borough is the fifth largest public library system in the USA.
Apparently from above it resembles an open book, with this face being the spine

All variety of symbology and literary figures cover the doors. All three entrances are flanked by excellent quotes carved in stone

If I had to choose, I would be Athena, and I like owls

We kept walking and saw some of the park. It is an intriguing park. After entering between two columns you find your way to a sort of keyhole tunnel, which transports you into a rolling meadow filled with ancient trees. It felt a bit like English countryside and we wanted to explore more. There is a lake, a boathouse, a Quaker cemetery, a Dutch farmhouse, the Botanic Gardens, and and and....but it was nearly 4.30pm by the time we'd snapped a few photos, so we legged it to the Brooklyn Museum (website) and had about 20 minutes to breeze through the decorative arts and room displays on the 4th floor.

The Brooklyn Museum (wiki), opened in 1897, is the second largest museum in NYC and one of the largest in the USA.

The Jan Martense Schenck House, built in the 1670s when Brooklyn was still Broekelin. Dutch houses abound in this part of the city and I would like to explore them.

Half is laid out in the original Dutch colonial style of Jan Martense and the other half in Nicholas Schenck's 18th century style.


This exhibition, which has travelled far and wide, is over 30 years old and represents many of the most powerful and influential females of history - warriors, rulers, writers, poets, innovators, activists. This one is Boadicea. Emily Dickinson's setting is pink and frilly and her embroidery more delicate.

Rodin's Burghers of Calais

Rodin sculpture gallery in the lobby

Inside the lobby at closing

In the Museum Plaza after a surprise sunlit rainshower

We ate hot dogs at the ubiquitous Sabretts stand outside the museum, then walked back into Prospect Park where we attempted to rescue a giant lost caterpillar on the pathway that refused to stay on a tree, so we abandoned him to his fate. But at least he was on the grass by then.

We returned home where we ate leftover egg rolls. Pierre stayed to take a nap (he was fighting a cold) and Vanessa and I walked to Shore Park to see the sunset. We went all the way to the veteran's memorial/POW-MIA pier at the top of the park, then into the pharmacy to pick up some meds for Pierre, and then took the subway two stops back home which saved about 20 minutes.

We were hungry again, so we went down to a sushi restaurant that I love. Had crispy tofu, seaweed salad, three types of sushi maki ($2.50 gives you 6 rolls); Pierre had beef teriyaki.

It was a pleasant stroll back home as we were very full.

..............................................New York sunset

[P.S. cross your fingers - I have an interview at an animal hospital on Monday.]


meimei said...

good luck on the job interview and a lovely post.

Anonymous said...

An exciting day well told!!!
You did a great job picking the pictures ....hehehe...I even recognize some of my pics!!! :))))))
By the way, I got your text msg, sorry about the delayed reply. Wishing you all the best. Sending positive energy your way! and a positive response!!


Jo said...

Awesome post, Liv! I got pics and a good dose of history, too! Can't wait to see New York (and you, of course!) and it was so pleasant to talk to you yesterday!

Have a great week, and good luck with your interview!

The Moody Minstrel said...

(C'mon, don't...)
(Don't even...)
(No, Moody, not a word...)
(Aw, phooey! I give up! I can't resist the URGE TO ASK!!!!! )

Um...just how tall is Pierre, anyway?

Your pictorial tours of the Big Apple still never cease to amaze me, m'lady. I really honestly had no idea it was so interesting.

Olivia said...

Meimei - thanks. It went well I think.


Vanessa - I think about 7 are yours, I should have credited you :)

I was interviewed by the practice manager and will hear back tomorrow or Wednesday.

P.S. Moody Minstrel wants to know how tall Pierre is.


Jo - Yes, it was great to talk to you too, and see you next month.


Minstrel - I don't know, let's ask Vanessa, shall we?

She is very short, by the way. About 5'1" so Pierre is probably 6'4"ish. She does tend to pick the extra tall ones, even though they're all tall compared to her!

P.S. I am now beginning to feel a little guilty for taking nice photos. So next time, shall I post a few garbage bags? Some gum on a wall? :P

Olivia said...

Sorry, in Japan you probably measure in centimetres. But you still remember your imperial measurements, right? I always find them easier to comprehend.

meimei said...

hey some people may find garbage interesting

for some info on yelle go to

Christopher said...

Aren't you a shit for posting a picture of Bergdorf's?! :) I cannot wait to get back to Portland to take pictures of the city, it adds so much to a website and the city is always fun to explore and find a new zippy little shop or cafe..le sigh...The photos of the museum were lovely too and your home is awfully cozy...reminds me somewhat of San Francisco!

Love the pictures, love this blog!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Japan hasn't completely de-imperialized me yet. ;-)

M'lady, I can see piles of garbage in my next-door neighbor's yard, and the guy who lives across the street has a scrapyard instead of a garden. That's quite enough, thank you.

But person's gum on the wall is another person's modern art.

I was thinking the same thing as Cristopher: the houses do remind me of San Francisco. (What can I say? We both either live or have lived in Portland!)

Olivia said...

Meimei - yeahhhh but not bags of it on the sidewalk :P


Kissy - you have Bergdorf's on the West coast?

See, your sojourn in the country will not only refresh your soul but send you back into the city with new eyes.

The houses in my area tend to reflect their proximity to the bay.


Minstrel - it's a funny first sentence; as I read I thought of how the word "imperial" is used mostly in Japan now with reference to their royal family.

Indeed, Christopher lives in Portland, like you once did!

Flighty said...

Definitely a cup of tea and two biscuits entry. As ever a terrific read with lots of wonderful photos. Thanks! xx

Anonymous said...

GREAT photos of your fun outings! I can't believe V is smaller than you - aren't you already a size zero? I wonder if you can see the book-spine idea from Google Earth.

beginninghere said...

So much to see. Whew. Your "breeze" through the Brooklyn Museum recalls my own breeze through Versailles or D.C. You always wish for more time but then, you know where you want to spend more time later—right? Really nice shots.

Olivia said...

Flighty - I am a bad influence on you and your tea and biccie intake! xx


Nikki - ha! I seem to remember being a zero once. I am now a two, though the fours I bought here last year still fit - well, Vanessa said that clothing sizes were changed in the past year. Do you know anything about this?

I think there were a couple of overhead shots of the library on Wikipedia.


BH - So much to see indeed. I almost dread posting the big Saturday epic.

I also breezed through the Louvre in 1996. Later on I would like to breeze through Providence, RI but spend a bit more time on DC.

AmitL said...

Hi,Olivia-just strolling by...hehe....yes,'stroll' has a meaning-coz I'm just able to read the post,but,not see the pics.:)the park seems to be qutie intriguing.
And,good luck for the interview results.:)

Lasto-adri *Blue* said...

I Loved your pictures Liv!
real beauty :)

Um Naief said...

You and Vanessa look a lot alike. I could mistake you for sisters, easily. :)

I love all the walking you can do in New York. So many wonderful things to see and do...

The park sounds like heaven. Sounds as though parks just sorta sneak up on you there... ?

Sounds like you're feeling better. That's good :)

The pasta sounds yummy. I had some w/ vodka sauce while in California... ummmmm, so good!!!

Um Naief said...

crud - did it again...

My fingers are crossed... hope the interview goes well! Sounds like an interesting place to work, and since you love animals... can't beat it, so here's to hoping you get the job!!

Jo said...

Well, Liv, after reading this post, Dave wants to uproot from Dallas and move to Brooklyn!

Olivia said...

Amit - there are better pics of the park on the Wikipedia entries I linked to.


Blue!!!!!!!!!!! - thanks for stopping by! My blog has changed a lot in the last couple of years, hasn't it?


Um Naief - when my hair was long and curly, during our first semester as roomies people used to ask if we were sisters.

In fact, we passed an old guy on a bench at Prospect Park and he said, "Sisters?" New Yorkers have mastered the art of random comments, really.


Jo - oooops! ;)