New York State of Mind

Tuesday the 22nd of May we arrived at Kennedy Airport and took the Air Train into Jamaica Station where we met up with Daughter #2 (the one who lives in Queens), then we all took the Long Island Railroad to Hempsted where the chatty cab driver who picked us up finally delivered us to Hofstra University. Hubby and I were both eager to see her campus and office because it’s nice to envision the people you care about going through their daily routines in settings you’ve seen and are familiar with. That’s Hubby on the left trying to talk to a clearly uninterested professor; On the right, Daughter #2 and me admiring a statue of an Elizabethan (?) lady with cascading dredlocks and bird doo splattered all over her head and gown.

 Pop and the sitting statuevim_me_bird splattered statue

After our “exciting cab ride,” we were already in a New York state of mind, ready to walk a lot, climb lots of stairs, and crisscross the city by public transport for the next 5 days above and below the ground. The driving would be up to someone else; we would just enjoy the ride.

Daughter warned us to do a lot of walking in the weeks before we went, because we’d be doing a lot ↓ of this. If the subway doors were ↓ closing fast we’d need to  go even faster!

feet walking briskly walking fast

We thought we were ready, but once we tried taking the elevator to relieve our achy knees and guess what?! Turns out those elevators are really urinals. The odor is strong enough to gag a maggot. Be warned in case you’re going to the Big Apple yourselves. Don’t use subway elevators!

The next day, after sleeping on a foldout in Daughter’s apartment, we started our adventure in the big city in earnest. We checked into Herald Square Hotel  where we’d sleep the next three nights (we’d go back to the foldout for our last night in town). Turns out the hotel was a bit of a museum itself. The Herald Square is a very old building, dating from about 1894, when it became the permanent home of LIFE magazine. LIFE’s founder and and editor John A. Mitchell had “little homes” set up within the building to house the best artists, writers and creative staff he could find. There were even bachelor apartments on the upper floors to house the men who worked on the magazine.

Philip Martiny (one of the most prolific scultures of his time) created the winged cherub, WINGED LIFE , that would become the symbol of LIFE throughout its existence and still graces the doorway of the hotel at 19 West 31st Street. There are also 100 framed and captioned reproductions of LIFE magazine covers that graced the covers of the weekly magazine throughout the hotel. 

Following are some notations about other places we visited. Dozens of huge

 roofline of the MET fresh flowers at the Met

arrangements greeted us in the lobby of the Metropolitan Museum of Art where we began with one of my favorites, Egyptian artifacts during the period of approximately 1000 BC – 1 AD, and the tombs and mummies. Afterwards we browsed  European and American art, saw a lot of early Picasso and I discovered I really liked his earlier, transition period, especially the blue period when he was doing a lot of things representative of his struggle between his art and his lusty nature (at least that’s how I interpreted it). I agree with my fellow blogger in Pittsburgh who said she wished she could just move into the Met for about six months so she would have the time to see or at least skim everything. What a thrill that would be; we could even take our meals there and barely see the sun the whole time. There is so much to see!

My next posting will continue with New York state of mind post #2. In it I hope to cover Central Park, MOMA, Bodies in Motion Exhibit, United Nations Building, and the Natural History Museum, all of which would be much more interesting than the  spring cleaning I must get back to and finish before our guests (Hubby’s brother and sis-in-law) arrive on Friday.

1 thought on “New York State of Mind

  1. Nice pictures (Except the one I’m in!).

    I’ve even been in a worse elevator at a subway station than the one you describe here…the doors closed only to reveal that somebody had barfed all down the doors on the inside. I held my breath as long as I could and closed my eyes. The sight of it alone made me gag.

    As for living in the Met, well, this book made everyone I knew in grade school want to live in a museum (and think it was possible):

    Mom, if you haven’t read this before, I think you should! It’s great!

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