Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Big Apple, Part 2

More New York City observations.

Wall Street an environs were like a little war zone, with barricades set up by the New York stock exchange, presumably to deter protesting pests. Nearby was Federal Hall, complete with statue of George Washington on the steps, the site of the U.S. government from 1789 to 1790. (The building housed all three branches of government - I suppose "separation of powers" is not meant in the sense of physical space!) (The current structure was built in 1842 as a Customs House.)

Federal Hall

No visit to that end of Manhattan would be complete without a stop at Fountain Pen Hospital, just off of City Hall Park, where I could look in envy on models I can't afford (and bought a Lamy 2000 fountain pen), or to the remodeled Apple Store in SoHo. Apple's flagship location in New York is on Fifth Avenue, with the iconic glass cube covering the entrance to the store:

Apple Store

However, that location is simply impassable. The last time I was in New York, the building was under renovation, so I foolishly assumed that the incredible crowd was a result of the constricted space available. Nope. I looked through the cube into the store and saw that one couldn't move inside. Craziness. Instead, I opted for the very nice SoHo store.

Just down the street from the Apple store is the Harney & Sons tea room. I had a small pot of the Anniversary blend and was thoroughly buzzed on caffeine by the time I left.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is normally closed on Mondays, but the museum opens for Monday holidays, including Labor Day. It was predictably crowded, especially in popular exhibits such as the Egyptian rooms.

Met  Egyptian

(However, the Temple of Dendur was closed, blast it!) Oddly, the medieval section was refreshingly empty.

Met  Madonna and Child

The walk back to the hotel was an ambitious 30+ blocks. Oxygen!

So much good stuff to do and see - and I haven't even mentioned the food and drink* - that a few days scarcely does the city justice. But returning every so often, seeing new sites and revisiting old favorites, just may be a way to enjoy the city without becoming overwhelmed.

*I was in two restaurants that were so dimly-lit that I had trouble reading the menu. The first place catered to younger people, so I assumed that the near-darkness was a way of discouraging middle-aged diners, with our heavy corrective lenses that don't do well in low light. The second, however, was squarely aimed at, ahem, an older crowd. I have no idea why restauranteurs think this is a good idea.

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