Spent the weekend in NYC with beloved sister, celebrating her momentous arrival on the planet, which occurred 30 years ago yesterday. We saw two plays, walked hundreds of blocks, hit two great museums (the Met and the MoMA), wandered through Chinatown and Little Italy, and had two less-than-great meals. As usual, I got back completely exhausted but sorry to leave.
Question: How many "chocolate bars" can one city support, especially in a recession? Everywhere we walked, it seemed, we passed some little exclusive chocolate shop with a menu of gold-leaf truffles and $8 hot cocoas and chocolate with bacon in it. I couldn't help but wonder what will happen to these places over the next few years, as our need for the chocolate endorphins rises and our ability to pay for anything more than a square of Hershey bar sinks.
Moment with the most "poetry": Eavesdropping on a class of public school 2nd graders at the MoMA as their tour guide sat them down in front of the cluster of Brancusis shown above and had the kids talk about what they saw in them. The kids were amazing: alternately squirmy, entranced, and disgusted by the naked breasts on a Klimt in the room. I couldn't wait to write about them. The kids, not the breasts.
Best New York moment: Eating a bagel in a small diner near the museum and watching our Indian waitress enchange flirtatious banter with the Ukrainian line cook and the Latin American manager. Oddest NY moment: Walking south on Madison Avenue just after the Met closed on Saturday, freezing our asses off in the dark, and crossing an intersection only to realize that the entire area was clogged with cop cars, marked and unmarked, and that every nearby doorway had an officer in SWAT gear lurking in it.
These contest results went live this weekend while I was away ... a nice surprise. The $2000 first prize would have been nicer, but $100 will help me pay for the time in New York!