June 7, 2012
In my ramblings on Wednesday I had found a Goodwill about 10 blocks from our apartment. the clothing comes from the neighborhood, so it is definitely upscale. So, on Thursday, Sally and I went up there to see what they had. She got a purse that she can tell you about. I also walked my bike up to the repair shop. I need a new rear wheel. It is too bent to fix.
Then Sally and I went to a Japanese restaurant in the neighborhood that we have come to like. Good food real close. Sally went to the Whitney and I went home and took care of some Rotary and financial matters. At four, we both went to our local library to volunteer. the big task is organizing the shelves. I think people just put books back at random. Maybe in the general area where they got them. It is time consuming. I made me appreciate the need to be careful when you reshelve a book.
After that we came home and had a nice evening at home.
Sally' s Day- I purchased a purse at Goodwill (picture below). Since arriving in NYC, I have had difficulty carrying everything I need (my purse presently includes an umbrella, subway schedule, billfold, keys, book, cellphone, bottle of water, jacket). At home, I would throw most of these things in back seat of the car, and off I would go. Here, I need to carry everything I might need in the next 4-6 hours.
I have noticed that women here carry very large bags- probably with the same things I have. Goodwill proved to be a perfect place to find a bag. $7.99 for a large leather Latico bag. I felt rather smug when I found the same bag on amazon for $93.
Comparison of NYC Goodwill to Eagan Goodwill (the one I go to the most)- clothing is nicer here, but primarily size 2-10 because it appears most women here are thin. Almost no furniture. Similar in housewares. Two stories. I prefer a place called City Works on 77th Street. Smaller, but much better for house things.
The Whitney was interesting (no pictures; unlike the Metro Mus, they don't allow pictures of their permanent collection). They had 12 works on display- each in its own room. Which meant that I didn't see much, but had no distractions from what was there. The most interesting was a circus constructed by Alexander Calder from bits of cloth, wire, cork, and other found things. He made a complete circus- animals, center ring, acrobats, sword swallower, aerialists, etc. There was a movie of him maneuvering the objects to perform.
A second interesting work was 4 life-size headless statues of African American museum guards. And standing next to it talking were two guards for the Whitney talking. Life imitating art or art imitating life- one or the other.
No new books from the library. I checked out a book called Sunset Park by a New York writer named Paul Auster last week. He lives in Brooklyn, and writes about New York. I heard him read at Selected Shorts- a story about a young man who graduated from Columbia, had no job, and lived in Central Park for 4 months. It made me want to read more. Sort of like reading Garrison Keiller in MN (aside- that has been a great joy- to be able to stream MPR- I don't care for the public radio stations here).
June 8-Day 25
My day was uneventful, but at night we went to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Mary Ellen, one of our friends from the Yankees game got the tickets for us. I loved the show. The costumes were amazing. The songs were mainly from the 60's and 70's. Oh, my youth. The most amazing things was the bus. I has and skin of LED lights on it so that they can change its color and show designs and pictures on it, just like on a television. It provides and amazing backdrop for the adventure. I loved it.
I had a morning that I am sure will be my 5 best experiences in New York. I went to hear Pinchus Zuckerman play with and direct the New York Philharmonic (I had gone on line to get tickets for both Al and I, and the dear man suggested that rather both of us going, that I get 1 really good ticket for myself. And I did- 4th row center. I could actually see him smile when he played).
Zuckerman played a Bach concerto, and a Mozart concerto. He directed a short Stravinsky piece and Mozart's Symphony 39. I think it is very hard to describe music with words. An interesting thing about Symph. 39- Mozart never heard it performed- which seems sad to me.
In the afternoon, I saw a movie called "We Have a Pope." The premise is that the pope has died, the cardinals must elect a new pope, and the guy they elect doesn't want the job. The elected pope escapes the Vatican, and spends several days wandering around Rome enjoying his anonymity, and thinking his life. Entertaining, but not great.
And then in the evening- Priscilla. So my day went from the sublime in the morning to the silly in the evening. Wouldn't it be nice if every day had both sublime and silly parts?
June 9- Day 26
I started my day by volunteering for Achilles International Several times a week they sponsor events in Central Park where sighted and abled people help people with vision problems or other disabilities run or walk around Central Park. I helped a fellow who used a walker to get around. He was a very interesting person and we had a good time. I didn't really have to help him, but I guess I was there to keep him company and just in case something happened. In an hour and a half we only went 4 blocks, but he really worked to so that.
After that, I went on another walk. I walked around the Jacki Onassis Kennedy reservoir to the West Side. Had lunch and walked back home. Probably about 5 miles total. I am really enjoying walking. But, I was exhausted when I got home.
Tonight we went to a Shakespeare In the Park event, but no the one that you may have heard about. There is another organization that does Shakespeare in Central Park called New York Classical Theatre. They perform their plays in the open fields and spaces of the park. For every scene change, you have to move with them to a new part of the park. Also, because it is in open parts of the park, their stage can be quite expansive. When they say that somebody is coming, you can see them half a block away. Your really see what would normally be off stage activity. The acting was first class. If you come to New York and have a chance to see them, I recommend them. You can check their website.
We are waiting for the play.
Moving between scenes
The cast taking a bow.
(Warning- my writing will be about the Quilt Guild I attended.)
I went to the Empire Quilters Guild meeting today. Their meeting lasts most of the day. I arrived about 12:45- but others had been there for at least an hour before me, eating lunch and chatting. Some members had tables selling fabric from their stashes. I bought a yard of fabric a woman had purchased in Kenya some years ago. I think it will make a good center for a Gwen Marsten liberated medallion quilt. And some small batik pieces to go with the free batiks I got at the Modern Quilters meeting the week before.
It is a huge guild- several hundred members. There appeared to be about 100 people there.
They seem to have a paid speaker each month (they meet Sept-June). The speaker talked about fabric selection- using patterns she had designed, and a tool she created to make circles. Her name is Linda Warren and here is one of her quilts.
There was show and tell. I showed a quilt I had brought from MN to bind (still unbound when I showed it). I was surprised that there were maybe only about 12-15 people who showed quilts with such a large membership.
I also won a raffle prize- more fabric and a spool of thread. Useful since I did not bring enough with me from MN.
I will go back in Sept- people were friendly and they have some good speakers lined up.
The Shakespeare performance was very good- tonight we will go to the famous Shakespeare in the Park- Al kindly waited in line 3 1/2 hours for tickets this morning.
June 10, 2012- Day 27
Today we went to church at the Riverside Church. This is a large and old church by Columbia University. The service was about 2 and half hours long, representing the American Baptist side of the church. It is also affiliated with the United Church of Christ. It was and impressive church.
The General Grant National Monument is across the street, so we went to see that. It is the largest Mausoleum in North American and the only national monument with a tomb in it. Of course, the age old question is who is buried in Grants Tomb. The answer is of course Grant and his wife.
We asked why it was the General Grant and not the President Grant National Monument. The park ranger didn't know other than that was the name the Congress adopted in 1958 when they authorized the National Monument. Anybody know the answer?
General Grant National Monument
General Grant on the left and his wife on the right.
After that we walked down Riverside Park a ways. This is just one of the hundreds of green spaces that New York City has. You are never very far from a park.
We then walked home most of the way. We stopped to see Moonrise Kingdom on the way home. It is an entertaining movie and we recommend it.
When we were walking from the subway to the church, I overheard a woman walking with her daughter say that Riverside is "very famous and very liberal." The church has a history of great preachers- William Sloane Coffin being probably the best known. They are in the process of seeking a new preacher, and have a interim at this time. Probably the most integrated church I have attended. It appeared that the congregation was about 50/50 white/African American. Two of the ministers were white, 2 African American. Excellent choir.
Riverside Park extends from about 125th Street to Battery Park at the south end of Manhattan.
June 11, 2012- Day 28 (four weeks!)
This morning I went over to Central Park to get in line for tickets for Shakespeare in the Park. I got there at 8:45 AM and there were only about 120 people ahead of me. They start giving out tickets at 1 PM, but you need to get in line early. Some people get there as early as 6 AM when the park opens. That wasn't necessary today. Maybe on weekends.
I will comment on today after I have finished living the day.