New York City, 2009

I wanted to see the Gothic Dark Glamour exhibit before it closed, so I set aside a weekend and went to NYC. Cris's sister was out of town and generously allowed us to apartment sit for her. :)

Fri Jan 30/09

I love taking the train to NYC, I just go straight from work to South Station, meet Cris there, and get on the train. He'd accumulated some free miles while consulting in NYC and used them to half the price of our tickets. We made a bee line for the quiet car and settled in for a relaxing trip to NYC. We'd each grabbed something to eat before getting to South Station, I should have taken Cris up on his offer to get me a bento box when he got one for himself, but he let me nibble at the unagi when my sandwich didn't prove as satisfying as hoped. :) We were pretty tired by the time we got to Penn Station, navigating the subway to his sister's apartment was a bit of a mental challenge, but we got there eventually. Unfortunately, there had been a mix up and a note hadn't been left saying that we should get the spare key, but Cris was able to convince the doorman that we were legit and we were soon settling in upstairs. I don't think I did more than drink some water, take a shower, and collapse in bed.

Sat Jan 31/09

I had a bit of toast before we set out to meet up at Le Pain Quotidien with a high school (?) friend of Cris's. I let them play catch up while I fortified myself for the day to come, though I didn't get my wished for pancakes - the menu leaned more toward sandwiches. From there it was on to the museum at the Fashion Institute of NYC for the Gothic: Dark Glamour exhibit. Gala and Janette were running on goth standard time, so Cris and I went through the "Art of Seduction" exhibit (corsets! 20's dresses!) and most of the gothic exhibit before they got in touch. The exhibit had a wonderful presentation, with castles and dungeons and a mad scientist's lab, and great pieces, some of which I'd seen on friends or at the MFA's fashion exhibit a while back. :) I was making notes and doing small sketches as things would especially inspire me. Cris and I had time to wander over to the Borders and browse for a bit, and then we went back to the FIT to meet Janette and Gala as they arrived. We chatted for a bit, I got a mix CD from Janette, made plans to meet up later that evening, and she directed us to the $5 bling store nearby. :) They eventually went in to view the exhibits and I dragged Cris to Jewelery Plaza at Broadway and Harold Square. Oh, my, accessory heaven. I just barely stuck to my $20 budget and came out with a stack of cool stuff: a cherry print scarf to match a sun dress I have, a very heavy beaded wrist cuff, a bracelet with a large black stone to match a necklace that my sister gave me, a neat silvery/black dangly necklace to fill out low necklines, a long strand of fake silver pearls, and maybe one other thing. I was trying to focus on art deco/1920's style things for an event I'm attending in July, and I made out like a bandit. :) Cris picked up some really nice cufflinks, nabbing the only set that I'd want to get for myself, but he promised that I could borrow them as I'd let him borrow my old cuff links. :)

We were getting a bit peckish, so we headed over to Chickalicious Dessert Bar where I had a divine earl grey panacotta with meyer lemon. I'll definitely treat myself to another stop there, it isn't quite the oasis that the Wild Lilly Tea Room was, but close. :) We had a bit of time before our reservation to meander our way to Ushiwakamaru, revisiting the sushi bar that we'd loved on a previous trip. I splashed out for the $100 prix fixe meal and it was wonderful. :) It was also pretty relaxed, so I think we were right on time to head straight to Bflat for drinks where we'd planned to meet Janette and Gala. They arrived soon after our first drinks did, I started with a Moment's Notice (sake, plum, and lemon) and gave the bartender the recipe for a Red Rot for my second drink. You know you're becoming a cocktail snob when... :) It was good to sit and chat in a relatively quiet venue, it didn't get very crowded until we were ready to leave around 11:30pm or so (which in retrospect makes sense, it's NYC). From there, it was an hour and a half long subway ride to get back to the apartment due to random line closures and re-routings.

Sun Feb 1/09

Toast again to fortify myself for the subway trip up to Cafe Sabarsky to meet Raul for brunch at 11. We arrived first and were warned that we had to order immediately as the kitchen was closing, so since I was extremely hungry, I put in a request for food and tucked in when it arrived, throwing manners out the window. :) He did get there in time to order as well, and I was happy to nurse my expensive pot of tea while he finished up eating. We all walked over to the Guggenheim and I finally got to visit this museum for the first time. The main exhibit was The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, and it had some beautiful and moving pieces in it, as well as some impenetrable ones. :) There was a line rigged up so a suspended cart could descend from the top of the museum to the lobby around the spiral ramp, ringing a bell occasionally and then dropping cut up books at the bottom. Some of the pieces seemed to incorporate calligraphy for calligraphy's sake. There was the obligatory white on white piece. There was a record of a performance art piece by Tehching Hsieh where he dressed in a worker's uniform and punched a time clock every hour on the hour for a year. At first I was dismissive of it, and then I started to get sucked in, looking at the posted time cards, seeing the notations for why he'd missed an hour, watching the time lapse video of snapshots taken each hour. He shaved his head at the start of the year and let it grow out over the 12 months to form a visual record of the time passing. He's done some other one year performanes, this one was apparently from 1980-1.

After that we grabbed a snack from Dean and Delucca and ate on a bench in Central Park, watching cyclists and joggers go past. :) We also doubled back to a chocolate shop that we'd passed on our way to brunch and I got a white hot chocolate with meyer lemon (I may be slight obsessed with meyer lemons now). We made our way back to the apartment, and I spotted a really neat designer dress in the window of Boutique Elle on Lexington (a green fitted dress reminiscent of spring, with texture provided by different types of fabric, including a neat netting overlay) that made me want to make something inspired by it but in black. We packed up our stuff and then stopped in the Candle Cafe for food (mmm, peanut stirfry on soba noodles), and then made ou way back to Penn Station for the train home. Which was delayed about an hour, that wasn't fun, standing around in the overly warm station watching the delays mount up 10 minutes at a time. :/ But we got into the quiet car again and once we were going, it was a quick trip.

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