The Met, Martinis and Lower Manhattan

Thursday was a huge day despite not checking out of our hotel until about 11:30!  Robin was first up just after dawn and ventured out for a walk and then read in the lobby while the rest of us continued to sleep.  When we awoke, we were greeted by a text message from her asking if we would like cappuccinos.  Yes please!  (Tea for me). We  had a leisurely morning enjoying some people-watching from our floor to ceiling windows including being able to see into a dance studio directly across the street from us.  Breakfast came in the form of a bacon, cheese and egg croissant, a Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Sandwich, fresh fruit and grapefruit soda from the deli just around the corner.  A perfect breakfast for counteracting our tequila fueled evening.

When we were finally ready, we decided to take a taxi to The Met as it was a rainy day.  Upon our arrival there,  we discovered that everyone else had the same idea and the line snaked around the side of the building.  We almost decided to head off elsewhere but then decided to tough it out for 45 minutes in the pouring rain and we were glad we did.

Our primary interest in going was to see the Costume Institute’s current exhibit, Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion, a wonderful display of classic pieces from all the iconic designers from over the years.  A real feast for the eyes and amazing to see the detailed artistry of the clothing.

After all the beautiful clothes we stopped by to see some of the Impressionists, along with a gazillion other people.

Our final stop was an exhibit called “Beyond Caravaggio” a fabulous display of the works of artist  Valentin de Boulogne, the greatest French follower of Caravaggio’s who had never had his work in a solo exhibit.

In need of sustenance, we headed to the giant cafeteria in search of food and wine.  Mini bottles of Sauvignon Blanc, Gouda and Apple sandwiches on a Nut and Raisin bread, Chicken Salad and chips did the trick.

Getting out of the Met is a challenge, it’s like a never ending maze but we finally did it and hopped into a taxi.  Our driver was an amiable Russian Jew who was ready to chat. As we made the journey down Fifth Avenue he told us about his 30 years here in what he described as “the greatest country in the world”.  He was excited about the upcoming Trump presidency and did not hold back with his feelings about Hillary Clinton.  He then discussed 9/11 and shared some very powerful photos of that day, taken by himself and his passenger.  He says he has never been able to work again on that date and stays home in a mini depression refusing to watch any coverage of it.  We talked about where we were that day when it happened.  I was at home, 5 months pregnant with Rory, wondering what kind of world I was bringing a child in to.

After hearing his account of that day, I rolled down the window and enjoyed the lights, sights and sounds of this most famous Avenue, soaking up the energy of the traffic, shoppers and marveling at the dwindling light.  As we got out of the taxi, the sky was finally starting to clear and the setting sun cast a warm glow over the skyscrapers.


It was then declared that it was time for a martini which we enjoyed in our hotel bar before retrieving our luggage.  Kerry and Robin had classic dirty vodka martinis and Cherry and I went with the bartenders recommendation of  vodka with a dash of sweet vermouth.  So good.


Next up was a taxi ride down to the Financial District to our new home for the next 4 nights, Keju and Marc’s gorgeous apartment.  Keju welcomed us with prosecco and snacks and we got to meet our charge for the next few days, Ling Chao.  After enjoying our bubbly, we headed down to South Street Seaport to Barbulu for a fantastic Italian dinner.  Charcuterie and cheese with a Sauvignon Blanc to start, then pasta dishes that included bolognese, Gorgonzola and walnut, Scallops and asparagus with a white wine butter sauce and a shrimp and arugula dish.  All amazing, and we switched to a lovely Sangiovese to accompany them.  Two tiramisu and some coffee rendered us completely full.  We finished off our evening by walking around the neighborhood then went up to the rooftop terrace of the apartment building to see the city lights.  Beautiful!  Back at the apartment, Keju shared some Canadian Ice Wine that his friends had given him, we chatted some more then all collapsed into a carb coma.  A great day.


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