The last installment of “I <3 NY.” For better or worse (…richer or poorer?), life here is like nowhere else.
♥ Samad’s Gourmet. On Broadway between 111th and 112th, Hikmat and Wassim run a great little deli with fantastic wraps, muffins, and coffee. Their excellent baba and hummous are made with tahini they bring in from Lebanon. The two friends are always good for a chat and seem to know half their customers, which inspires a loyalty strong enough to keep some of us away from the neighborhood bully, West Side Market, across the street.
♥ Galleries. I don’t have favorites, I just love that there is always something to see. I think that I might see less because I know something is always there (if you are in a smaller place, you make sure to see what you can, when you can). My friend, Peter, blogs about what he wants to see and where, so if your interested in what to see now, check him out. Above: Matthew Marks. (Okay, Sasha Wolf Gallery is great for photography).
♥ My favorite museum is the Guggenheim (pictured above in grainy cell phone snap). I love the sloping gallery and have seen some amazing exhibitions there. Cai Guo-Qiang and Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle come to mind (heavens, was that eight years ago? I loved that). The Metropolitan Museum of Art is worthy of years of exploration, and the rooftop cafe/bar offers great views of the park. After reading the book From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (by E. L. Konigsburg) as a child, the Met has been a beloved place. Yes, the Natural History Musem. Who’s coming to the silk road thing with me? Yes, the Rubin Museum. It’s such an incredibly beautiful space with great shindigs on Friday nights. MoMA? I’ve never loved MoMA. Part of it is the crowds, as the only time I truly enjoyed it was an empty night on the eve of a holiday. And part of it is that I’m partial to staring at pretty things.
♥ Cold, fresh snow air. I don’t like cold winds, but I love do love the smell and crispness of the air when it snows. And when it’s so cold that few people are out crowding the streets. The Swedes like to say, “There’s no bad weather. Only bad clothing.” Bundle up and go play!
♥ New York Moments. #1 comes last. They pop up everywhere if you let them. Moments with strangers on the subway when you both observe some third-party behavioral silliness or transgression and you lock eyes understandingly, made all the more intimate by the fact that such communication is generally forbidden. Moments when you overhear snippets that make you giggle out loud (a bit less special now given the curious popularity of the mobile phone. This device has made these snippets entirely too frequent and at times, cumbersome. Alas, I do celebrate that they do not yet work underground).
Further: Stumbling on a tag scrawling your best friend’s nickname. Spotting the silhouette of a guy in a top hat, who’s singing opera while pacing underneath a bridge in the park. Admiring the outfit of a lady at lunch who has very interesting ideas about how to accouter herself (e.g. above @Caviarteria), whilst you bemoan that the people who have money in this city so seldom have the taste or creativity to know how to use it properly. A man dining with his bulldog. The erroneous number of carbs in bagels, mushrooms, cream of wheat, and jello scribbled on a MTA trashcan in silver pen. Superman strapped to the grill of a delivery van. I could make a slide show of favorite NY moments captured on film, and perhaps I will. For now, a set of my favorite NY images are up on flickr. It features a NY moment or two.