Whirlwind Trip to NYC

It was a while ago but I've been busy. Austin had emergency quadruple bypass surgery and I spent a fair amount of time with him in the hospital. He's doing well and I hope he continues to do so. He did get an iPhone for Christmas so that should help.

So New York was a whirlwind trip - first an Amtrak train to Secaucus, NJ on Friday Dec. 12 to stay the night in Ben and Dennis' art-filled place which overlooks the NJ Meadowlands with the skyline of NYC in the distance. Some friends of theirs came over and Den served paella for dinner and it was marvelous.

Saturday morning I caught the NJ transit train to NY Penn Station and then caught the Long Island Railroad train out to Stony Brook to visit Tree. We walked on the beach (very cold), did a little shopping and then had dinner at her place with her neighbor Caroline and her cutey-pie 3 year old son George.

Sunday morning I took the LIRR train back into Penn Station and walked up to where my friend Diane and her husband Gary were staying near the Museum of Modern Art. We spent the afternoon in MOMA and I caught the 6:00pm train back to DC. It was hectic but I am so glad I did it.

I loved:
  • Ben and Dennis' place and finally seeing the meadowlands (marsh) that I have heard about on it the Sopranos and after discovering The Wrens, a band from that area. Word from Dennis is that Jimmy Hoffa is most likely buried in the Meadowlands.
  • Watching the world go by on the train - forests, streams, junkyards, small towns, big cities, art parks, graffiti - I love it all.
  • Seeing Tree's completed renovation. The last time I was there her second floor addition was just getting started.
  • Tree's butternut squash crockpot curry
  • Walking 20 blocks up 6th Ave from Penn Station to Diane's hotel. I stopped in Bryant Park to pay homage to Project Runway. I'll have to stop in all the bead stores I passed next time.
  • Seeing the Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave exhibit at the MoMA. Some of Dumas' art I found fascinating, beautiful and meaningful, some I found trite and shocking for shock's sake but I am so glad I was able to see it.
the meadowlands
The Meadowlands (click to see more pictures)

My Trip to New York City

I took a quick trip to NYC with Dana and his company this past Tuesday through Thursday for their performance at NYU. It was a great trip. I had been to NYC with the company a couple of years ago and we stayed in Upper Manhattan. This time we stayed further south in West Village.

After a nice train ride Dana, three of his dancers and I checked in to the hotel and walked to the NYU theater near Washington Square and then to Soho to go to the Apple Store. I had forgotten the power adapter to my Powerbook (not the first time) and had to buy a new one. We stopped by a Tibetan store where I bought a cool jacket. Later Dana, Kelly and I ate huge hamburgers and tons of french fries at a restaurant called Rare. Eventually all the dancers arrived at our spare but certainly adequate hotel which was actually the first floor of a NYU residence hall.

Here's a fuzzy little movie of our digs:

The next morning we all walked to the Skirball Center for Performing Arts and spent most of the day waiting for something to happen. The technical setup took a very long time. The dancers usually have a technical run through to set lights and then a dress rehearsal but this day they only had a short technical walk through with costume changes. But the performance went well and my projections looked great with the state-of-the-art projection equipment.

During the day I took a walk to the East Village to make a pilgrimage to the Giant Robot store and art gallery. The art exhibit that is currently up is nice but there really wasn't much going on there but I had to go. I would have bought a T-shirt but nothing really spoke to me. Their on-line selection is much more expansive. But I got some fresh air and was able to see what the East Village was like.


Ben came by at around 6:30 and we ate at a great Chinese restaurant before the performance. I suspected it would be good when I saw the tech crew there on their dinner break. As always it was great to spend time with Ben.

After the performance we had drinks at a nice cozy hotel bar and then I had "second dinner" at a 24 hour diner with the dancers who were starving. I got to bed about 2:30AM. It's been a long time since I've stayed up that late.


The next morning I went with Dana and Kelly to Greenwich Village where we shopped and stopped at a coffee/pastry shop.


I then left them and walked 25 blocks uptown with my suitcase to the train station. I treated myself to a ride on the Acela train which is about an hour quicker and more modern. I have to say it was not worth the extra money. I missed the clickety-clack of the older trains and it was hard to find a seat and a place for my suitcase. The overhead compartments were like those in an airplane not open like the older trains. And the light came more from the indoor florescent lighting rather that natural light. I will probably never take the Acela again but I had to try it out.

When I got to Union Station I checked out the Latvian costume exhibit in the West Hall. Mom had read about it last week in the Latvian paper. I talked to two Latvian women there, one of which was the curator. I was too tired to conjure up any of my Latvian language skills but was able to tell the curator in Latvian that the costumes were pretty.


Here is a full slideshow of my trip. If you put your cursor on the images you should see captions.