Today will be a pretty short post even though the day was fairly long 🙂
We took an Uber up to The Met to save some time because we got moving a little late and we had timed entry tickets to The Met. We had the Uber drop us off at Butterfield Market, a swanky little grocery with sandwiches and coffee and a surprise for me- a sushi counter! I love sushi rolls for breakfast, so I was set. ha
They also had Cape Gooseberries, my favorite fruit! I have been growing them for the last few years but we didn’t do a garden this summer, so I hadn’t had any because they aren’t very common… They are a Peruvian Ground Cherry, sort of like a tomatillo/tomato but tastes sweet and tangy like passion fruit.
Kegan found a Scottish Smoked Salmon sandwich on brown bread, so he was pretty thrilled as well.
Since we had a couple minutes extra, we ran by William Greenberg Desserts and got a few mini Black and White Cookies- a staple of New York! If you ever watched Seinfeld, there was a whole episode about the black and white cookie. Most of the major long-standing places that made black and white cookies seemed to have closed their doors during the pandemic… but William Greenberg is still open and standing.
We grabbed a table outside The Met and ate our breakfast of sushi, smoked salmon, fruit and cookies! ha I’d like to think people were looking at us weird, but truth is- it’s New York, no one gives a hoot about what anyone else is doing. ha
First, we visited the Rome and Greece wing. I wanted to make sure I got to see all of that before my brain was overloaded and I was missing things. Roman history is definitely my favorite (I’m sure you know that if you’ve followed this blog at all. ha Every trip- ROMANS! ha)
Some highlights of the Egyptian exhibits
This was interesting that they have found these gold shoes, toe and finger covers on mulitple royal mummies. This papyrus was amazing. Up close its so detailed It stretched the entire length of the room! This was massive- and made of solid greywacke sandstone. funeral tablets I learned (admittedly, I don’t know a lot about Egypt) that there were multiple coffins within coffins with mummies. The Temple of Dendur- a real Egyptian temple built by the Romans in 10AD and relocated here when Egypt was flooding lower Nubia to damn up and create Lake Nasser. Original Temple before removal
The American Wing had tons of colonial furniture, clocks, Tiffany glass, jewelry, paintings… some of my favorites:
Frank Lloyd Wright built house It was closed for some reason, but I bent down a captured a bit of the interior A very fine gold Tiffany & Co chain This caught my eye-as it was a Tiffany peacock blue Favrile glass vase, seated in intertwined Fabergé designed snake metal mounts. A painting of Alexander Hamilton An entire building front of an old bank saved and brought here to be reconstructed for the American Wing a John LaFarge glass panel (Tiffany’s greatest rival) installed in a mansian home on the Upper West side in 1909 The fireplace mantle from Cornelius Vanderbuilt’s 5th Avenue mansion. Also done by LaFarge Ornately inlaid historical firearms
A large section was devoted to Medieval and European Portraits
We walked into the room and I said “I need to go see that chonky armor.” ha Turns out it belonged to Henry VIII of England, so it was very chonky 🙂 Samurai armor A full gilded alterpiece A Peter Paul Rubens portrait A very strange sea monster Some very pink French vases This entire area was covered in tapestry. Holy moly. This statue bust was so intriguing. It was done after the end of slavery in distant colonies, modeling African women in the European style of beauty in an attempt to normalize “different” and see these women as just as beautiful as the European women that looked like what was expected. The oldest surviving piano in the world. This giant painting has a fascinating backstory regarding the French revolution. It was initially painted much more “elite” with a much fancier dress, more items on the desk and on the walls showing wealth- but the people of France were beheading the wealthy… so this was repainted to look more middle-class. It didnt work- he still lost his head. The most famous painting of Benjamin Franklin, made in France. VIR just means “man” or “hero”. Apparently, he was already famous enough the frame required no name for viewers to know who they were looking at.
Finally we walked through the Asian art wing. I don’t know a lot about Asian history or a Cambodian statue from a Tibetan statue.. but there were some intricate pieces and colossal statues that caught my eye.
After we had seen all our brains could take of the museum, we headed out behind the museum into Central Park.
First stop was the Group of Bears statue.
We walked along to the Obelisk or Cleopatra’s Needle.
It was a gift from Egypt to the US in the 1880s… and is over 1000 years older that Cleopatra!
We had to sit and rest because I was wearing dress flats all day in a museum and then walking across Central Park just trying to not look like a tourist for our Broadway show. ha Also, the Gershwin theater required Norah to have a negative Covid test within 6 hours of the show, so we sat and gave her the test and waited for the results. Then I photographed the test, alongside her passport for Identification and a phone screen showing the date and time.
When we arrived, the girls checking vaccines and tests were super impressed with our preparedness. haha
Continuing on across Central Park we passed Belvedere Castle, a miniature castle designed as a focal viewpoint for various parts of Central Park and situated on the highest point in the park. Central Park is so busy and so many people exploring, it’s hard to imagine…but from the 1940s to the 1980s, this castle was shut down and a target of vandalism and disrepair until it was restored and reopened. Blows my mind because now all of New York is so busy and so upscale/nice/clean…It’s hard to imagine the New York of the 1980s or early 1990s. or even more so, the New York of the late 1800s or early 1900s.
There is a nicely manicured area called Shakespeare’s Garden.
We entered the subway at the Museum of Natural History station- which we’ll be right back up to tomorrow to visit this museum
We found a Shake Shack right around the corner from the theater that had a nice table outside that we relaxed at and ate for over an hour waiting on our time to go through the Covid line to get in. They separated out different seating areas into different times of arrival and our seating area was the first group set to arrive 50 minutes early.
Turned the corner and realized we were at the Ed Sullivan Theater where they film The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Wicked plays in the Gershwin Theater, named after George and Ira Gershwin- playwrite and lyricist brothers. Since 2003, Wicked has been playing here. It has the largest seating capacity of any theater on Broadway with 1933 seats
We were definitely the first group in. Totally empty theater.
We had the front 3 seater row of the mezzanine overlooking the lower level and the stage. Wasn’t the best view in the house- but we didn’t sit by people we didn’t know and there were no tall heads in front of us….so it was a great seat for me 🙂
The play was very good. I loved the “alternate” story of the Witches of Oz. It was no Hamilton. ha That musical BLEW.MY.MIND. I’m not sure anything else will ever live up to Hamilton. This one was objectively good, though.
Seeing 2,000 people file out of a theater all at once was interesting… lol
Walked through Times Square again because we decided to walk the 10 blocks instead of trying to hop the subway one stop since 2000 other people were headed that way too. It was a decent walk through the busiest weirdest part of Manhattan. ha Tomorrow is the Museum of Natural History and the interactive Van Gogh museum in the evening.