STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August already?

Where did July go? It seems to have just evaporated. You are likely wondering if I have vanished into thin air as well. No, I haven't... but sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you just have to deal with it. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it... Along with the humidity which just seems to suck the energy out of me, and problems with Blogger loading photos.. well I haven't had much of a presence here lately, have I? Hopefully that's overwith now.
I feel so far behind. My NYC trip seems so long ago now, and I've since had several other little trips, the last one being the Maine State Quilt Show. So it's time for me to get caught up.... hang on!
What can I say? I love New York City. Plain and simple. There is soooo much to see and do. Every time I visit I go with a long list of things to cross off. This time, at the head of my list was some time in a Museum or two, so after our visit to the American Folk Art Museum, next on our list was the Met. Now if you have never been to the Met, let me tell you- it is huge. HUGE. It is bigger than H-U-G-E. There is no way you can see it all in one day. It is suggested you just pick a few areas of interest, and concentrate on them so that's what we did. Because we are both interested in music our first choice was the special exhibit "Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen from Italy to New York". Quoted from the Met website: "New York City and nearby New Jersey, Long Island, and Westchester County have been home to a vibrant Italian American population since the late nineteenth century. Within this community, a remarkable tradition of lutherie (stringed-instrument making) has flourished. Italian American craftsmen have produced an enormous variety of musical instruments, from traditional European-style violins, mandolins, and guitars to newer American instruments such as archtop guitars and mandolins and even electric guitars. Since the 1930s, makers from this tradition in the New York region have become especially well known for their extraordinary archtop guitars. This exhibition examines the work of three remarkable craftsmen from this heritage—John D'Angelico, James D'Aquisto, and John Monteleone—their place in the extended context of Italian and Italian American instrument making, and the inspiration of the sights and sounds of New York City." You can click here to see some of the beautiful instruments that we were so lucky to view - this mandolin inlaid with mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell just blew me away.. what a labour of love. The craftsmanship of all these instruments was amazing. It's such a pity that we just don't see this kind of craftsmanship being carried on in the next generations today... We would have liked to have had the evening free as Steve Miller was playing there that evening, one of a series of special performances to accompany the Guitar heroes exhibit! Can you imagine seeing Steve Miller for $40.00??!!
Another special exhibit we really enjoyed was "Thinking Outside the Box: European Cabinets, Caskets and Cases from the Permanent Collection (1500-1900)". This was an impressive display of unusual boxes of various shapes, sizes, textures, colors and uses, ranging from the smallest snuffbox to strongboxes, tea caddies to coffers and necessaires to jewel cases. A most interesting collection and again impressive workmanship, unheard of today. You can click here to view many of the items from this exhibit.
We spent the remainder of our time at the Met wandering through a variety of exhibits, from antiquities to modern art. It would have been nice to see the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit, but the lineup was just too long - our tired footies were already complaining. I think for subsequent visits to the Big Apple, I will always check ahead and see what special exhibits are on at the Met- it could certainly become a favourite destination. No question there...
Our last Museum stop was at the FIT - that's the Fashion Institue of Technology in the Fashion/Garment district. No photos were allowed , but the exhibit called Sporting Life explored the relationship between active sportswear and fashion over the last 150 years.
Of course we did other things in NYC besides visit Museums. We manged to squeeze in a little shopping (mostly windowshopping), we walked through the Diamond District on West 47th admiring all the gorgeous diamond jewellery in the shop windows, naturally we had some great meals, and of course each evening we saw a Broadway show. I thoroughly enjoyed Memphis and The Lion King, and our other night was an amazing new Cirque du Soleil show "Zarkana" at Radio City Music Hall. I had never seen a Cirque show, and it did not disappoint!! Of course RCMH is such a fabulous place to visit anyway - did you know it is the largest indoor theatre in the world? The marquee is a full city-block long and the theatre seats approximately 6,000. Because there are no columns, every seat is a good seat. The stage, framed by a huge proscenium arch measuring 60' high by 100' wide is considered by technical experts to be the best equipped stage in the world. The beautiful gold stage curtain is also the largest in the world, and the mighty Wurlitzer organ, built especially for the theatre, has pipes ranging from inches long to 32 feet, housed in 11 separate rooms!! It IS an incredible venue, well worth a visit or a tour if you ever get the chance (they DO have a great "backstage" tour, AND if you are ever there over the Christmas season, you MUST see the Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes. It's without a doubt the best show I've ever seen and runs from mid- November into January.) You can read more about Radio City Music Hall here if you're interested. Of course photos were not allowed during Zarkana but I did get a few shots before the show, looking down from the mezzanine when performers were out mingling with the crowd in the lobby. You can click here for a little taste (brief video clip) of the show.
So, that's it for my NYC trip. I'll leave you with several more photos below, some of my favourites- Atlas, holding the world high on Fifth Avenue (at Rockefeller Center), and two shots taken from "the steps" in Times Square where you can't help but feel the pulse of the city. The people, the lights, the Jumbotrons.. you just never know what you're going to see here. I did see the Naked Cowgirl this time - but alas no pic - she was not a terribly pretty sight.. poor dear, she no doubt was prettier topless fifty years ago...
I promise to be posting much more frequently from now on. Please come back again soon and I thank you for your patience in my absence.


"The world is a country which nobody ever yet knew by description; one must travel through it one's self to be acquainted with it." ~ Lord Chesterfield

1 comment:

GailM. said...

Oh, wonderful post about your NY trip. It takes me back to when I was there a few years ago. I took a day to do the Met and only saw a part of the treasures. And I saw the Christmas Spectacular at the Radio City Music Hall. It was spectacular. Great post!!

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