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New York Reflections

May 4th, 2010 · No Comments · Books, News

NY ReflectionDespite the “Don’t honk- $350 penalty” signs, horns were blaring in the bumper-to-bumper traffic on Broadway. Our recent weekend trip to New York City had begun with just the right amount of urban bravado. We got through the Easter holiday hoards in Times Square and made our way to our decidedly “chichi” Midtown Manhattan Hotel. I highly recommend it. We booked online with Hotwire.

The W Hotel on Lexington Avenue in Midtown Manhattan is only a few blocks away from some of the city’s best art museums. Just off beautiful Central Park where dogs and daffodils abound, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is currently offering some fascinating exhibits. So even if you can’t make it to NYC to see Renaissance manuscripts from the 15th century you can borrow The Art of Illumination from the Art Room. Another Met exhibit which we missed but which may pique your interest is: Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage.

From the vastness of the Metropolitan, the following day we headed for the much smaller and quirkier American Museum of Folk Art. One of the major exhibits there features the work of Henry Darger, an eccentric character who depicted his interior world through collage, drawing and tracing.

We saved a visit to the Guggenheim Museum for our last full day. A dramatic contrast to its stately 5th Avenue neighbors, this striking building was architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s last major work (1959). The museum showcases works of modern/contemporary art which are viewed on a ramp that spirals down 6 flights. I have to admit that I was more interested in the awesome space than in the rather perplexing pieces displayed there.

When you picture New York City you automatically think of spectacular skyscrapers. Check out Rise of the New York Skyscraper, 1865-1913 for a historical perspective. In the daylight they look like stoic steel and glass rectangles. But at night, they can take on a theatrical, otherworldly aspect. So at midnight, when I saw the pale yellow fog cascading over the crown of the Chrysler Building, lit up from behind, it wasn’t hard to imagine why Batman called this Gotham-like city home.

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