Parks, Museums, Squares, and Desserts: Just Another Day in NYC

My conference didn’t start until about 2 pm on Wednesday, so we decided to go to the Guggenheim. I was a little surprised that it was the first place Mikey mentioned that he wanted to see. He developed a love of Frank Lloyd Wright last fall on a trip to Chicago, so it makes perfect sense. Since we were staying on 79th Street in the Upper West Side, all we had to do was cross the park and walk up a few blocks to the museum. Sounds simple enough. All we had to do was follow this path.

Oh wait, we had breakfast first. Omelettes at Sarabeth’s. They were delicious. I love all the buildings in the Upper West Side with their stoops and their details and their hydrangeas.

And then we got into the park. It was still vibrant green from the rain the night before.

We came across Shakespeare’s Garden.

We wandered around some more up some paths and down some others, and then we came across Strawberry Fields. Ooops… somehow we had gotten off the direct path and went more like this:

Time to backtrack a little. This time, it took us past one of my favorite parts of Central Park, the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace.

The great thing about getting lost in Central Park is that getting lost is part of the charm of the experience. Some day, though, I’d like to know exactly where I’m going in Central Park. We eventually made it across the park and up to the Guggenheim. I told Mikey that we didn’t really need to pay to go inside because the best part was the outside and the lobby (which, coincidentally, are the only places where you can take photos), but he wanted to see the whole thing, so we did.

I actually really love the design of the Guggenheim. We rode the elevator to the top and then walked down the spiral, and it’s perfect. It doesn’t feel overwhelming and you don’t get lost. When you look over the ledge at the very top of the building, though, it is kind of surreal. I wish I could have taken a photo to better explain this, but there’s a bench and a drinking fountain in exactly the same place on each level of the spiral. So when you look down and see them all at one time, you almost feel like you’re watching a loop. It’s really cool. After we finished the loop, Mikey and I went our separate ways. He went to the Met, and I walked up to my conference at Columbia University.

Mikey and I met up again for dinner at a delicious Greek place. It was really good, despite the fact that I somehow ended up with a spider down my shirt (shiver). We decided to attempt the Top of the Rock again, so we headed back down to Midtown. This time we knew exactly where we were going. When we got there, there was a long line of people (see, it would have been so empty if we had gone in the rain), so we chose to skip the rock (and buy some tickets online for Thursday) and head to another New York City landmark, Times Square.

This place. I have such mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I really hate crowds like this. Actually, I love them for about 10 minutes, but then I really hate them. On the other hand, I really love neon lights and the electric daylight that radiates from the whole area for a few blocks down the road. I mean, even the McDonald’s is glitzy.

And it is kind of fun to watch all the people. There was a big group of them waiting for their picture to appear on a jumbo screen.

Seeing all of the billboards for different plays made me really wish we were going to one. We thought about it, but the timing was just wrong for us. To be honest, because of the conference, I didn’t have tons of spare time. Oh well… next time. But we did see a familiar face among the billboards.

Here’s where I name drop for a second. I totally know (well, knew) the person on Bette Midler’s left, Will Swenson. When I was in junior high, I used to do a play at Hale Center Theater on Sunday nights. His grandparents owned the theater and he was in the play with me for a while. I had a huge crush on his younger brother (who was also in the play). I hadn’t thought about Will in years, so I looked up what he’s been up to lately. Turns out, he’s got a pretty impressive Broadway resume. It’s nice to see people make good.

After walking around so much, it was time for dessert. I used my trusty little Urbanspoon app to pick out a little cafe on the Upper West Side near our hotel. It was called Cafe Lalo, and it was utterly charming. Plus, it had an amazing display case of delicious treats. It was so hard to choose just one.

Finally, it was time to head back to the hotel. But we didn’t go straight to sleep. We turned on the tv to relax a little, and since my little brother was in charge of the remote, we ended up watching…

some robots in disguise.


One comment

  1. cristen · June 20, 2012

    1. love the maps
    2. that cafe looks amazing and i want to eat there right now
    3. you are correct on the guggenheim not being overwhelming and i love that everyone takes the same photos there – of the outside, and inside looking up. it’s great though. and of course i love flw.
    4. central park is involved in my discovery of how utterly stupid someone is…if you think about the location, i bet you could guess who. hint: she’s not pretty enough to be worth all the trouble she causes! lol.

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