Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Columbus Day

Monday was Columbus Day and so we decided to walk across Central Park at 72nd Street and catch the end of the Columbus Day Parade. We're greeted by these mounted policemen as we enter the park. It's a holiday, school is out and so are the people.
This entrance is right across from The Dakota, which is where John Lennon lived and is also where he was murdered. Just inside the park is this memorial to him - Imagine. Part of the memorial is Strawberry Fields, a large proximal grassy area.
The weather was absolute perfection, warm in the sun, cool in the shade. Boaters are on The Lake, and you can see the twin towers of San Remo in the background.
We decided this trip to take advantage of sit-down breaks and spend some people watching time, instead of going from destination to destination. This is the first time I've noticed the hanging plastic buckets below Hanson Cabs. You know what they're for, right?
I expected bands and typical parade fare, but what we got was float after float, just like this one - people dressed in black waving Italian flags. One of the parade elements that I didn't expect were the Colombians - their country is named for Columbus - and who proudly participated. Their ladies walked the entire long route in 3" heels!
The costume for men was a black suit - no exceptions - almost the same for women but the children had no rules. Enthusiasm ruled and much Italian was spoken. We're on 5th Avenue, just across from the Frick Museum.
This was the weirdest float of the parade - mermaids with ugly makeup, doing arm belly-dance moves. Maybe it would make sense if I could read Italian. Anyone running for public office was in this parade, but I didn't catch on right away until the Cadillac convertible passed by us. Ian explained that the beefy guys walking aside and holding the door handles were body guards. Right out of the Sopranos - I swear.
This is the front of the Andrew Cuomo contin-
gent. He's walking and on the other side of the banner, waving to the crowd. His followers were passing out Cuomo/Duffy plackards and I'm kinda sorry I didn't take one, just for the novelty. However, we were on our way to the Guggenheim, and I knew I didn't want to carry one that bad badly.
The parade was long and clearly a hometown favorite. Now I will know in the future why Macy's has such huge advertisements on Columbus Day. New Yawk goes crazy for this holiday.
We are walking up 5th Avenue and are right across from the Met, when I can't resist this image. I think it's probably what happens when someone won't sell their property at any price. I can't decide if they win or lose.

I have an overlong blog again and again I apologize. If anyone saw the Vikings game Monday night and all the rain - one and a half inches fell in Central Park in an hour. We were a block from the apartment when the rain began to fall and drenched by the time we got to the door. The lightning storm we watched from the living room window was spectacular. We unplugged the computer, but we didn't unplug the power cord which was fried. We just got a replacement this afternoon.

This is the Guggen-
heim - finally. I'm not sure how many miles this walk took. This is my favorite museum and I think it's because of the building and the way the curators can assemble an exhibit. You walk the story, a spiral from the bottom to the top. It doesn't hurt that I'm a fan of FLW's work.
I hope this allows you to see how you are moved through a single show. It's not like rooms where you walk in and wait politely for someone to move so you can see the piece on the wall. There is no clumping up of people. It is the perfect art space and I cannot imagine why this idea hasn't been replicated.

I've been licking my chops for this exhibit - Chaos and Classicism - European art from the end of World War I to the Berlin Olympics in 1936. It was the most powerful exhibit I've experienced and I bought the catalog, which has the historical backnotes. This period wasn't just art but also about the ideal, how Mussolini's fascism and Hitler's Nazism idealized the classical ideal of the human body as Utopian.

This is my only must-see museum in New York. I have loved the exhibits and the building never fails to thrill me. I just read The Women by T.C. Boyle last month, about Mssr Frank Lloyd Wright. His personal life wasn't admirable but his works live on and on. I'm a fan - of his works.
After our museum tour, we took the subway down to midtown, but because we were too early for the restaurant we'd planned to eat at, we spent some time at 30 Rock. Rockefeller Center was built just about the same time as the art we had just seen. I couldn't help see the parallels between the glorified Classical Roman forms in Fascism and Nazism as in our own WPA images. I think globalism isn't as modern as we thought it was. I've been left with a lot to think about.


Jodi said...

This sounds amazing! I love Central Park -- such an oasis in the middle of the city. In fact, it's probably the place in NYC where I feel happiest.

Experiencing the Guggenheim sounds really neat. I haven't made it inside yet! Next time...

Marion B. said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time.

I'm always glad to read and see pictures or film of New York. I'm not much of a traveller but If I had to go anywhere it would be New York.

Have you visited any yarn shop yet? LOL.

Theresa said...

Me, I saw the game Monday night and what a deluge!
Yes, I know what those buckets are for and thank you for the pics of the mounted police. Boston got rid of theirs due to cost ( a few of the horses might have gone to NYC). Looks like a grand time is being had.

f11holdsteady said...

What a great tour! Thanks for continuing to share your vacation with us. The Guggenheim..what an amazing space that must be, it really is a great example of what truly great architecture can achieve in both the practical and the emotional.

Judy said...

Thanks for sharing the great photos!! What a great vacation you are having....

Anonymous said...

I want to go to New York!!! Great pictures and it sounds like you had a great time!

Robin said...

Well, I'm the anonymous. Clicked too fast!