I featured this book on (story)time just before our trip, but I had to include it in this post again. Day two was probably my favorite day of our entire trip – probably because we started out in this place.
We all slept very well our first night in a new place – if we had any doubts that things would feel strange or out of place, they were instantly erased by our state of absolute exhaustion at the end of each day. We rose at a decent hour, and managed to get on our way at a reasonable time. Our house was just a few blocks from the subway station, which was convenient. The trains ran every ten minutes or so – but we had a definite knack for just missing them!
We lucked out with another warm day on Wednesday. Temperatures were in the upper sixties, and the skies were slightly overcast in the morning. As we did with every place we visited (except MoMA, more on that later), we booked tickets ahead which was a real life saver. We rarely waited in lines to get in anywhere.
The Guggenheim has a really great navigational tool available with your ticket purchases (or you can just download the app on your phone). You can use the “Near Me” feature (which I realized this week is up for a Webby Award), which will give you instant access to information on the artwork you are standing next to. This was really brilliant for F – they have a kids version as well, and she could listen to information about the piece and the artist, rather than trying to stand next to the placard on the wall, trying to read at a more advanced level.
The layout of the main gallery, coupled with the moderate crowd levels, really meant that we could spread out a bit and not feel like we’d lose each other. It’s nice to set your own pace in a museum, and I also don’t really love hovering around the kids like I’m going to lose them. They’ve grown up operating in small groups around our own city and not in our immediate care, and they don’t have to be held onto with an iron grip. We kept F in our general sightlines while we were there, but she really got to do her own thing, which meant we all had a good time.
The Fischli-Weiss exhibit was engaging and varied enough to keep everyone’s attention – though we planned to stay for the entire morning, we ended up stretching our visit to well after lunchtime. It wasn’t crowded at all, and we got to explore all of the galleries outside of the main rotunda, and relax in front of exhibits that really had our attention.
After the Guggenheim, we headed towards our lunch destination – at three o’clock in the afternoon. (Skipped the lunch rush though!) Walking through the Upper East Side is pretty fun – and seriously swanky. It made me think of the book Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson.
Roles are reversed in this retelling of Goldilocks, as the poor bear gets lost in the woods and stumbles into the big city and onto the glass elevator of Snooty Towers. I’m not saying that all residents in this area are snooty – but the real estate prices are seriously out of control. Honestly, take a moment to check this place out for a cool fifty mil.
We walked over to Alice’s Teacup, and had a great late lunch, plus scones (of course). They were delicious, and while it was definitely the most expensive lunch of the week, it was relaxing and not at all pretentious. M ordered the completely appropriate cup of tea which was served in a dainty floral cup. I (rather sheepishly) ordered coffee – which was served in a gigantic un-dainty mug. This day was getting better and better.
More swanky house ogling as we wandered back over to Central Park for a sunny afternoon.
We entered by the Met, stopped for a brief bear picture, and then headed into the Belvedere Castle.
We remembered (once!) to ask for someone to take a family photo – I thought this one turned our pretty well. You’ll notice we had shed the sweaters and jackets at this point – it was warm!
The lakes were teeming with boats, and everyone was out in the park. We walked through the Ramble, scrambling over the rocky paths, along the water’s edge, heading south towards the Carousel. Unfortunately the carousel wasn’t open for the season yet – we were just a few days too early. There were a few tears, until we stumbled upon one of the coolest playgrounds ever , and the girls played there for close to an hour.
We left the park at the Columbus Circle entrance, and encountered our first real rush hour crush on the subway as we tried to navigate back to Brooklyn. It took three or four packed subway cars whizzing by before we were brave enough to force ourselves on. We readied ourselves and shoved our way in, missing the space and quiet of the late night R train!
Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty is a great choice for this part of our day – mostly because we were headed towards another iconic bridge for the evening…
…the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge and surrounding areas are so pretty at dusk – we were actually surprised at how dark the bridge is at night – there really aren’t a lot of lights on it. We visited lots and lots of Brooklyn neighborhoods over the course of our trip, but this might have been one of my favorites. I really liked the mix of building scales between the station and the bridge – even after ten o’clock at night, the place had a really quiet, comfortable feeling about it. Plus, there’s another side of me that longs to live in a spacious open loft (with a killer view) one day. I found a few I could handle around here!
We lucked out on the line at Grimaldi’s, and only waited a few minutes for a table. We dove into pizzas that were way bigger than we planned on when we ordered them, and then we continued our foodfest down the street at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory in the lighthouse. It was a little breezy out, but we snagged one of the few tables inside by the window and watched the lights of Manhattan twinkle in front of us.
Find these titles at your favorite local independent bookstore. Happy reading!