Today was supposed to rain, so we decided to spend it at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As a bonus for us, it didn’t end up raining, so instead of taking the subway directly to the Met, we went to the southeast corner of Central Park and did a walking tour of the Upper East Side on our way to the museum.
Everything started basically next to the Apple Store in New York, which was really very impressive, as was the iPhone that I played with for 10 minutes or so. I hate all the free hype that Apple gets, but you know what? The iPhone WAS pretty damn cool. It was beautiful really, no other way to put it.
We then walked around the Upper East Side, which was pretty amazingly posh, and then went to the Met. The Met is New York’s Louvre, and although not as big is still very impressive. Given that there are bigger name museums in New York devoted to modern art (the Guggenheim, MoMa, and more) I wasn’t expecting to be as blown away by the modern art collection at the Met, but it was great. I’ve included one of the more famous ones at left with me and my baggy pants for scale, but there were so many that left lasting impressions.
The thing I love about modern art is the way that it makes your mind go places. Timmi spent about 3-4 minutes staring at The One Who Understands by Paul Klee (not my photo — I didn’t take one for some reason) without even realizing that she was staring at it. See my pics (not fully commented yet) for some highlights, though I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have.
After the Met we walked around more of the Upper East Side, including two stops for small lunches, Sassy’s Sliders and Papaya King. We went to the former because Timmi doesn’t like hot dogs and Papaya King doesn’t have seats.
Now, I should explain for people who haven’t been to New York. Papaya King is a hot dog place. They also serve fruit juice, which is I guess why it has the name it does, but that isn’t the weird thing. The weird thing is that there are hot dog places EVERYWHERE here. Not just hot dog carts, which are on every street corner, but real hot dog places, some sit down, some take away, and most have the word “papaya” in the name. I believe Papaya King was the first, but Grey’s Papaya is considered better by many, then there’s Papaya Dog, Mike’s Papaya and more. I just find it really really strange that somehow papaya has been substituted for hot dog in the title of all these places. I suppose Americans might think it’s weird that we sell doughnuts and coffee in a place named after a hockey player, to be fair.
We had two dinners tonight as well (we’re not eating too much, honest), one was at The Tuck Shop, an Australian place that specializes in meat pies that we went to because, come on, how often do you see an Australian place?? I loved it, but Timmi didn’t like her pie, so we went to Original Ray’s for a slice of pizza for her. That brings me to my second outsider’s observation about the weirdness of New York, that there are pizza places all over the place, and most of them have “Ray’s” in the name. There’s Famous Ray’s, Original Rays, and more that I don’t remember.
So, Australian food… a little weird. Timmi had been told that “lamingtons” were really tasty and that we should have one, so I got one to go. Now, the lamingtons available at The Tuck Shop were described as “sponge cake with strawberry jam filling, coated in chocolate and rolled in coconut”.
Reading that, you’d think it would be really sweet, right? I know I did. So you can imagine my surprise when it wasn’t too sweet … in fact, it wasn’t sweet at all. It was sort of salty and bitter. I’ll give Timmi credit, despite me pulling a face that could best be described as “puzzled”, she gave it a try and then pulled a face that could best be described as “a horrified seizure”. I tried again because I couldn’t believe that it could be this bad. It sort of started to grow on me a little, but then I thought, “Why are you trying so hard to like this thing?” I couldn’t come up with a good answer, and so I let it go.
As I type this and reflect, I realize that a disturbing trend is underway … I’m four for four in days where I’ve eaten a hot dog since coming to New York. Don’t get me wrong, I like hot dogs, but I have one about per year normally. This many of the things can’t be good for me.
Tomorrow I’m flying solo as Timmi meets up with her friends. Will the hot dog trend continue? I’m guessing that without her to stop me … there’s a very good chance.