Hot Time: Summer in the City

We’re back on the Left Coast after our yet again not-long-enough stay in NYC. The highlight of every trip, of course,  is seeing all the kids and grandkids. Seeing them in 100-plus-degree heat is something else entirely…something for me to think about the next time I whine and carry on about the bone-chilling temps here in So Cal.

Daniel, cool as ever despite the NYC heat

Angie brought the boys all the way in from the Hamptons so we could see them for an evening, and of course I forgot my camera but did get a few phone snaps. They’re both so big! And Thomas is now a six-year-old!

Jamesy and Grandpa

Happy birthday, Thomas!

Tina brought her girls in from Connecticut for one last city visit before they make their big cross-country move to re-locate down the coast from us in CA.  Their timing was impeccable: someone thoughtfully  set up a twenty-foot Smurf across the street from our apartment that day expressly for the girls’ entertainment.

Evie enjoys her day in the city


A NYC tradition: swimming with Grandpa

Viv bundles up after her swim

A late-afternoon cloudburst cooled things off a bit

Princess Tina and her girls enjoying apres-swim cotton candy at Landmarc

Speaking of impeccable timing, the CE took the train down to WDC to visit Taylor during the weekend that temps there reached 116 degrees. Proof, perhaps, that our nation’s capital has devolved into an anteroom of Hell. Our guys wisely took shelter in air-conditioned museums and restaurants.

If this pic looks familiar, scroll back to the San Diego post of cousin Nick photographing his beloved steak. It must be genetic!

At the National Gallery of Art

While Taylor and the CE cooked in WDC, I took Daniel and some of his friends to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 on the IMAX screen in New York City. We all loved it! Great movie!

Daniel and his friends Cristina, Mary and Peter stopped by our apartment to say hi

The temperatures cooled a bit toward the end of our stay (into the high 90’s) and we ventured downtown a few times, once to visit the High Line, which has been significantly extended since our last jaunt there. We got a kick out of the birdhouses they’ve installed, which look remarkably like scaled-down versions of human city living.

High-rent birdhouses on the High Line (image from

We were working on calorie containment after our weekend of culinary abandon in Chicago, but we couldn’t resist visiting two of our favorite downtown restaurants, Pastis and Balthazar.

I wanted steak frites at Balthazar but decided the bouillabaisse was a healthier choice...except they serve it in a vat big enough for four!

Our in-the-know friends, Marjorie and Ellery, introduced us to a new favorite in Midtown: Ma Peche, a satellite of famed chef David Chang’s Momofuku dynasty. We had the best spring rolls I’ve ever tasted and enjoyed the chance to drink a sake toast to M&E, who were heading off to Paris later that day. When (if) I grow up, I want their life!

Ma Peche on 56th between 5th and 6th (image from

We finished off our East Coast visit with two wonderful jolts of culture. It was our last chance to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met, since it closes August 7. The event title is Savage Beauty, but it was more about Savage Crowds. The line to get in was two-and-a-half-hours long, even though they’ve extended museum hours to midnight to accommodate the demand. Luckily, we had decided to purchase a membership to the Met during our last visit, which allowed us to skip the queue.

McQueen was fond of using dyed duck feathers in his pieces (image from

This was one of my favorites! (image from

Despite the crush of visitors (the exhibit is projected to rank in the top 20 of the museum’s all-time most popular offerings by the time it closes) and a few decidedly testy Met guards (down, Girl, down!), we were so glad we went. By my lights, McQueen’s talent truly transcended fashion as costume and into the realm of art.

Thanks to a recommendation from Marjorie and Ellery, we spent our last evening in the city with Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis at a performance of Freud’s Last Session. Poignant and thought-provoking: 80 minutes went by much faster than you might expect. Off-Broadway in an airy theatre on W. 64th.

Mark H. Dold, the immensely appealing and captivating actor who plays C.S. Lewis in "Freud's Last Session" (image from

The upside of bi-coastal living is having the best of both worlds. The downside is always feeling like you’re missing out on something on the other side. It’s a conundrum, but a lovely one to suffer. One of our most prized experiences in the city is the 9:15 am Worship at Redeemer Presbyterian on the UWS. These last two Sundays we heard about that imperfect,  devious and grasping fellow, Jacob, and how he wrestled with God. Ah, don’t we all? I just found that you can download podcasts by Redeemer Presbyterian Pastor Tim Keller on iTunes:

Happy to be back in CA. Can’t wait to return to NYC!

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in All Things Family, Big Fun, Gastronomy, Music/Art/Literature/Culture, Spiritual, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Hot Time: Summer in the City

  1. phyllis gutsche says:

    What–I beat Katherine to comment? I am happy you are on the West side for a little while at least,

  2. Chicken Emperor says:

    If I type fast enought I will also beat Katherine! The trip, as seen in the wonderful photos put up by the Chicken Lady, was entertaining on many different levels. My bathroom scale records one of those levels.

    Seeing ALL of the boys and girls this trip was my personal highlight, even though it required a trip to DC to complete the trifecta (decafecta?). So nice of TS and James’ parents to bring them into the city for a short, but important viewing. And one last visit (for now at least) with the girls in the city was a big highlight as well. Always glad to catch a few moments with Daniel as he breezes by in his rich NYC life.

    And the common thread to all of these visitations was……….FOOD! I am now in need of new trousers and plan to stop by Bob’s Tent and Awning for a fitting later today. But it was all worth it. Thanks to all of the kids and grandkids for tolerating us old fools and a final thanks to the (not so crazy) Chicken Lady for recording everything so lovingly on this blog.

    Got to go, I hear an ice cream truck rolling by………..

  3. Katherine says:

    Don’t get comfy resting on your laurels, Gutsches! I actually WAS up at the crack of dawn, logging on to the Chick-blog while making coffee and breakfast. I just was at a comment-loss reading about all the family loveliness and East-coast fun. (Was it a “comment-loss” or pure green envy? Hard to know. Perhaps I should ask Freud. Nope – you were the ones seeing the play. So I guess that definitely makes me green with envy.)

    Even greener was I looking at the McQueen pics. Ack – what I’d give to have gone to the exhibit. Probably best I missed it as the guards would have had to dealt with me lunging to try on that floral dress. (Talk about going green!) You may have thought the guards were testy but I guarantee they had heard about me and were merely poised and at the ready.

    I did, however, decide that having services at 9 am on a Sunday really gives G*d the edge in any wrestling match. (This is me pretending I’d have any edge at any other time….)

    To the CE: I just read “decafecta” in your comment as decaf-ecta and thought “what does decaffeinated coffee have to do with anything?” Clearly my morning beverage was not caffeinated enough.

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