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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/timothy-keller-podcast/id352660924