No, dear readers. I did not abandon you. I have just been either too busy or too tired to blog. Then again, I'm pretty dang tired right now, but I'm not going to let it stop me. It might make this a long and rambly post though, so beware.
So my brother came to visit me! It was so much fun. He's the oldest child in my family, and I'm the second oldest, so we have always had a close friendship. But this was the first time he's been out to visit me since I moved to New York. Actually, he hadn't been here since he was a kid, so it was a great chance for him to see the city and all it has to offer. Luckily, there were a few gorgeous fall days while he was here. A few rainy ones too, but oh well.
The weather was the most gorgeous on Thursday, which made it a perfect day to be in Central Park. We took the train to Columbus Circle and went into the park from there. We walked everywhere there is to walk below the reservoir, and saw Sheep's Meadow, Tavern on the Green, the ballfields, the playgrounds, Bow Bridge, Belvedere Castle, the Promenade, the Carousel, the Ramble, that big fountain... and probably more things I can't remember right now. There was a really amazing jazz band jamming in the middle of the park near the little amphitheater where everyone rollerskates. I tried to make a video of them with my camera, but had technical difficulties, so the song must live on in memory only. We went to the Zoo, too, a place I consider a real gem within the city. It is just so relaxing and lovely there, and well worth the price of admission. This time I actually saw the red panda! After that we went to the Apple store, and then dowtown to eat at Shake Shack, where I had the best hot dog of my entire life. Go there and get the "Shack-ago Dog." It is heaven. To round out the day we walked two thirds of the way across the Brooklyn Bridge as the sun set and by that time we had done so much walking we had to quit.
On Friday it was kind of cold, but not rainy, and the sun even peeked out a bit, but it was gone again by the time my brother and I made it to the top of the Rockefeller Building. However, sun or no sun, the view from the 70th floor was uh-mazing. It was breathtaking to see the city extending for miles around and to look down on skyscrapers of all shapes and sizes. Endlessly fascinated, we stayed up there for a long time just taking it all in. Then it was back into the elevator, which goes so fast up and down that your ears pop. Since we were at Rockefeller Center we had to get a Cinnabon, and watch the ice skaters. Then we headed down to J&R Music World, my brother's favorite store since he was 5. We made a stop in Chinatown and gawked at the tourist wares, but neither of us are hagglers, so we mostly enjoyed browsing at the Pearl River Mart, a store full of wonders. I can't remember if we went to Times Square on Friday or Thursday--but it's in there somewhere, along with a visit to the M'n'M Store, even though I still don't know why M'n'Ms are the only candy with their own store.
Friday nights are free at the American Folk Art Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, so we went to both of those places. At the MoMA we ran into Garrett, who had a funny story about waiting in line for a free shirt at the promo for White Collar (is that the name of that new show?). My brother and I had actually contemplated standing in that line, but gave it up when we realized it would have taken us 5 hours to get a shirt. Anyway, I highly recommend seeing the Monet waterlilies exhibition at MoMA.
Saturday was another day at the museums. Big Brother and I got up and went straight to the Met, where I was amazed to see a line out the door and down the street! I've never seen a line outside the Met before, but maybe because it was such a rainy day all of New York wanted to be inside looking at the treasures of art and culture. B and I looked at samurai swords, medieval European armor, modern art, contemporary art, ancient Roman art, American decorative arts, arts of ancient Oceania, medieval religious paintings, the photographs of Robert Frank, and the Vermeer painting on loan from Amsterdam in commemoration of Henry Hudson's voyage 400 years ago. There might have been some other genres in there as well, but you get the idea. And that's not even half of the Met. Lunch was a delicious grilled cheese sandwich at a local deli and I dragged B to Sant Ambreous to buy some shortbread cookies. Later in the day, when the Guggenheim had its "pay what you wish" Saturday evening hours, we went up there and took a look at the huge Kandinsky exhibition set off to perfection against the sculptural spiral shell of a museum that the Guggenheim is. Kandinsky's work has no discernable subject matter--his paintings are just gestures of color and free-wheeling shapes, as abstract as music, but B and I had fun pointing out the images we saw within the pretty chaos of each canvas. Afterwards we ended up at S'Mac for some gourmet mac'n'cheese, and that ended another day of New York.
On Sunday, we churched but left early because the day was so fine and I didn't want to "waste" my brother's last day in the city sitting inside a building. So after sacrament meeting we went down to Chelsea and walked along the Highline, New York's newest park. At the end we were treated to an impromptu jazz concert by a band stationed on the fire escape of a nearby building. This is what I love about New York.
To be continued...