My Day in the Big Apple

Looking back at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge from the Ferry. Blimp in sky.

In my last post I wrote about going to the Met and seeing Cloud City, yesterday, Friday.

This post is about all the other things I did yesterday, other than the Cloud City experience, while in Manhattan.

The ferry was chockablock with tourists with cameras.  Because I always carry a camera with me, I am often mistaken for a tourist and treated like one, which doesn’t bother me.

During the delightful 3-mile trip from Staten Island to Manhattan, a blimp flew above us, a beautiful sailboat floated in the harbor, and a bright green motorboat raced by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  (Watch following video clip.)

After arriving in Battery Park, I boarded the “R” subway train up to 23rd Street and from there transferred to the Madison Avenue bus up to 78th Street.  I’ve found that this is about the best route for me to get to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, since it requires the least amount of walking.  I try to save my legs for the museum.

While walking through Madison Square Park, to get the Madison Avenue bus, I took the following photo in the park. I think it shows a good view of the Flatiron building (built 1903) (building in middle).

Madison Square Park, June 15, 2012

Madison Square Park also has a dog run that I always check out.  (see following video clip.)

I finally caught the Madison Avenue bus up to 78th Street.  Walking across 79th Street toward the museum, I saw three boxes of books on the curb that were destined for trash-pickup.  I always keep my eye out for trash that might contain something interesting, or something that I might be able to use in making art.  I’m a dumpster diver, but I don’t actually dive into them.  I think “dumpster diver” is a term for anyone who rummages through trash, either in a dumpster or otherwise. I especially like boxes of discarded books.  In these 3 boxes, I only found one that interested me, but it turned out to be a jewel.

It’s called Introducing Kierkegaard by Dave Robinson and Oscar Zarate.  This book explains Kierkegaard, his life and philosophy in a simple, east-to-understand style.  Each page has a cartoon-like illustration that is often hilarious.  I love Kierkegaard more than any other philosopher because he and I are one mind on religion and just about every other thought.

Page from “Introducing Kierkegaard”

I finally made it to the museum and saw Cloud City, which I wrote about in my previous post. However, I saw some other things at the museum, too. I especially liked this Peacock chair (see photo below).  This chair is made out of felt , obviously a soft material, but when it is folded as you see in this chair, it becomes just as stable as a harder material.  It’s a case of physics meeting art.  How many living designers get a chair on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art?  And yet this designer is very young.  His name is Dror Benshetrit.  There is a video on his website of a half-hour talk he gave about his work which was really fascinating.  He has a studio in NYC.

Peacock Chair, 2009. Felt with powder varnished metal base. By Dror Benshetrit. Israeli, Born in 1977. Manufacturer: Cappellini S.p.A.  (you can actually buy one of these) (you should check this guy out if you are interested in design.)

After experiencing Cloud City (as I wrote about in my previous post), I left the Met behind me. Extremely tired and hungry, I caught the Crosstown bus (78th Street and Fifth Ave.) heading toward the Westside with the intention of getting something to eat at Fairway Market on Broadway. I don’t eat at the museum, because it’s so over-priced. They charge $15.00 for a hamburger and it’s not even very big or very good. You can get a much larger and better one for $5.00 at the Boathouse in Central Park, which is only about a 5-minute walk from the museum.

Then something kinda interesting happened before I caught the #1 subway to the ferry:

I was sitting on a bench in front of the subway station on the Westside at Broadway and 72nd Street, eating the food I had bought at Fairway Market. People were walking by me, but they were like shadows passing. As I was concentrating on my yogurt and granola. I saw a young man pass with lots of camera equipment, but I hardly noticed him. About five minutes later, I realized that there was a tripod standing by itself next to the trash can, about 6 feet away, directly opposite me. No one was around it. I remembered this man and looked around for him, expecting to see him taking photos near by, but he wasn’t there, and this nice tripod was alone. People walked past it without noticing it. After retrieving it, I half-expected this man to come back and yell at me for taking his tripod, but that didn’t happen. I even waited a while in case he did return, I could give it back to him.  Maybe he had just set it down for a minute and had forgotten it.  I did that once with a cell phone. It’s a sturdy metal tripod, but small enough to carry in a backpack. I couldn’t see any defects in it.  I finally took it home with me. This opens up to me night- photography, which I haven’t been able to do because I didn’t have a tripod.  Life is Good. God provides and shows the way.

[I wrote a previous post called “Subway Adventure Story” about being on the subway when a man stuffed a hundred dollar bill into my hand and then ran off the subway.  This post is so wordy that I don’t think anyone has ever read it.  It starts out with my going into Manhattan, having an Irish Coffee at the Boathouse in Central Park, then the subway incident, then it ends with my ruminations on Aristotle, whom I started thinking about after the man stuffed the $100 bill into my hand.]  Not everything that happens on the New York subway is bad.

I love this city.

In Summation:

I experienced Cloud City at the Met.  I viewed a chair that could possibly achieve immortality, I became in possession of a great book and a tripod, gratis, I took two boat rides, two subway rides, two bus rides, I visited Madison Square Park and saw beautiful children and dogs.  Many things I still left out:  my purchasing two beautiful coffee mugs at Mika on Madison Avenue for $1.00 total, taking photos of the beautiful plants at Madison Square Park, other great art objects I saw while at the Met.  A few people in passing.  The beautiful sun shining down on me.  I leave you with these guys whom I will remember as much as everything else I saw today:

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