Central Park, the Met and looking for a pizza place

New York Travel Blog

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central park
The sun was behind heavy clouds this morning when we walked across Central Park to the Met. We walked behind the American Museum of Natural History (one of my favorite museums, but we did not visit it this time), past the Rose Center for Earth and Space on W 81st, into the park. Just basically enjoying a leisurely stroll. We walked past the Delacorte Theatre, and to the Turtle Pond, with the view of Belvedere Castle looming beyond. It didn't really feel like we were in the middle of Manhattan! We stopped to look at the ducks and turtles for a while. Then we saw the obelisk called Cleopetra's Needle behind some trees, and walked to visit it (which I have never done before). Then we emerged out on 5th Ave and E 79st south of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met, which I always visit when I go to the big apple).
Romeo and Juliet next to the Delacorte theatre
There were the usual  vendors selling paintings, photos, sculptures made from forks (some with price tags in the thousands!) and a guy selling poker cards with Bush in drags for 10 bucks.

We went into the Met, and first went to see the Vermeer's (sometimes I would also go to the Frick Collection a few blocks south so I can see all the Vermeer's in NY). Johannes Vermeer, the famous 16th century dutch painter, is my all time favorite artist. His paintings have the light, composition and presence that I just love to look at.

Afterwards, we went and saw the special exhibit "New Orleans after the Flood - photographs by Robert Polidori". These were huge photos taken by the Canadian architectural photographer after Katrina in New Orleans. You have to see some of the photos of the "incomprehensible landscapes" to feel the impact of the disaster, or online at the Met's website.
Turtle pond and Belvedere Castle
The one which struck me the most was the one with cars standing tail up along the walls of houses. What's more distressing is that after a year, the city is still far from the road to recovery.

The other special exhibit at the Met we saw was called "C├ęzanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde". Vollard was an art dealer in Paris who was also an art patron and publisher. He helped to shape the direction and careers of many of the leading artists of the late 19th and early 20th century. The exhibit has works from the who's who of the impressionists, cubists and more. It was a good exhibit and many works were never before shown. Picasso had said once that Vollard's likeness had been painted more than the world's most beautiful woman.
Ducks and turtles
There were portraits of him painted by Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne, Bonnard and more. (How would you like to be painted by any one of these artists?)

We had a snack at the cafe in the Met, then I went up the roof and saw Cai Guo-Qiang on the Roof: Transparent Monument. Unfortunately I was not there at noon to see the black cloud fired from the roof, which was one of the "sculptures". There were a couple of crocodiles cast from resin and stuck with all these knifes etc confiscated from airport securities! and a big piece of glass with some replica dead birds at its bottom. Interesting concepts, art has many definitions.

We left the Met and went down 5th Ave. I was sort of on a hunt for a pizza place I went to a couple of years ago (if I had written it up in travbuddy then I wouldn't have this problem) but couldn't remember where it was exactly or even its name.
bottom of the Obelisk
So we just walked and tried to trace where I could have gone. I did remember which hotel I stayed at, so that narrowed it down a bit. And voila! I actually found it, right on 42nd between 5th Ave and Madison. And we had our pizza dinner there.

After dinner we went and saw the movie "Departed". Hmm, no wonder people don't go to movies much nowadays, the ticket was more than 10 dollars each! The movie was interesting and featured many top actors. Jack Nicholson did an amazing imitation of a rat, and lots of people died. I don't want to give away the plot, but it's a good gansters and cops movie with some twists and colorful language.
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central park
central park
Romeo and Juliet next to the Delac…
Romeo and Juliet next to the Dela…
Turtle pond and Belvedere Castle
Turtle pond and Belvedere Castle
Ducks and turtles
Ducks and turtles
bottom of the Obelisk
bottom of the Obelisk
Cleopetras Needle rises from behi…
Cleopetra's Needle rises from beh…
map of central park showing the pa…
map of central park showing the p…
Vendor selling prints etc, and wor…
Vendor selling prints etc, and wo…
Steps of the Met, usually have mor…
Steps of the Met, usually have mo…
3 of the Vermeers, the rightmost …
3 of the Vermeer's, the rightmost…
A Salvador Dali painting of Christ…
A Salvador Dali painting of Chris…
One of the crocodiles on the roof,…
One of the crocodiles on the roof…
The transparent monument on the …
The "transparent monument" on the…
Near Rockafeller Center, the large…
Near Rockafeller Center, the larg…
The other side of the sky mirror
The other side of the sky mirror
People already skating on the ice …
People already skating on the ice…
Flags of many nations along the ic…
Flags of many nations along the i…
Ah, our dinner.
Ah, our dinner.
A guy playing chess to collect don…
A guy playing chess to collect do…
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photo by: herman_munster