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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Like a tourist

We haven't spent many holidays here recently, so we have spent our time with family and acting like tourists. During the snow storm many walks to the river and to Times Square. The day after the storm we went to Central Park and frolicked. In the past two days I have been amazed at the traffic in the city. As I sit in the living room watching English Premier games on the computers I watch the traffic crawl across 50th Street. When we leave in the mid morning, the traffic is bumper to bumper. When we get to the avenues it is packed like a getaway Friday. Today the walk from 10th Avenue and 50th to the New York Public Library at 42nd and Fifth was packed with people and traffic. Snow removal is still poor and I'm glad I have my bright yellow boots for sloshing through a sloppy New York City grid.

These boots fit over my sneakers.

At the library time was spent in the Three Faiths Scriptorium which was mind blowing and so informative. It is definitely worth another visit or two, especially after the holidays and when we have fewer tourists, if that ever happens. After exploring the faiths of the western world, I made my way up to the third floor for the photographic exhibition called Recollection that represented thirty years of photography at the NYPL. Some famous and familiar images and some new images that lined the walls of the glorious corridor. A visit to the reading rooms is always humbling and necessary.

From the library, a walk east to Madison and south to 38th finds us at the Morgan.Just in time for the very informative 15 minute video about the museum. It is here you get a good overview and plan for visiting the museum. The Morgan Library is very European and is loaded with very familiar authors and titles. Of course they are first editions. In the cases there are great examples of author's notes and drafts in their hand. The collection includes original drafts from musicians, authors, and poets. The fireplaces are grand and one can only wonder what it must have been like with a roaring fire and time to spend time enjoying selections from this fine collection or entertaining guests. The next stop was the collection of Roy Lichenstein black and white drawings and cartoons. Finally the reason for going to the Morgan was the Twain collection of drafts, first editions, and photographs. I had no idea what the seals were until I stepped into the room of ancient Near East seals. The final must see object is the trigraph that claims to contain wood in the shape of a cross from the cross used to crucify Jesus.

The walk home across 37th Street to 10th Avenue and north to 50th was an adventure weaving around the bumper to bumper traffic and poorly shoveled sidewalks and slushy streets.

Now as I watch the Chelsea-Bolton match, I'm still amazed at the traffic. And so many cars with only one occupant.

What touristy thing should we do now?

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