The weather here in New York is just gorgeous. Clear, cool Spring days - I think I've struck it really lucky.
Today I walked across Brooklyn Bridge and then took the Subway for the first time, popping up at the entrance to Central Park. The place was teeming with people, but everyone seemed to have quite low energy, so there was a calmness to the place that was much appreciated.
Meandering along the paths, way finding people and sights. We couldn't resist taking a ride on the beautifully restored Central Park Carousel - at $2 for a 3-minute ride, this has to be the best bargain in the entire city of New York.
We walked and walked - checked out park performers, fountains, statues, The Boat Shed, up under and through the many bridges - it really was a lovely long walk through a wonderful park.
We were surprised and pleased to find that when we were kind of done with the park, we had not only made our way to the other side of the Park, that the Metropolitan Museum of Art was not only right there, it was a late night and we were able to keep meandering, but now through the cool halls of Byzantine Art exhibits and Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings!
"The Mourners from the tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy are deeply affecting works of art. Beyond their evident visual and narrative qualities, we cannot help but be struck by the emotion they convey as they follow the funeral procession, weeping, praying, singing, lost in thought, giving vent to their grief, or consoling their neighbor. Mourning, they remind us, is a collective experience, common to all people and all moments in history."
The Mourners were gorgeous and moving. 37 individuals in a procession in mourning, their detail delicate and gorgeous - the subtle colour in the marble not visible in the online reproductions. I actually could have spent all day studying these guys - they were really quite wonderful.
The really pleasent surprise about The Met though, is how fantastic the cafeteria is. An array of courses and foods of restaurant quality are offered, with payment made by weight (after subtracting the weight of the plate). I had a heaping plate of wonderful salads, a glass of pineapple juice and fresh bread for US$10. I was impressed, happy, and no longer hungry by the time we were done.
..and we were worried about how we'd spend our time between the Park and going through to Harlem for jazz.
We struck up a conversation with a 8-year veteran of the bar named Andre. He not only regaled us of stories from his life, but helped keep us on the straight and narrow as far as bar rules go: no rowdiness, no over-indulging, polite conversation and keep the bar stools tucked tightly against the bar. Mona is the owner and runs a tight ship - she looks after her customers and made sure we ate, we were happy and in the end, had a good car to travel home in. The place wasn't cheap - but we were only there for a couple of hours and one set of Jazz. It was good fun and a great end to a groovy second day.