New York City – October 2011

South Street Seaport sunset over Brooklyn

South Street Seaport sunset over Brooklyn

Photo’s are at:

Just got back from an unexpected flying trip to New York City and Washington before my final art show of the summer/fall season.

We arrived to spectacular weather in NYC – hot for this time of year – I’m glad I packed all the wrong stuff as usual because for once I got it right!! The downside to living in FL is that it’s always shorts and flip-flops weather – which is problematic if you then arrive in the northeast in fall and find it is actually -10F – or feels like it – and you need to run to the store and buy yet another emergency sweatshirt you won’t need when you get home 😉 So…sun and blue sky for 3 days – my favorite 🙂

Naturally – in constant search of painting material – poor G was forced to wile away vast quantities of time staring at one of the best city views (maybe THE best) on earth – from the top of the Rockefeller Centre – and then endured endless ferry trips (with ice-cream stops) around the harbor with the sun glistening on the Hudson River and reflecting in the glass towers of the financial centre. Tough – I know – but someone has to do it 🙂

We saw the new construction work at the WTC site which is clearly going to be a fabulous building – its the one with the huge US flag in the photo from the Staten Island Ferry in case you can’t guess 😉

I pottered aimlessly around China Town – not quite the China Town of San Francicso – but with equal quantities of trash on the streets and dodgy unidentifiable odors (best left that way, I suspect)  down some of the side streets 😉 It was, however, very colorful which is all I required of it ;-)!

Made an unexpectedly bad choice of visiting the rooftop bar of the Metro Hotel overlooking the Empire State Building. Obviously, the view was great at night but the cocktails were appalling – absolutely undrinkable in my case (Geoff can always swallow alcohol so long as it’s got a slice of lime in it 😉 )  and – worse – they were served in plastic cups with straws – horror of horrors. To top it all the bar (albeit open air) had a large and very popular smoking area so Geoff had to choke down all the drinks in a fog of second hand smoke while I simply struggled to breathe…..umm…..frankly I wouldn’t recommend it as a great NYC experience.

Luckily I did much better organizing dinner and we ate some fab meals (no surprise there!!). The overcrowded seating arrangements in restaurants was a little tiresome – one evening we were close participants in a very private conversation at one extremely nice restaurant where the poor girl spent 2 hours trying to dump her boyfriend who wasn’t taking it well – we nearly asked to be moved as it was quite distracting – maybe New Yorkers always go to posh restaurants to dump each other in public?? And, of course woe betide anyone who has been wedged into a bench seat at one of the tables for 2 – if you need to powder your nose during dinner you have to squuuuuuueeeze yourself past the next table desperately trying not to actually sit or dangle any clothing into your neighbors plate……I know NYC has a lot of people but realllllly…..

We were there for some of the Wall Street occupation and were actually staying right off Wall Street but the only excitement we saw was 3 cops on horses outside of the Stock Exchange posing for tourist photos and a single Buddhist monk ringing a bell – which was actually quite pleasant 😉

One of the highlights of this NYC trip was a visit to the High Line – the best piece of urban regeneration I think I have ever seen – and probably the most expensive. It is very impressive for an old rail line – now turned trendy garden and public footpath. It has it all – in very modern and complementary designs – from butterfly gardens, to viewing areas where the traffic rushes past you underneath a glass balcony, to water features – I couldn’t resist paddling with the kids – where else can you paddle on an old rail line surrounded by sunloungers and crowded with people sunbathing and reading books on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world?.

Naturally there had to be a downside to all the fun – bed buuuuuuuugs……for anyone who knows me well it will come as no surprise that the bedbug epidemic crawling all over NYC (and to be fair, my other favorite cities too but in lesser numbers!) would cause me sleepless nights (literally!). With things as they are in NYC I don’t make a booking anywhere until I have checked the hotel out thoroughly with hours of tedious research and scouring the bedbugregistry (don’t laugh!). However, I think what G found disturbing was, that even after confirming that I was “reasonably” happy to set foot over the threshold of said hotel, AND even after stripping the bed down to the floorboards for signs of the hideous monsters, I still spent 3 nights screaming and slapping at the bed sheets every time I felt anything vaguely brush my skin – at midnight – 1 am – 2 am – 3am etc etc…. I know many of my nearest and dearest would say I really could benefit from a little therapy vis-a-vis my obsessive compulsive cleaning disorder – but in this particular case I’m not sure that I’m not actually justified in my fears… as we drove out of NYC there was another report that they were found in a university library in NYC …I know from long ago experience that it wouldn’t be impossible to fall asleep in a university library – boredom – exhaustion from the all night parties etc etc – but taking your bedbugs with you to school  is really taking it to a new level ;-)….eeeeekkkkkkk….umm…..clearly we didn’t see a single one but now I’m freaking out about them again I think I need to go and boil wash all my clothes yet another time ;-)!!

Sooo….onwards to Washington – via Annapolis (still lovely) in the rain and Old Town Alexandria (also in the rain). It finally stopped raining just in time for the last art show and the loooooong drive home to sunny Florida 🙂

G has just left for 10 days on business in London and Munich (too cold for me to go I am afraid !!) and I have been left with the far more interesting task of planning, booking and generally militarily organizing a 2 week trip to Argentina in a few weeks – yippee :-) this space….now I am off to dust off my espanol books so I don’t make a total idiot out of myself 🙂

Luv, Jenni and Geoff


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