Tuesday, April 23, 2013

No Milk, Just Donuts

Dear Imaginary Friends,

Below, check out the mysterious exhortation to avoid milk and embrace donuts.
Just cuz.

As seen on West 26th Street, or thereabouts, in New York City.

Your imaginary Friend,

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The New World Trade Tower!

What a treat, to stroll across Sixth Avenue, glance toward downtown, and see the new gracious shape of the World Trade Tower! It is a defiant glance back at 9-11, and a forward feeling of national pride, all in one shimmering building. 

Your imaginary friend,

The New World Trade Tower, Glimpsed in the Distance

The Tenement Museum

Dear Imaginary Friends,

We are all so lucky to have skipped the Great Depression. American Baby Boomers will never quite know the meaning of hunger, nor hopefully, will our progeny.

Carlo and I had the privilege of visiting The Tenement Museum, though, which made poverty abundantly clear.
Situated at 97 Orchard St., in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the museum is a preserved five floor multi family dwelling from the 1860's.

At the time, the Lower East Side of New York was chockablock with immigrants from all over Europe: Irish, German, Italian, Polish, etc., and jobs were few.
Families lived in dark homes with no heat, no lighting and no running water. There were four outhouses out back for all 26 families. The people on the fifth floor had to carry water all the way up to their apt to cook with each day. The area was, at that time, the most densely populated area in the whole world.
Life was grim, and as soon as people could move away, they did.

Ironically, after Soho and Chelsea became the art gallery centers of New York, and improved the local real estate values, galleries fled rising rents and are now moving to the resurging Lower East Side. 

Are Art Galleries the new refugee class of Manhattan?

Your imaginary Friend,

Front Door of Tenement Museum

Five Story Walkup

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

God Don't Like Ugly

Seen in Chelsea next to the entrance to an art gallery.
This is a familiar phrase heard when growing up in New Orleans. It is roughly translated as, "God hates it when you are mean!"
The bad grammar helps to sell it!

Your imaginary friend,

Monday, April 15, 2013

Chelsea Flower Mart in New York City

Dear Flower Lovers,

Our hotel in New York was amidst the flower shops in New York City's Chelsea District. The glories of Spring: cherry blossoms galore, as well as hydrangeas, orchids, palms, etc. I loved seeing everything! As well as the fluffy white kitty "guard cat."

Your erstwhile gardener,

I Eat Mice, Too

The Flower Scene on 28th Street

Lemon Trees

The Setai in New York

On Fifth Avenue, the wealthy of New York congregate, to see and be seen. A gracious place to visit while people watching is The Setai Hotel on Fifth Avenue in midtown.
The breakfast area is blessed with onyx tables. Vases of live cherry blossoms abound, and a cool pendulous sculpture hangs within the circular staircase like the pendulum of an anniversary clock.

Your imaginary friend,

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mr. Brainwash

A street artist whose work we saw in Chelsea in a chic gallery calls himself Mr. Brainwash. Only in New York!
He was actually hired by Madonna to create the cover art work for her Celebrations album in 2009.
I was amazed and amused by his piece on display at Tarantella Gallery: a spray can of Pepto Bismol!


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chelsea Eats

My favorite dish during this trip to NYC was at Cook Shop on Tenth Avenue-- get the shrimp, grapefruit and fennel salad.
Go to Chelsea for the art galleries, and stay for the great restaurants!
Walk the HighLine to work off the calories.
Until I saw it myself, I was mystified as to what exactly the HighLine consists of. Here goes: it is an elevated former train track. There are small trees, blooming bulbs and flowers planted along it. For resting your weary feet, there are benches, seats like bleachers, and actual loungers for the truly tired. There are quite a few European tourists who will be right there, people watching just like you.

Then head to Trestle on Tenth Avenue for the wild bass and the cocktail called the Fender Bender!

Next day, visit Red Cat, on Tenth Avenue also. Get the tempura green beans for a spicy treat and the bass in a lemon mini broth. The wines by the glass are wonderful!

Swing by The Setai and have lunch on the main floor while you watch Fifth Avenue stroll by. I loved the shrimp and avocado tartlet, pictured.

Many thanks to Barbara Rachko for her excellent suggestions! She is an artist with a studio in Chelsea and know her neighborhood well. And please get reservations.

Your fellow tourist,

At The Setai

At Cook Shop

A Little Bit of Octopus Won't Kill You!

A Building Along the HighLine

View of the River from the HighLine