Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Four Days in the Big Apple

As I mentioned in my last post, we just returned from a nine-night vacation.  Two weeks ago tomorrow, we left home at 5 am to board a train to New York City at this quaint little Amtrak station in Lynchburg, Virginia.

This beautiful moonlit view was from the lower end of New York City's Central Park (husband and daughter leaning on the fence), a very short walk from the Sherry-Netherland Hotel, where we were made to feel at home in a city where it's very difficult to feel at home if you're not "city folk".

Of course, we shopped and shopped on Madison and Fifth Avenues (window shopped, mostly), walking our legs off in 95 to 100 degree heat!

My favorite shopping excursion was to the Garment District (also called the Fashion District), where there are, block after block, fabric stores galore (apparel only, not quilting), trim and notions shops, tailor shops, and more. A highlight of the day was our visit to Mood, made famous by Project Runway. I bought two beautiful silks which I can't wait to turn into scarves of all shapes and sizes! You know you've reached the Fashion District when you see the big button:

The most beautiful place we visited was The Morgan Library. This room was the person library of J. Pierpont Morgan, who collected most of the leather books housed in this room, some of which date to the 15th century. The museum also owns a vast collections of original musical and literary manuscripts, some of which are on display here. We were hoping to see works of Jane Austen and Chopin, but they weren't included in the current exhibits. It was a thrill, however, to view personal papers of Mozart, Henry David Thoreau and others.

This volume from the 1400s, printed on vellum, is embellished with gorgeous hand-colored drawings. I couldn't help thinking that, due to our dependence on technology, our generation may never have anything this beautiful to pass along.

I think the neatest thing I saw (of course, I'm a word nut), was a draft of Noah Webster's first edition dictionary, in his own handwriting.  I believe they said it took him 23 years to complete, and was the only dictionary ever compiled by one person alone. He also learned 26 languages so that he could note the origins of the words. Incredible!

Mabzie designed her own muppet at the FAO Schwartz workshop (shown above) Below: muppet (left), puppet-maker (right).

One of our most unique meals in NYC was at Fishtail. They serve their fries in these tiny fry baskets:

As we were eating, a gentleman came to our table and introduced himself as David Burke, which meant nothing to me until he added that he was the owner of the restaurant. Which still meant nothing to me until I got home, googled him, and learned that he's a celebrity chef. Where have I been? All I know is, he serves some delicious dry roasted mussels!

Another beautiful building is the New York Public Library, built completely of marble in 1913!

I'm out of time for tonight, but I'll tell you about the second part of our trip as soon as I get a chance.

What are your NYC favorites?

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