A Serendipitous Meeting with a Horse Named Dino

New York City, New York, United States
Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our last day in New York we finally got up at a half-decent hour. We managed to get out of our rooom before 10:00 a.m. and walk over to the Market Diner for breakfast. Why the Market Diner, you may ask. Because the Market Diner can be recognized as the Blue Moon Diner where M.J. was working in the first Spider-Man movie. Don’t worry, the real diner is FAR superior to the dive where M.J. worked. The place was actually quite beautiful, well maintained (I think it might have been renovated in fairly recent years), and very clean. The staff was efficient and the food was excellent. And for some reason I was impressed that they actually had the Stella Artois ‘chalices’ for their customers. Go ahead, look that up.

We took the bus today to get to 5th Avenue to walk up that famous street to our next destination and ended up getting off a block sooner than planned. Why, you may ask, and rightly so. Because I noticed where we were of course. Where is that, would be your next question. That would be Bryant Park. And why would that be significant, might be your next question, to which I would reply that Bryant Park is where the New York Public Library is located. For those of you who have not clued in yet, the significance of the New York Public Library is that it is the very library that we first see the Ghostbusters in action. Therefore we had to take the opportunity for a photo-op on the front steps. No time to venture in though.

We had agreed yesterday that our primary goal was to get to MoMA — the Museum of Modern Art — and spend as much time as possible there before they closed at 5:30. We were so successful that we actually managed to be ready to leave before 4:30. This does not mean that we did not enjoy ourselves. Consider if you will that we were still there for more than four hours. The girls went their own way together right at the get go, so I can’t tell you how they fared except to say that Maggie was absolutely thrilled to discover two of Salvadore Dahli’s pieces there. Once she showed me exactly why she loves his work I began to understand the real detail and precision in his pieces. Very cool!

For my part, I enjoyed reviewing Diego Rivera’s murals which reflected early 20th Century Mexican history from the Mexican Revolution and Zapata to his later work which reflected his Communist ideals for Mexico. My personal favourite piece is actually Agrarian Leader Zapata.

Another exhibit that was showing was a collection of contemporary artist Cindy Sherman’s portraits. She used herself as the model over the course of 30 years in the guise and personas of various individuals from a multitude of media sources. It was a very odd display and I’m still not sure what to make of it.

My hands down favourites at MoMA though were: Elizabeth Catlett’s Mother and Child sculpture;¬†Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night; and Georges Pierre Seurat’s The Channel at Gravelines, Evening.

Look at me sounding like I know what I’m talking about, eh?

Anyway, we left MoMA and headed over to a place called Serendipity3 not realizing just how popular the place is. We thought it would be more like a coffee/ice cream parlor style restaurant where we could grab a bite to eat and a beverage to go only to discover a really serendipitous little restaurant/eclectic gift shop. The restaurant portion is actually two floors that reminded me of what the White Rabbit’s underground home might look and feel like. There was even a huge timepiece against one wall. When I say huge I mean it was easily five feet tall. It was very cool. When we arrived we were told it would be an hour’s wait to be seated for supper and at least half an hour if we wanted to get beverages to go. We had decided we were too hungry to hang around, but the girls wanted to look through the gift shop items for a bit while I waited outside. In truly serendipitous fashion, shopping turned out to be a good thing because the host stuck his head out the door looking for us as we were about to leave and told us that he would have a table for us within a few minutes if we wouldn’t mind waiting inside. The food was great, the service was excellent, and the hot chocolate (for me) and frozen hot chocolate (for the girls) was outstanding. Dare I say it, the hot chocolate was actually better than my own home made hot chocolate! So I bought a tin of the mix and a signed copy of their cookbook. Apparently this place has been in business for 60 some odd years and is a favourite of all sorts of famous people. Unfortunately none of them were there when we were, but that’s okay.

We then made our way to Bloomingdale’s on the off chance that we might find some reasonably priced shoes for Maggie to wear for the spring musical she and Jessica are in, West Side Story. I know, Bloomingdale’s? Really? Well, not only did we manage to actually find her a pair of shoes but the salesperson even gave her a 10% discount because we were from out of town where we can’t use Bloomingdale’s Points.

We continued on to our pre-planned final destination and went on a lovely albeit a little chilly carriage ride through Central Park. It was dark by then, but it had been a pretty gloomy day all day anyway, with thunderous threats of rain (which we didn’t actually get). The driver was very nice and so was his horse named Dino. I might be spelling that wrong; I didn’t think to ask.

Knowing we still had to pack in preparation for leaving tomorrow we returned to our hotel by 9:00 p.m., which was very early for us compared to previous nights. Jessica is now asleep (it’s after Midnight as I finish writing this), but Maggie did not heed my warning earlier and went ahead and finished one of her 1/2 pound Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups AND ate one of the highly caffeinated Stay-Puft Marshmallows. Now she’s completely wired and can’t get to sleep. Good thing the flights tomorrow are long; she can sleep on the planes.

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