Thursday, September 1, 2011

New York City in August

August is not the best time to visit NYC but this year it worked for me.  It wasn’t too humid and it even rained one day which cleaned the air nicely.  I stayed at Park79
( near the natural history museum and took a nice walk around the Jacqueline Kennedy Reservoir nearby in central park once I arrived to stretch my legs.  My first lunch was at Del Posto (  – a delicious three course prix fixe menu which started with little tastes of Italian bread soup, miniature lobster sandwich and tiny fritters.  Lunch was a beautiful salad of raw and cooked vegetables, greens, ricotta, etc. - almost too beautiful to eat; ricotta filled dumplings with white and green asparagus; and rich chocolate tortoni for dessert.  Afterwards I walked along the high line, a former abandoned elevated railway turned into a park, 30 feet above the ground.

With my 7 day metro pass I took the subway to the National Museum of the American Indian, a free Smithsonian museum housing some 700 works of native art, i.e. headdresses, robes, jewelry, toys, etc.  Dinner at Sorella ( , a tiny Italian restaurant near Delancey Street where I enjoyed delicious spinach pasta with corn and mushrooms and chocolate fudge pudding for dessert.

I started day 2 at the Metropolitan Art Museum (  The special exhibits I wanted to see were “Thinking outside the box”, featuring a selection of 100  examples of important boxes and small chests; “the Andean Tunic” with tunics drawn from the museum’s collection and “Reconfiguring the African Icon” with creative
re-imagings of the iconic form of the African mask and a docent to explain the artists’ intentions.  Lunch in the village at the Little Owl ( , a very sweet little café.  A simple salad of arugula, sliced peaches and artichokes with shaved parmesan and a warm rhubarb crisp left plenty of room for my upcoming dinner that night at Blue Hill at Stone Barnes ( in Tarrytown!!!

Any foodie would love dining at the farm.  The menu lists the fruits and vegetables you will see creatively executed on your plate as you leisurely enjoy the chef’s creations.  Make sure to arrive early as dinner lasts about 4 – 5 hours!!!  Some of the highlights were tiny roasted tomato burger on a bed of sesame seeds, crisp deep fried kale and sweet potato slices/tempura green beans from the garden, little whole grain brioche topped with house made ricotta and Swiss chard marmalade, slow roasted onion with condiments, pasta with ostrich egg, grass fed beef with spaezle, petite sachertorte and a mint milkshake in a shot glass…

The Brooklyn botanic gardens are free on Saturday mornings and open an hour before the museum.  It is delightful to stroll through 52 acres of Shakespeare, Cranford Rose, Japanese-hill-and pond gardens, etc. before entering the Brooklyn Museum of Art.  On view was Vishnu:  Hinduism’s blue-skinned savior comprising many statutes, paintings, etc. of Vishnu, his life and his ten avatars.  Lunch at ABC Kitchen of beets in yogurt and spinach and goat cheese pizza and a surprise complimentary salad of roasted carrots, avocados, sunflower seeds and crisp croutons!!!  I wandered around the Greenmarket nearby and spent an hour at the Museum of Arts & Design on Columbus Circle.   I was rather disappointed in the exhibits so instead took a walk down Madison Avenue!!  Dinner in the Ink Hotel at Print.  The halibut with corn chowder/roasted peppers/shiitake mushrooms and whipped chocolate flan were delicious, but the restaurant lacked atmosphere so I didn’t linger….

The next day after a nice walk in central park I visited the Whitney Museum.  I was hoping to see the Cirque Calder but it was being repaired…  I did, however, enjoy an exhibit on Lyonel Feininger who started out as a cartoonist and I learned a lot about his works from the docent.  As it was a rainy day, I was happy to sit inside cozy Lupa for a lunch of oil-poached tuna with cannellini beans, deliciously warm focaccia bread and tartufo for dessert.  On to the Jewish Museum on 92nd street (  where I had never been before for a great exhibit of the Cone sisters’ eclectic collection of art.  They collected paintings by Matisse (whom they met!!), Van Gogh, Picasso, etc., as well as textiles, jewelry and rugs from their travels all over the world.  When they died they donated this collection to the Baltimore Museum of Art.  You can watch a video showing their home and how their art had been displayed.  Dinner at the elegant and rather expensive Marea ( on Central Park South of rouget with black farro, tortellini with nettle pesto and a luscious chocolate tart with espresso ice cream.

The Rubin Museum of Art: Art of the Himalayas (  is open on Mondays and this year the special exhibit was about pilgrimages and faith, i.e. the role of pilgrimage in three of the world’s largest religions – Buddhism, Christianity and Islam.  The museum itself is stunning with its winding staircase and unusual permanent collection.  Lunch at the busy little Spotted Pig (  where the tables are tiny and the food is wonderful.  I had gnudi with ricotta and basil pesto and a creamy lemon tart and read my book as the noise bustled all around me.  Later I wandered around Greenwich village and Soho looking in shops and watching the people go by.  I also walked up to Mario Batali’s Eataly, a large Italian artisanal food and wine marketplace on fifth avenue.  It is a food lover’s mecca filled with restaurants and boutiques selling cheeses, bread, homemade pasta, desserts and more.  Dinner at Stanton Social (   with its little plates of potato and goat cheese pierogies, red snapper tacos, hand pulled chicken arepas and peach and almond crisp.

My last morning I spent at the Frick Collection (  and was amazed at the number of masterpieces which fill this mansion of art.  Highlights for me were Hans Holbein’s portrait of Sir Thomas Moore and Francois Boucher’s little cherubs in the Boucher Room among other things!!!!  An unusual prix fixe lunch at Eleven Madison composed of mini little “amuse”, i.e. goat cheese-beet lollipop, crisp mini goat cheese fritters with lemon dipping sauce, egg shell filled with creamy custard and smoked sturgeon and a 3 course lunch of black bass tartar/sashimi with peaches, very tender chicken breasts with creamy mushrooms/faro/corn and chocolate glazed hazelnut “cake” with express ice cream.  Subway to the airtrain, airtrain to JFK, JFK home…

No comments:

Post a Comment