S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

New York City

I've always found Manhattan claustrophobic - it has too little sky. This time, however, it didn't intimidate as much as it does usually. I've begun to be innured by London's throng of buildings, living near skyscrapers and six-story blocks of flats. Sunlight softened the Manhattan. The crowds were no worse than London, although the police treatment of traffic seemed more cavalier, clearing blocks of city around Times Square for ambulances - not a lane of traffic, but streets' worth. White-uniformed sailors crowded the subway for Fleet Week. Dramatically geometric architecture was interspersed with uneventful blocks of apartments. The doughnuts cost more and the subway is still dingy.

I met Z. for dinner, cliosfolly for the Met, and chamaeleoncat for a day of leisurely wandering in Westchester county. Dinner at Thalia was good but too large; the Met was fabulous but too large; and the day of leisurely wandering was just right. We wandered the trails of the sometime Rockefeller estate, spied a deer picking its way along a meandering little river, watched revolutionary soldiers rehearsing, and ate ice cream in Sleepy Hollow at Main Street Sweets. (How can you not like an ice cream store that makes its own, and includes a flavor called "Holy Soot", chocolate ice cream with fudge and crunchies swirled in?)

In the Met, we strayed from vase to krater, mask to print, fabric scrap to turban finial. One monolith was labeled as either shrine or goal post, a sure sign that the curators don't actually know what it is. Tlaloc-the-rain-god and vultures recurred. From the roof terrace, we surveyed skyscrapers and obelisks; on the second floor, we wandered through Venice and Islam, the walls painted gem-like colors. A full, proper afternoon tea civilized the expedition, with finger sandwiches, petit-fours, and delightful scones flecked with candied currants. We still don't know what Yellow and Blue tea is, but we drank it nonetheless; after lemonade, it tasted of honey to me.

Sunlight and good company tamed Manhattan for a day, but New York City is still mostly a stranger to me.
Tags: afternoon tea, eating in new york, travelogue

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