photo of the day (a trip to NYC and the MoMA)
My son has a friend who lives part of the time with his mom and siblings in an apartment in the city near Central Park and Columbus Circle. The boys met at Great Hollow and they seem to enjoy each other’s company very much. In order to give them some time together, I decided to plan an outing into the “Big City.”
Of course, when there is mention of a field trip of any shape or kind, the little sister wants in. And frankly, I like taking her with me, so we ditched school (yes, again!) and got on the train headed for Grand Central Station. I’ve wanted to see what was going on at the MoMA for a long time now and since one of my favorite artists, Vic Muniz, had an exhibition there, I thought that would be an appropriate destination. I called to let school know they would be missing one student for the day and we headed for the train station in Westport.
This is Ticket Man. The kind conductor on the Metro North train we took into the City made him for Clare.
This is Ticket Man doing his impression of “The Shadow.”
After a quick and easy trip on the train, we arrived at Grand Central Station. I could spend the day shopping and eating at Grand Central. It’s filled with fun shops and decent places to eat. But we had to get to the museum and meet our friends so after grabbing a quick cup of soup in the food court and stopping in a cute little shop we just couldn’t pass up, we headed out to the street.
Of course there was time for a photograph as we passed the flower stand that always has the most beautiful roses to brighten up any winter day.
We met Nick’s friend and his mom in the lobby of the MoMA. The boys decided that they’d prefer to ditch the museum and spend their time hanging out together at the apartment which was only a few blocks away. So we parted company and Clare and I checked our coats and hit the museum.
I was a bit disappointed to find that the Vic Muniz exhibit was only one that he curated and it did not feature his own work. But Clare liked it very much.
I was a bit disorganized as I walked through the museum. I felt like I wanted to have more of a purpose for being there. I wished I had done more research about what I was going to see once I got there. I felt aimless among the art and wanted to be able to enjoy it and embrace it more fully. I really liked this work by Sol LeWitt called Wall Drawing #260. I loved the idea that it was white crayon on a black wall. And I really like this image of a woman looking out the window in the installation. The MoMA is a wonderful building. Not only does the art call to you but the city outside becomes part of the exhibit as well.
After a bit, Clare was hungry so we headed for the Cafe for a snack. One thing about my daughter. She is the only one in the family who doesn’t think of herself as a photographer. She doesn’t take pictures of everything she sees. But she draws all the time. If there is a writing implement and a flat surface (preferably paper) my daughter will utilize it and draw to her heart’s content.
My husband has a strange habit of taking pictures of the presentation of his meals. Well, maybe it isn’t strange to you, but I had never seen anyone whip out a camera and take a picture of their plate before digging in. He even had me starting to do it. So when Clare and I were served our paninis, it seemed only natural for her to grab her sketch book (ok, my notebook) and produce this:
In the atrium of the MoMA there was a multi-media installation called Pour Your Body Out by Swiss artist, Pipilotti Rist. It took me a while to want to let go, take my shoes off and relax into the sensory experience but Clare insisted and so, boots off, I was lying on my back next to Clare on the large doughnut-shaped couch and letting go to the sounds and images around me.
I could have spent the rest of the afternoon lying on that couch but there was more to see in the museum and we headed upstairs to see the paintings and sculptures.
One of the wonderful things about the MoMA is that unlike many museums I’ve been to, they encourage you to take pictures and get close to the works of art. Clare would get in as close as she could to a painting or sculpture and I was waiting to hear alarm bells go off, as we did at a visit to the Cooper Hewitt. I finally asked a guard if she was too close. His wonderful response was that the museum understood people’s need to get up as close as possible to the art, so that they could see technique and brush strokes. He could tell when someone was being respectful; they leaned in close with their hands usually behind their backs so as to see as much as they could without touching. He said the museum understood the need to get close to the paintings and they wanted to make the art as accessible as possible.
Then we talked about art and Clare showed him her sketches, including the one from lunch. I was so impressed with his knowledge of the paintings, his enthusiasm and his encouragement of my daughter’s art.
While I could have spent the rest of the day at the MoMA, sensory overload was fast approaching. So I tore myself away from the Picassos, the Miros, the Pollacks, and the Kandinskys and Clare and I walked over to the American Girl Store. How could we not? We were so close.
I’m not sure how I managed it but we came away from the store with only a book. It could have been the promise of a new doll for her birthday but I was proud (and relieved) that we left the store without a tantrum. Could it be that my little girl is growing up?
It was getting on time to pick up the boy from his day of fun and head back home. Clare and I walked through Rockefeller Plaza and stopped briefly to watch the skaters at the rink.
We met Nick and his friend and his mom at Le Pain Quotidien on 7th Ave and 58th St. for dinner. I think this could be my favorite chain restaurant. The food was wholesome and good, waiter was cute and had a lovely Irish brogue. We didn’t want the day to end, but we still had to head back to Grand Central and make a train back to Connecticut.
The city at night was bright and alive and full of light and life. I shot this view of Times Square from the cab window as we were heading back to the station. I miss city living very much but I don’t know if I could give up anything I have out here in the country. Maybe living just a train ride away will have to do for the time being.