Friday, July 30, 2010

Vacation Journal - New York: MoMA edition

my kids have this book called "seen art?" by lane smith (who is fantastic, by the way) that my sister erin gave them a few years back and it is one of their absolute favorites.  it is all about the museum of modern art in a hilarious and perfect way and features tons of actual art from the museum.  for this reason, lucy was extremely excited to actually visit MoMA.

the book starts...
It all started when I told my friend Art I would meet him on the corner of Fifth and Fifty-third.
I didn't see him.  So I asked a lady walking up the avenue, "Have you seen Art?"
"MoMA?" asked the lady.
"Uh... no, he's just a friend."
"Just down Fifty-third Street here.  In that beautiful new building.  You can't miss it."
She was right.  It was a brand-new building.  I couldn't miss it.

so, lucy was very excited to stand on the corner of 5th and 53rd and look down the street to see the beautiful new building that you couldn't miss.

we actually spent the entire first hour there in the sculpture garden.  they have a garden cart that sells ice cream, coffee, wine and beer - basically anything you could hope for while sitting in a beautiful sculpture garden.  so, lucy had some ice cream and i got myself an iced coffee and we sat outside enjoying the perfect breeze and the amazing contrast of this little garden, with its trees and fountain, to the skyscrapers over head.  we talked, we enjoyed our treats, we made plans for the rest of the day, we looked through our MoMA book that my dad had helped me make (basically flash cards of all the familiar paintings from "seen art" to use as a sort of scavenger hunt for lucy through the museum), we looked at every single page of the american girl magazine, lucy played around under trees, over bridges and admired sculptures...  it was lovely.

in the garden, there was a wish tree by yoko ono where you could fill out a wish on a tag and then tie it to the tree.  people were writing down thoughtful, beautiful things.  lucy's read "i wish i had kit's backpack" (one of the items she had deliberated over at the american girl place and decided against).  maybe she missed the point...  however, the 8 year-old boy next to her wrote down, "i wish i had a ray blaster gun" so i figured i would let her write down whatever she wanted, because, hey, that was her wish...

we finally ventured into the museum and it was wonderful.  that's really all i can say...

gold marilyn monroe by andy warhol was probably lucy's favorite.  she just stared at it for what seemed like a very long time and then asked, "do people really wear blue make-up on their eyes."  

i promise she is not touching this painting...

she just had to get really close to count how many crayons were in the box.  

the museum has these fabulous hand-outs for kids that take them to several paintings and ask them questions about each and how it compared to the last painting, etc. and then gives them a little drawing assignment in the style of each piece they are looking at.  lucy was very into it and had to plop down on the floor and finish each one then and there...

and to end it all, a revolving door.  perfect.
if i were ever to live in new york city, this is definitely a place i would invest in the membership.
if you are going to new york, put MoMA on your list (becca).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vacation Journal - New York: July 22

our first morning in new york we got a good start on our day.
after a lovely little breakfast and some coffee (thanks to our most gracious hostess, loretta - i mean waking up to a hot pot of coffee every morning? that alone equals vacation in my book...) we packed some food for the day and headed for central park.
we were so lucky to be only 2 blocks from the park, so most of our days either started or ended here... or both.  
from central park, we hopped on a bus and headed up 5th ave. to rockefeller center.

they have observation decks at rockefeller center on their 68th, 69th and 70th floors called "top of the rock."  not sure if we just lucked out, or if it just isn't a hot tourist spot, but there was almost nobody there.  we had an amazing view of the city almost all to ourselves.

while at rockefeller center, lucy fell in love with two things that she continued to be obsessed with throughout our new york trip: revolving doors and the binocular stands...

i checked in to see if tina fey wanted to join us for lunch or something, but sadly she was unavailable...  i'll give her a little advance notice next time...

from there we moseyed around and saw the nbc studios entrance, radio city music hall, the today show window and everything else there is to see right around that one little block, while lucy ate the pretzel sticks she sniffed out as we came out of the elevator (*sniff, sniff* "i smell pretzels.")  there is a lego store right there that we spent quite a good amount of time in, wondering what we should bring home for jack and finn and marveling at the incredible lego creations.  lego really is one cool company.  we decided not to buy anything just yet, as we still wanted to make a trip to f.a.o. schwarz.  (as a side note, lucy kept asking when we were going to "go to shorts" referring to f.a.o. schwarz.  every time we passed a clothing store with, say, shorts in the windows, she would ask, "is that shorts?" even though she knew it was a toy store she was looking for...  there is always something funny going on in that little brain).  anyway, from there we headed to the spot on the top of lucy's list...  the american girl place.  we spent an insane amount of time camped out in front of the kit section mulling over all the possibilities of what to buy.  we walked away with a new outfit for kit (the decision based solely on the fact that it came with a headband) and kit's typewriter because, "it looks just exactly like mine!"

we stopped in to st. patrick's and said a little prayer...

then sat on the steps outside st. patrick's for a little rest, a snack and so lucy could type away on kit's new typewriter...

from st. patrick's we passed by saks and just for fun i thought we would stop in.
when i was 12 my grandmother took me to new york and thought i would think it was fun to stop in at saks.  i did not think it was fun.  i don't know why i thought lucy might, but i guess i just had a feeling.
lucy loved it.  all the salesgirls in the makeup department were stopping her to comment on her dress or her shoes or her headband and would she like a spritz of perfume or to sample a lip gloss.  i think we might be in trouble with this little shopper...
oh, and she wanted me to take a picture of her pretending to be a mannequin because, "jack is going to think this is so funny."

from there it was on to moma, one of the top places on our list.
it was magical.
it deserves its own post entirely.

after moma, i asked lucy what she felt like doing.
should we head back and rest?  take it easy for a bit?
"no.  i want to see more stuff."
i definitely learned from this trip that lucy has an insane amount of energy and the desire to keep the excitement coming.  both my boys are such homebodies, they rarely want to go anywhere.  lucy, on the other hand, is always up for an outing.  i saw this exponentially on this trip.
so, that was that.  we headed further south to the empire state building.

after the empire state building lucy wanted to "go to another store."
we kept moving south and i took her to abc carpet.  talk about overwhelming.  that store is unreal.  the building itself is worth seeing.  definitely something to go back to.
after wandering the many floors, we decided to start heading back up to where we were staying but made a little stop at the ace hotel.  
i was simply interested in seeing it, but i also heard they had an old photo booth in their lobby, so i knew lucy would be excited about that.  the hotel was gorgeous and the photo booth was quite the hit with lucy, as well as providing proof that i, too, was on this trip.

i love the flowers you can buy on every other corner in new york.
i would be in trouble if i lived here, because i just don't think i could resist.
we would have fresh flowers on our table everyday...
and a dent in our budget...

a perfect (and slightly tiring) day in new york.
there really is something magical about that place and its so fun to be able to share it with lucy. 
just the two of us.