New York City, Revisited

I’ve just returned from a fantastical weekend in New York City. I collected some details during my wanderings: the gorgeous woman in times square with fair skin and black hair and the port-wine stain like a fingerprint on the tip of her chin; the nine year old girl swivel-swiveling on her figure-8-shaped skateboard through the crowds; the waiter who mixed our guacamole in a little clay pot with a swirl click click swirl; the woman walking down the street in Brooklyn carrying an enormous poster of a deer, followed (the woman, not the deer) by grinning children; the mariachi band that entertained us on the subway… There were so many details, but these rise to the surface as I type.

Lauren 1I visited with my wonderful writer-friend Lauren, and the always adorable Amanda and David. Overall, there was much talking, much ravioli and salad and Indian food ingested (though not all at once) and a lot of walking.

Lauren and I found The Strand bookstore and I’ve decided that Tom and I need to move in there. It could be like The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, but with adults hiding in a bookstore. The place was amazing. It filled me with bookish glee and made me feel like this world is full of fascinating things that I’ve yet to learn about. I spent most of my time in the mythology (bought three books) and young adult sections. I pointedly stayed away from history knowing that I would emerge with several heavy books I would have to carry around all day. They had The Blood Confession in the YA horror section and I signed it for them. Aces! Lauren and I crouched on the floor and talked about our works-in-progress. Surrounded by those towering bookshelves I felt somehow safe, protected, lifted up from my writerly woes.

Another highlight was my second visit to The Cloisters museum. The museum has a lovely flowering courtyard in the midst of all the medieval art.


 more flowers

But I spent most of my time with the unicorn tapestries, getting lost in all those billions of tiny stitches. I simply could not tear myself away. I’ve been familiar with these tapestries since poring over pictures of them when I was a kid, so it’s wonderful to see them in person. They are overwhelmingly amazing (As the group of older women exclaimed upon entering the room: “Well would you look at this, how beautiful!”) so I wanted to spend some time with them. Like visiting an old friend.

unicorn at fountain

 unicorn under attack

I would live in the Cloisters too but there is no place to really hide in the unicorn room (I looked for a crevice but there was none, and I had been there so long that the security was keeping an eye on me). I’ll just have to plan another visit.

hanging with my unicorn

Published in: on September 25, 2009 at 1:58 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. I visited the Cloisters a couple years ago and was so sad I didn’t have more time to spend there. My sister and I also had fun trying to translate the latin on some things, but we generally didn’t remember what half the words meant, so it was pretty unsuccessful. I’ve been meaning to get back there, but haven’t done it yet.
    And as for The Strand – I’ve been meaning to get there for years. This may have just made it a priority for my next trip. ^_^

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