Wednesday, August 13, 2014

NYC in July, cont.

Charles James Collection at the
Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sigh.
Tuesday morning found us cabbing it to Saint Ambroeus for breakfast. What a great little find! We were seated at an out-of-the-way table not too far from the door (just as I'd requested in my reservation). Our server whisked Atlee's crutches into a nearby nook for storage, and we got down to the business of breakfast! I chose the uova al tegamino con pancetta, two sunnyside up eggs with bacon, potatoes and toast. Delightful, and plenty to satisfy me. The food was delicious, service was quick, and the atmosphere of this place was warm and welcoming. This is not a cheap breakfast by any means, but it was yummy, charming and convenient to our next stop.

We'd decided to spend most of the day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Brian and I had visited here on our previous trip to New York City, and I remember nearly weeping when we left because I felt there was so much I'd missed! This trip provided an opportunity for me to swing back through this behemoth of a museum and catch some of the art I hadn't gotten to last time.

I loved her face.
The best part? The museum offers free wheelchairs that patrons can check out! So, we came in at the handicapped entrance, checked Atlee's crutches, and then checked out a wheelchair. We spent the rest of the morning (and the early part of the afternoon) wheeling around the museum to our hearts' content. Wonderful!

We started with one of their special exhibitions - a gorgeous collection of amazing dresses by Charles James. Atlee is an avid sewer and smocker, so she was particularly keen to check this out. And the minute I stepped into the exhibit space, so was I. Imagine dress after incredible dress, vivid colors and patterns, unbelievable architecture (full shaped skirts, whimsical bodices and collars, very structural work - all done in cloth), dramatically lit for display. Not only that, electronic equipment scanned the dresses as you watched accompanying screens, breaking down the pattern of the design and explaining all of the underpinnings that made the frock keep its fantastical shape. This was absolutely revolutionary for me. I don't know that I can look at a dress the same way, ever again.
One of the Vermeers I missed last time!

We also checked out some of the medieval art and one of the sculpture gardens. Then, we stopped in the on-site American Cafe for a light lunch. Afterwards, Atlee had a doctor's appointment to get to. I put her in a cab a spent some additional time at the museum. I checked out the Dutch/Flemish rooms (which had been closed on my previous visit), the armor, and the musical instruments.

By this time, my dogs were barking! And when I stepped outside the museum, I saw that it was pouring down rain! Luckily, I'd brought my umbrella. A little energetic waving landed me a cab, which deposited me, safe and dry, back at the Bentley.

Atlee's doctor's appointment ran long, so I relaxed that afternoon, showering and gussying up for the evening's entertainments. We met back up for dinner at Pigalle, a little brasserie that you often see advertised in Playbills. I'd discovered it on my last trip to NYC and loved it. I had a creamy bowl of porcini ravioli, followed by a bright apple tart. Full and happy, we only had to round the corner to arrive at our next destination.

Live theatre ROCKS!
Determined to catch at least ONE of this year's Tony winners while I was in town, so I'd booked us tickets in advance for A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. What a HOOT! Young Monty, upon the death of his mother, discovers that he's actually a member of the lordly Dysquith family. In fact, there are only some 8 living Dysquiths between him and an earldom. Learning that his poor mother was disowned and rejected by the family, leading to her sorrowful death, he decides to exact revenge on the family and move himself closer to a title in the process. An expertly-staged musical farce, this production had us rolling in the aisles! There was no weak link in the cast, but the clear star of the show is Jefferson Mays, who plays most of the members of the snobbish Dysquith family. Songs are hilarious and delivered with remarkable talent, personality and vocal control. There is a reason this show won the 2014 Tony Award for best musical. Not to be missed!!

After the show, we grabbed a cab back to the hotel and slept soundly.

More to come . . .

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