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Saturday, 21 March 2009

One week on...

Today we woke up at about 9am, as didn't really have any plans.  We were loosely considering going on the Staten Island ferry which goes right past the Statue of Liberty.

When Bojan pulled the blinds up - it was snowing outside! I'd always wanted to come to New York in winter, but honestly it was terrible outside.  We walked around the block and ended up with huge headaches from the cold.

We finally ended up at at our little Elmo for breakfast and had some pancakes and eggs and warmed up.  Bojan had decided that apart from Lady Liberty he'd seem most of the things he'd wanted to see, so he went home to study and I opted to go to The Frick Collection as it was another indoors appropriate day weather wise and  student entry is $5.


The Frick is located on the corner of 5th Avenue and East 70th Street across the road from Central Park.  The building it is housed in was built in 1913-13 by Henry Clay Frick as his residence who later bequeathed the building and his artwork with the wish that it be developed into a public gallery for the purpose of "encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts".  Aside from the furniture, drawings, prints etc, he left 131 paintings with a further 37 having been acquired since his death by the Trustees with endowments from the Fricks and other gifts.

Even though photos were not allowed, Milijana would not Milijana without sneaking a couple in (don't worry I didn't use flash as I know the harm it does to artwork).  

The gallery is made up of glorious dining rooms, sittings rooms and an actual gallery.  It is said that Mr Frick held 2 dinner parties a week, to which he invited 27 gentlemen.  The ceilings were high and gilded with beautiful gold borders.  The paint on the walls was a deep green.

The main staircase is exquisite.  I am so happy I managed to sneak a photo of it in, as the official portraits don't really do it any justice.  The staircase itself was inspired by Dean's Staircase at St Paul's Cathedral in London.  

I loved the Rembrandts and the Van Dycks, but my favourite was Jean-Augustine-Dominique Ingres' Comtesse d'Haussonville.  A portrait of a married woman in her mid 20's who already had 3 children, but was a seductress and an independent woman capable of making just about every man fall in love with her - including the artist.

After the gallery, I decided to wander around the Upper East Side - which is definitely my sort of neighbourhood.  

The streets are clean and wide, the buildings architecturally designed.  Each one has a door man that helps you out of your limo when the shopping bags get in the way.  Stores a plenty, but again, nothing in my price range!  

The funniest incident was when waiting at the lights near Bloomingdale's.  A perfectly put together lady with a fur coat and a Louis Vuitton handbag was walking with her 2 year old daughter.  When we stopped at the lights, the little girl pointed at a subway station and said "Mummy, what's that?"  to which the lady said "That's the subway world - we don't go there".  LOL - very symbolic of the Upper East Side.

I hadn't yet been to Macy's or Bloomingdale's so I went into Bloomy's.  Yikes.  I smelt a nice perfume on my way up the stairs and when the lady stopped me to ask if I wanted to try it I said "sure".  Well, she kept going on and on and on and on about some special that she would only give to me, a jewelry box, extra perfumes and creams - all for only $125!  Well lady, I have no shopping budget on this trip.  But the next thing I know she's pulling me towards the counter and ringing it up! With tax it's $132 and I know that I can't buy this.  So she walks off to get my "extra gifts" and I make a run for it!!!!!!!  

The jeans section was great though and I'm lemming a pair of dark denim J Brand skinnys... I'll see what Bojan thinks!

Right now we're off to watch the Knicks play at Maddison Square Garden!

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