Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4th

Independence Day, and no more blatant patriotism than normal for this place. A few shops are closed for the day, others are having sales. Perhaps there will be excitement tonight at the Macy's Fireworks event, "curated" by Usher and featuring various songstresses that I will enjoy not hearing. We're booked in at the Red Cat restaurant, which is advertised as having some sort of view but I'm doubtful we'll see so much as a sparkler.

Confession - I am not all that fussed about fireworks set off from a barge. The Skyshow in Perth is a crowded mess of commuter music and inadequate picnic facilities and I hear from a chap in Bloomingdales that it's the same in NYC, only more crowded. While I enjoyed fireworks in the backyard as a younger person, it's not the same if someone else is playing with them.

So, as per Tuesday's post, we travelled to Bloomingdales in the morning to take advantage of their July 4th sale and a 15% discount voucher. I picked up some Ted Baker jackets and a suit on special for about $400 each, which was very pleasing. Not much in my size - I need a long fitting for wrist and ankle protection - so some of the other brands weren't any use to me. I almost bought a pale grey Hugo Boss jacket, but had worrying visions of future drycleaning.

The guy in the Ted Baker section of the store was lots of fun and hunted around for me, gave me discount on discount and found me a silver pin for one of the jackets.

I met up with Lynda again at 12:00 - she was empty-handed. Alas, nothing of interest from her perspective (more likely and plausible clothing in the small designers in Chelsea). So we decided to have lunch at Le Train Bleu - Bloomingdale's top floor restaurant designed like a railway carriage.

The Irish waitress was nice to us and gave our wine glasses "a good Irish pour" - so Bloomingdales only get three glasses to the bottle. I had a nice duck dish, Lynda had the mussels. The discount voucher is good for a single free creme brulee, but the Irish waitress gave us the choice of the desserts for two so we also sampled the poached pear dessert.

Shopping over, while we were uptown we walked past the upscale shops and the NYC Jewish Temple...

to the Whitney Museum of American Art, which was having a major exhibition on Edward Hopper's drawings and sketches. Some good works I hadn't seen before and the sketches and preliminary drawings for Nighthawks and others showed a careful intent.

There was also a video by David Hockney called The Jugglers where he'd arranged the cameras to flatten out the field of vision to look more like his paintings.


These were some commissioned glass doors, with much detail.

Generally it was a good primer for some great American artists - the exhibition American Legends from Calder to O'Keeffe had lots to see and some good sculptures.

The exhibition of the sketches of Edward Hopper had a "no photo" rule, but the museum had a number of his works elsewhere, and an excellent series of art books in the Bookshop. 

Here's a self-portrait of Edward Hopper.

This was a good self-portrait of Robert Mapplethorpe. I guess he'd be amazed to know he's now considered to be one of the greats.  The Guggenheim museum yesterday had named one of its small number of galleries after him.

Another Mapplethorpe. 

The Alexander Calder installations and mobiles were quite special.

One installation of a ceiling-head height divide by Robert Irwin worked very well - it had originally been designed for the 4th floor space and had been put back there for this show.

Back at our subway station I snapped this for all the 30 Rock fans:

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