|Central Park on a calm wintry day.|
The whole point of our trip to New York was to attend training to become leaders of the Family Connection program, so our first stop was in White Plains, NY, on the grounds of a psychiatric hospital built in 1894. This is where Dr. Alan Fruzzetti, the co-founder of the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder shared his knowledge, enthusiasm, skills, and humour with us.
|The Staff Annex, where we had our classes.|
I stepped outside during a break to take some pictures of the sadly deteriorating gentility. These old places are so expensive to maintain!
Lucky for me, though. I just love that craquelure and moss. But, as a photographer, I couldn't help seeing some dramatic potential.
|Don't go walking alone at night.|
|My first cousins once removed. |
Aren't they just too beautiful to be real?
Because we're trying to stretch our travel funds as far as possible, we found a pretty cheap hotel room, though we did want to be in Manhattan. This was the view from our room.
|A pretty representative view, I should think.|
I love that this massive, crowded city of skyscrapers and traffic jams has this oasis of nature and calm right at its heart. When I was a child, I pictured the park as a few blocks wide, with slides and swings, but it is so much more than that.
|We didn't take a ride, but they were pretty to watch.|
I cannot get over the decoration on this building. Can. Not.
|You know you're a hick when you take pictures of the garbage piles because they are mindbogglingly large.|
And traffic jams. There was no getting away from them.
Every two or three minutes, we would hear a siren from an emergency vehicle, and I couldn't imagine how they ever arrived at the critical site in time.
We finally found our tour bus and climbed aboard.
|Looking into the bus. I just love the play of lights and colours here.|
|Just look at all those cars. Can you imagine a fire truck trying to get through?|
|It goes on forever.|
|The Empire State Building aglow. (From down on the street, you can't see the top.)|
Our guide made a point of explaining that it was not "Ground Zero" which many New Yorkers found focused only on the World Trade Centre. The memorial, instead, is meant to remember all the loss and trauma of that horrific day.
By this time, my feet and hips were sore, so we stopped at a diner for a simple meal, then walked back to our hotel.
The next day, we had a slow start, heading out for brunch around 11 a.m.
|A view of the street near our hotel.|
|Carousels are simultaneously beautiful and horrifying. Like clowns.|
It doesn't help that the horse looks like it's being stuck with a cattle prod.
|The city was all gussied up!|
|Blue Nude II, by Henri Matisse via Wikipedia|
And, as I've remarked before, there is nothing like seeing the work of art itself, rather than prints or photos. I've seen this Klimt painting many times as a print.
|Hope, by Gustav Klimt, at the MoMA|
That colour is layered, even the gold. The texture changes from barely covered canvas to flower petals. The gold catches the light in different ways as you move around it. It is more alive.
I laughed when I saw this fellow doing what I had done moments earlier.
|This is especially for my rainbow-loving niece, Diane.|
When we stepped outside, we found that the sun had set and it was raining. Perfect for taking pictures!
After a slow, unexciting dinner (with really slow service, not sure if that's a typical New York thing or just our bad luck), we made our way to the Barrymore Theatre for our Broadway show!
I had loved the book, a story compellingly told from the perspective of an autistic boy. I was worried about how it would translate from the page to the stage, but needn't have. It was perfect.
|The minimalist set.|
The next day was our last in the city.
|Breakfast: I can't remember what it was called, but it was ah-maz-ing!|
What I hadn't counted on were the hordes of school kids.
They were loud, rude, excited, and EVERYWHERE! Next time, if it's during school hours, I'll stick to the regular exhibits.
I did see this, however.
|I don't even know what this was, but found its 23-foot-long rib cage beautiful.|
Look! Look how beautiful it is!
Nature makes some extremely beautiful stuff.
Then it was time to visit the gift shop (of course!), where we saw this really cool handrail.
|Brass vertebrae polished by the shoppers.|
|Mosaic at the subway entrance near the Museum of Natural History.|
After all that excitement, it was good to get home, where our children dropped everything they were doing to greet us with bear hugs and serve us a fresh, hot dinner.
Just kidding. That must be happening on the other side of the black hole. Our kids acknowledged our presence and ate the meal we heated up, but it was Kane who damned near wet himself when he discovered that we were, in fact, STILL ALIVE AND HOME AND SITTING HERE AND PATTING MY NECK! OHMYGOD OHMYGOD! LET ME LICK YOUR EYEBALLS!
We're thinking of putting the kids into a kennel next time we go away. ;)