Monday, October 17, 2011

New York - Day 6

Day 6: Africa and Brazil
Saturday, October 1st

Our second-to-last full day :-( Time is running short all of a sudden!

Henni and I had tickets to "Lion King" at 2pm, so we had to be slightly more aware of the time than we had on previous days. With that in mind, we attempted to get a head start, and made our way towards MoMA at a reasonably early hour. The weather was lovely, so we ended up just walking all the way there - getting a second glance at Rockefeller Center along the way. I would have loved to visit Top of the Rocks, but guess that will have to wait until next time.

Unfortunately MoMA wasn't really our cup of tea :-/ Neither Henni and I really 'get' certain forms of modern art, and unfortunately these forms were most prevalant at MoMA. Most of the paintings just left me thinking, "If that's art, then I've got a bunch of scribblings to sell to somebody!"

There were a few things I liked - they had one of my favourite Van Goghs, which was nice, obviously.

And they also had a series of black-and-white paintings, which looked like chaos up close, but a park when you stepped back a bit - that was cool!

But most of them were either ugly or just plain weird - like these three white paitings with red/green/blue boarders. I understand what the artist was doing, but it just seems somewhat fraudulent (for want of better word) to call them "art".

So as a whole, we weren't terribly impressed, and I'm really glad we got in with the CityPass, or we would have felt like we'd wasted our money.

From MoMA we headed down 5th Ave to Grand Central Terminal, as it wouldn't be right for Henni to visit NYC and NOT get to see that ;) Besides, we'd lured her with tales of the pancake restaurant there, and of course she wanted to visit that ;) But it's rather amusing - last time I frequently went to GCT simply by travelling with the subway so much. This time we actually had to PLAN to go there, and walked to get there! Just goes to show what a difference it makes to go sightseeing with somebody rather than on my own.

After lunch it was time to head back to Times Square and pick up our tickets for Lion King (we'd bought them as 'will call' to ensure they wouldn't get lost in the mail) - on the way we stopped by "Theater Circle" as I'd promised to look for a CD for Dad, and Henni wanted to look for a DVD that's utterly impossble to get in Denmark (success on both accounts - yay!) I also ended up buying something for myself, as they had sheet music for pretty much any musical you could think of! Daaaaaangerous store for somebody like me!

I had really been looking forward to seeing "The Lion King", as I'd heard so much about the costumes and the staging, but here afterwards I actually hardly know what to say about it. YES, the costumes were amazing - unlike anything I'd ever seen before (I especially loved the giraffes and the birds), and the choreography was fantastic - they'd done a wonderful job at studying the animals and getting people to move like them. But once that was said and done, had been noticed and admired... I have to admit to it being a bit of a disappointment. I loved the cartoon when I was younger, and had hoped the stage could bring it 'something extra' - but it didn't. So while part of me was absolutely fascinated by the stage show, another part of me was slightly disappointed that it couldn't live up to my expectations, and wish we had gone for something unknown instead. Ah well, you can't win them all.

The performance ended around 5 o'clock, and once again we could see that our timing had been impecable - it had been raining while we were in the theater and had obviously just stopped, but we didn't get a drop ;) We made our way back to the hotel via first Starbucks (Strawberry and creme - yum! I find myself really missing Starbucks now! We don't actually have them in Denmark... although I guess it's just a matter of time ;) ) and then a "Digital World" shop, where I'd seen they had suitcases for sale (it is of great interest to me how good for sale come in different 'combinations' in Denmark and elsewhere. I wouldn't expect a shop in Denmark to sell cameras, iPads/iPhones... and suitcases!). One of our suitcases' handle had broken on the way to the US, meaning we couldn't use the wheels any longer, but had to carry it everywhere - not good enough! And as suitcases in general were 50% cheaper in the US, we figured we might as well buy one there, and then leave the old one behind. I'd gone in a couple of days earlier to ask for a price, and had been quoted the (to me) extremely reasonable $90, but we'd been on our way somewhere, so I didn't buy it at the time.

Since we had to do our packing tomorrow, I figured it was time to get one, so I went in and found a couple I thought looked nice, and as one was obviously better than the other, I asked for the prices again (for some reason, none of them had pricing info on them). The following - rather surreal* - conversation ensued
Him: "This one is $110, and that one is $120."
Me: (still cheap, but not as cheap...) "Oh? I was here the day before yesterday and was told that this one (pointing at the cheapest one) was $90."
Him: "What time did you come?"
Me: "Evening - around 6ish."
Him: "You asked me then! Okay, I give it to you for $90."
Me: "Excellent! Thank you."
He proceeded to open up the suitcases and show us the lining, and the cheapest one looked really cheap - scruffy and used - so I had almost decided to get the more expensive one, when he pulled out another one which was OBVIOUSLY the best of the lot. Clearly better quality, lighter to carry, and looked heaps newer.
Me: "How much for this one?"
Him: "For you, I give you any of these for $90!"
That means I got at least $30 off - possibly more. I don't know why he'd give me such a discount, but you definitely won't find me complaining! ;-) So now we've gotten a cool new suitcase, curtesy of NYC :)

* I know that's not Adam Hill's definition of the word 'surreal', but for someone absolutely USELESS as haggling, it seemed that way to me to get something cheaper without even asking!

One restaurant Lars and I had both had as a MUST on this visit was the Brazilian Grill on the corner of 8th / 48th. We'd been there for their BBQ last time, and had both eaten until we were fit to burst. SUCH good food, so we'd both insisted on going there again, and fortunately Henni was perfectly keen too, after having heard us rave about it for pretty much two years ;)

Fortunately it completely lived up to our expectations. All the meat you can eat, and all really well prepared - yummily tender and moist. My only regret was that I couldn't eat as much as I'd have liked, because YUM!

We pretty much rolled home after that. Good thing we didn't have that far to go ;)

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