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Monday, 8 November 2010

NYC, what is it about you?

They say there's no other city like it and I don't think there is. We went to New York for our family holiday this year. It was the 5th time I had been and for me it just gets better. I first went when I was 10 years old, for my Dad's 40th, when we stayed in the Waldorf Astoria. It was exciting but I think I was honestly too young to appreciate the real New York.

Nearly 12 years later, we realise there is so much more to the city than the tourist traps. We usually spend a ridiculous amount of time in Macy's so this year we decided to allocate time to do a few different things. We wanted to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and see more of Central Park. So one morning we walked through central park up to the Met and stumbled across some pretty statues along the way.

First we came across the Delacorte clock which sits atop a three-tiered tower and features a band of animals: two bronze monkeys banging hammers against a bell; a penguin on drum; a hippo on violin; a bear and his tambourine; a concertina-playing elephant; a goat with pipes; and a kangaroo on horn. It chimes every half an hour and we happened to be walking past at this time. Just magical:

Next was the Alice in Wonderland statue. Also comissioned by George Delacorte, the sculpture was constructed in honor of Delacorte’s late wife Margarita. Atypical of most sculptures, children are invited to climb all over Alice and her friends. Through the decades, thousands of hands and feet have literally polished parts of the statue’s patina surface smooth. Here I am aboard a mushroom:

The light was incredible, what with all the trees, I was wishing I had a DSLR already. Because my Ricoh is awful in harsh light I started taking black and white pictures and a few came out pretty ok:

The best thing about our walk had to be all the dogs. Because we were up early due to jet lag, there were very few tourists around and all the native New Yorkers were out walking their dogs. It appeared to be quite a social occasion for people to meet and walk through the park together. I could not get over how well behaved the dogs were. There were groups of about 20 playing together. All I could think about was how rowdy it would have been if I had added Minty to the mix!

Plaques are on most of the park benches but this was the only one I saw specifically for a man and his dog. I've tried "googling" to see who Lord Randall was but to no avail.

And then this appeared through the trees:

We had arrived at the Met. It was quite a walk since we started at the southern-most entrance to the park so first stop was the cafe for a coffee and doughnut. More about the museum in the next post.


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