Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Travel Log, Day 2 - Part 1

Friday, March 9. I am awakened at 4:30 am by sirens. Welcome to NYC. Go back to sleep and am awakened at 7:30 am by the insistent crash of garbage trucks. I got up while Boy slept. Had a leisurely bath (knowing Boy would not be up anytime soon) and soaked my feet, which already had walking damage. Got ready, woke Boy up.

While he showered, I spent half a lifetime at the Starbucks by our hotel. There were some amusing people getting their panties in a double wad about their coffee being wrong. Most amusing was the lady who was waiting on some half-something, half-something else with half a Splenda in it. They had lost her order (or someone else took it) so they made it again, supposedly. She snatches it and runs to where a large group of students and a charter bus is waiting for her. She comes back quite a few minutes later (I am still waiting for my drink, having secured Boy's minutes ago) and says hers is still not right. Um, that's because she took mine! My panties remained wad-free. Finally got the coffee and went back to check on the progress in our room.

Boy was futzing around and worrying inordinately about his clothes. He messed with the scarf/jacket/shirt/belt/hat combination until he was satisfied and I wanted to scream. Went to some little Tel-something cafe near the hotel and had very fast and tasty breakfast. Went back to hotel to get the maps we had forgotten, then headed off to The Cloisters. Strategic error. I should have studied the MTA map more and not trusted the directions given on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website. At their advice, we took M4 bus from 86th past 207th all the way to Fort Tryon Park, home of The Cloisters. While the trip through Harlem was educational, and we saw many interesting spots that might warrant closer inspection, it wasted precious time!

The Cloisters was magnificent. All medieval art and architecture, all the time, in a setting that models a Benedictine abbey. There was a complete Chapter Room - where the Benedictine monks would gather each day to hear a chapter of their Order read and to pray and have fellowship. I found out the abbey where the Chapter Room was housed, in France, was abandoned after the French Revolution. The Chapter Room was used as a stable from that time until the 1920s! That was fascinating to me. Yes, I'm a big history geek. Also, the site where The Cloisters sits - high on a hill overlooking the Hudson River - was the site of a private estate that burned down in the 1920s. Fort Tryon Park is beautiful and I'm sure is positively gorgeous in warm weather. You know, when the wind chill is above 10 degrees F.

Trip back through Harlem and Times Square to follow when Day 2 continues...



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