The ramblings of a manic tourist.

Monday was the last day of a 75 day exhibit at the MoMA called Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present. This entails Marina sitting on a chair in the centre of a room from when the museum opens in the morning until it closes. She would sit opposite an empty chair and one of the viewers could sit in the chair for as long as they like and become part of the art.

There were many people when I was there with Kait and people were sitting on the floor, writing their thoughts and taking pictures of her. People were very taken by her and I was taken by how they were responding to it. Is this art? Seriously? Then again, what is art?

The MoMA is a very big building with six floors and a beautiful garden with a waterfall. The building is white and modern. We checked four of the floors and one of them contained the history of art, starting with Van Gough to Andy Warhol. I am not really into going to museums but I loved seeing the progression of art and I took some photos of some of the paintings that stood out to me.

When we arrived at the gallery just before 10:30am (opening time), there were people already lined up outside waiting to get in. Luckily I booked tickets on-line and only had to wait in the smaller line.

We had a lovely lunch at the gallery on the fifth floor which had a lovely view of the garden and the beautiful buildings surrounding the museum.

After spending some time in the garden, Kaitlin and I walked to the Apple Shop and FAO Schwarts which is near the Plaza Hotel and one of the entrances of Central Park. We sat there for a while and watched the many tourists walking past and we saw a model in six inch heels. There were a number of limos and flashy cars at the entrance of the hotel and horse and carriages near the entrance of the park.

The entrance to the Apple store is a big clear cube with a clear elevator and a white apple on display. This is on top of the ground and the lift takes you underground to the one level store. There were so many people swarming around trying out all the cool toys. Kait and I played around with the ipad and yes, it is pretty cool and easy to use. When I looked at a book it was easy to read, when I watched a preview for a movie the picture was very clear. As my uncle pointed out it could be a little bigger and I think I should wait until the next version comes out with a camera so that I can skype from it. Imagine me going away again and not having skype. Mum wouldn’t be able to cope (and neither would I)!

I did buy a new iphone cover and we were able to pay with credit card with one of the cashiers wandering around with a portable credit card machine adapted to an itouch! It was very cool!

After that we went to FAO Shwartz, which is next door. I think my expectations were too high, especially since I’d already been to Toys R Us at Times Square and that was amazing. FAO has a big barbie section (not as big as Toys R Us), a big lego section (not as big as Toys R Us), a candy section (don’t think Toys R Us has one of those), a painting room (not at TRU) and a make your own muppet section (not at TRU). That was cool! And of course, it had the Big Piano. Two employees did a show and played a few songs, such as chop sticks, and kids were loving it. That was a lot of fun but not as exciing as I thought it would be.

After that, Kait and I grabbed some hotdogs (yum!) and by the time I got home it was 7pm. Once again I was pooped. But I had made it through the day without a fall or choking fit.

Tuesday was spent working at the foundation and in the evening I changed hotels and moved uptown. Bigger footpaths, nicer apartments, less people and room service. No more rushing in the morning to go downstairs for breakfast! I tend to stess a bit when I have time restraints and so, being able to have breakfast delivered makes it a lot easier for me – physically and mentally.

Deborah helped me move in and we ordered delivery. A weird Chinese man delivered the food and asked one two many questions. However, the food was great (pasta with pesto for me!) and we got to relax before we walked to the cinema to see Date Night. Hilarious movie and I got to see Mark Wahlberg without a shirt on. It was tiring for me, walking back to the hotel, so I had to take little breaks, but it was nice being in the fresh air.

And now I am back at the foundation, putting together gift bags for FD day. Tonight I am finally going to Magnolia to try the frigging cupcakes. One friend keeps telling me to go there, so you know who you are: I am finally going! And maybe to Ruby’s as well which is an Australian owned and themed restaurant.

On a side note, my Dad asked me about my interior reflections regarding my trip so far. And I don’t know which angle to look at that yet. Do I look at it from a medical perspective as to how I am physically coping? Or do I look at it through a political perspective through race and finance? Because I haven’t noticed any race issues here in town but I have noticed that people are very money conscious at the moment. Checking every dollar and not spending money on things that aren’t necessary and yet people are still heavily into tipping. This may be because the minimum wage is so low, especially for waiters, and people make most of their money through tipping. David is heavily into this and gives a high percentage (like 20%) and I am following this method.

But then, each time I go to the theatre it’s always full and restaurants are always busy. So maybe the upper class is doing well and the lower class are still affected by the GFC.

In regards to my health and comparing it to others with FD, my thoughts are somewhat personal and maybe a little critical of a few things, so I don’t think this is the right forum to share those thoughts. This I will discuss with people when I get back – if they want to know.

But I will say this: I have had three falls out on the streets and one happened on the weekend. I was about to cross 39th St on the corner of 8th Avenue and my frame got caught in a crack and so I stumbled forward. I was able to get back up thanks to the hotdog guy nearby. He lifted me up and helped me gather my stuff. I did hurt my thumb but the rest of me is ok. It’s more my pride that’s bruised. On the brighter side, my stamina has been amazing and I have been able to keep going each day, doing more and more things. Maybe I will feel it when I get home but for now I feel great.

Anyway, that’s all I have to report for now. All your comments and suggestions have been great and please keep them coming.


5 thoughts on “The ramblings of a manic tourist.

  1. tully, as you can see from the amount of hits that the site has been getting, we are all watching your steps and so very excited to hear of your days adventures. aint traveling the best medicine???

  2. that ain’t no ramblings of a manic tourist – them is the words of a seasoned traveller of life whose impressions of NY – food, fads, folly and between the lines sheer excitement of each discovery re-infected my love of that city – you are sharing your Love of the Big Apple YUMMI and go for it ALL!

  3. Hi Tully

    Now that you’re settled on the Upper West Side, you’ll get a chance to see how real New Yorkers live–in Midtown you mostly see tourists.

    Some things you shouldn’t miss:

    A block east of your hotel is the American Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium. I know you’re not crazy for museums, but this one is a must see.

    A block west is Zabar’s–a museum of another kind, dedicated to food and stuff associated with it. Just about anything you can imagine, they’ve got. There should be a charge for inhaling. They also have a shop where you can get coffee and pastries.

    About 7 blocks north on Amsterdam Ave is Barney Greengrass (The Sturgeon King), one of New York’s few remaining dairy restaurants, where you can get a variety of Jewish non-meat specialties. And a few blocks north on Broadway is Artie’s Delicatessen–a recreation, but pretty authentic. The corned beef is particularly good.

    And don’t miss a visit to Lincoln Center, NYC’s performing arts center, at Broadway around 66th St.

    Hope you continue to enjoy your visit.


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