Sunday, August 31, 2008

New York memories

Thirteen years ago this week Mike and I were in New York City. I carried a "must-see/do" list and we did every one of them. Some I'd seen in two previous vacations there, and some Mike had seen when he lived in New Jersey in his late teens/early 20s. My list included regular tourist sites: the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and, back then, the Observatory Deck atop the World Trade Center.

But it also included places that I'm confident the average tourist wouldn't have on a standard travel agenda there. The addresses of two former homes of Louise Bryant, one that she shared with Jack Reed in 1918? Definitely not standard. Walking the entirety of Bleecker Street (walking map here) because of a greater-than-strong attachment to the old Simon & Garfunkel song by that name, the same name that I'd given to my beautiful orange and white cat who was waiting at home for us with a cat-sitter? Probably not standard, at least not for the very same reasons.




Foregoing a night on Broadway in order to see The Fantasticks at the tiny Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village, where we sat in the front row and I cried when they sang Try to Remember? A more likely tourist draw, but the play closed in 2002 after a 42-year run so we caught it in one of its final years.

And this place of beauty, the Central Park Conservatory Garden, tucked away from the usual Central Park sites? Where I think it should be a must-see I have a feeling it's not well-known to tourists. The sculptor of this serenely graceful statue was Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872-1955). Situated in the English Garden, it was dedicated in 1937 by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia.




These shots are two of my favorites from our 1995 trip. Especially my close-up with the live birds bathing next to the statuary bird. It was one spectacular late August day and their sparkling splashes of joy mirrored our happiness.

Why? Because we were there to be married here on September 1, a day or two after we reveled in the peace of Conservatory Garden.


10 comments:

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Sounds like your trip found the right balance - it's great to see the tourist bits of a place (they're popular with tourists for a reason after all), but you have to discover a place for yourself as well

guided tours can be such a pain and you only get one point of view on a place - often the truth is much more complicated

Darlene said...

Your photos of the statue were beautiful.

I found it interesting that the Bleeker Street video was made in Chili.

Natasha said...

You need to visit Jersey! The shores are our selling point I think...We do have some historical stuff... okay I really need to do my research when I get back from Abuja~

Naomi said...

The year you married was the year we returned to New York...what a lovely post weavings persons and place into one narrative that's so personal.

Recently took a walk by the Vonnoh statue, took a similar picture though your close-up is better. Now I can tell friends the name of the sculptor! thanks, naomi

Jennifer said...

Happy anniversary!

New York is a wonderful city -- so much to see both on and off the beaten path. What a great place to start a new marriage, too.

Honour said...

that's so great Lydia - you've given me such wonderful ideas for my upcoming trip to NYC ... a nice way of sharing memories

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Happy Anniversary!

I hope you two find something equally lovely to do on your special day :o)

Lydia said...

DFTP,
You make such a good point that tourist attractions become that because they deserve to be (in most cases). I've never been on a guided tour and it doesn't sound very appealing!

Darlene,
Thanks for your comment and for visiting! Like you, I was intrigued that the video was made in Chili. They did a nice job.


Natasha,
You and my husband and my cousin all have me convinced that I need to see the Jersey shores. (I even love that you call it the shore!) Travel safely.


Naomi,
Now you have me curious to read back in your blog to see if I can find where you lived before moving back to New York. The city is lucky to have your art and passion!


Jennifer,
Thanks so much for the anniversary wishes. New York really was a great place to start the marriage.
I so enjoyed your recent post describing your time living in New York; it was fantastic.


Honour,
Wow :) you get to go to New York soon! Lucky you. My cousin's son is an actor there, but not currently in a play for me to steer you toward. In May he ended his off-Broadway starring gig. He has landed a small role in Nora Ephron's new film, "Julie & Julia," starring Meyrl Steep.


Wayfaring Wanderer,
Thanks for wishing us happy anniversary. We both felt a bit under the weather, unfortunately, maybe a virus. So we hung out with the pets and had take-out Thai food for a great dinner. All in all, a good celebration.

Lily Hydrangea said...

I absolutely love this sculpture.

Lydia said...

Lily,
Me too :)

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