New York City
New York City is a kaleidoscope of wondrous sights, sounds, tastes, the arts, and experiences of all kinds. And Brooklyn has been emerging as a desirable place to live as well as a compelling mix of tourist attractions, BAM, Mark Morris Dance Center, the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Museum, the Botanical Garden. Restaurants of all ethnicities and price levels abound in every neighborhood. Recently, my sister, husband, and I spent a few days in Brooklyn, with excursions into Manhattan. The feature photo above is street art, a mural painted on the back of a building visible from Smith Street.
We stayed at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, just twenty minutes across the river to the exciting Meatpacking District (with excellent service and a free shuttle to Times Square at 10:00am daily), home to the High Line and the new Whitney Museum, designed by Renzo Piano and situated between the High Line and the Hudson River. The dramatically cantilevered entrance along Gansevoort Street shelters an 8,500-square-foot outdoor plaza or “largo,” a public gathering space steps away from the southern entrance to the High Line. During our visit there was a Frank Stella retrospective, with paintings and sculptures on display. My husband and I attended a performance of The Hard Nut, a zany version of a ballet set to “The Hard Nut”Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” Alastair Macauley wrote in the December 13, 2015, New York Times “The Hard Nut”: “Waves of happy laughter greet “The Hard Nut” from curtain-up to curtain-down, a tribute to the naughty theatrical brilliance of its choreographer, Mark Morris. His production, which turns 25 next month and which returned on Saturday for the first time in five years to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, feels mint-fresh.
We enjoyed meals in several wonderful restaurants:
In Brooklyn: Ki Sushi on Smith Street (near Atlantic Avenue) in the charming, gentrified Boerum Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, one of our all-time favorites with the best sushi we have ever eaten outside Japan, and Shake Shack on Fulton Street near the Marriott.
In Manhattan: Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen in Hell’s Kitchen on 8th Avenue and West 49th Street, with scrumptious steamed buns to eat in or take out, and The Standard Grill near The High Line and the Whitney Museum, a charming little bistro with an appetizing lunch menu. My cousin Bob and I met for lunch at Mercato, a little Italian restaurant at 352 West 39th Street with lots of atmosphere and enticing aromas—I had not enjoyed Italian food so much since my time in Bologna.
The Frank Stella Retrospective at the Whitney Museum
Born in 1936, Frank Stella worked with unparalleled intensity for almost six decades, producing several thousand paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures. This exhibition is his first retrospective in the United States in almost thirty years. The Whitney provides a beautiful setting for his inspiring work.
The dramatic painting below (form a private collection), Das Erdbeben, communicates the immediacy and massive brutality of a catastrophe.