8-9 August New York – yet more museums and galleries

8 August

A couple more museums today, the least impressive of which was the Gutenberg. It is a pity that they don’t pay as much attention to how they display their Monet’s as they do to the design of the building. A fantastic building with lots of paintings stuck to the wall is about the best you can say about it.

Later I found myself walking past Bloomingdales & felt that I should wander in. Shortly after entering I got the feeling that I could not afford anything in the store. But it does appear that torn jeans are back in fashion. For USD80 a pair you too could have some. Now instead of looking like a bum with no money & old jeans it seems I could be mistaken for someone who feels it is important to keep at the cutting edge of fashion no matter how stupid and overpriced it is. Oh well, I am sure they will go back out of fashion again. They probably are already.

It seems though that the designers of this store took their inspiration from ancient labyrinths. Once getting in I wandered for ages trying to find a way out, only succeeding in making my way deeper into the depths of the store, where all but the most determined shoppers fear to tread. I am sure I saw a sign saying “Abandon cash all ye who enter here”. But it may just have been a halucination brought about by the panic of knowing I may never leave alive. Eventually I did make it out though, but only by being sucked into the grasp of the jewellery department, which had some very nice pieces, and the attendant was very nice. She seemed very disappointed when I turned down her offer to look at some of the jewellery , and seemed even disbelieving when I said that I doubted there was anything I could afford. Which when based on the ones with prices, was, I thought, a safe bet. But then again maybe they didn’t show the prices on the other stuff because they were embarrassingly cheap.

So eventually finding my way out onto the safety of the New York streets with wallet still intact I wandered downtown some more. I eventually found myself in Soho, where the urban decay look is very fashionable, and you find expensive fashion stores around the comer from a real dive. They really do have some interesting stores. I went into one, which was set up like a swanky apartment, with flash stereo, nice looking kitchen, odd bathroom, all of that sort of thing. About the only thing it didn’t have is anything that was obviously for sale.

Still confused by this and wondering about the meaning of shops that didn’t sell anything, I sat in a cafe for awhile & drank some coffee while watching some models do a photo shoot outside. Those smiles, it is amazing what they can do surgically these days.

9 August

I got up a bit late today, not feeling that well, I must have eaten something a bit dodgy the night before. I couldn’t think of any other explanation for it. So after finding something stave off the dehydration I walked down to the Museum of Natural History. A little pointer here. This is a very large, very impressive museum, one which you could easily spend all day looking at happily. But when you are not feeling on top form, it is just a bit less appealing.

But the most amazing thing I saw in New York I saw tonight. I went out with some German guys from the hostel. The guy who was over 21 forgot to bring ID, and the other 2 had ID, but it said that they were 18, because they were. Said Gennans actually tried to convince the bouncer that you had to be 21 to get a credit card in Germany, therefore the fact that they had them meant that they were 21. The amazing thing was not that this attempt did not result in grievous harm coming their way, though it didn’t. The amazing thing was that it worked. The bouncer probably let them in so they would stop arguing with him & hassle someone else. Maybe the Poles felt the same.