“What’s your name?”, the girl at Shake Shack asks. Damn, the name game. Again. I have been blessed with a lovely name, yet unpronounceable or incomprehensible for foreigners. I have been called Fila, Werla, Werlè and things like that. So I decide to follow Greet’s example and pick a random name: Kim. I had just been flipping through Kim Gordon’s biography at Urban Outfitters so that’s why it was the first thing to pop up in my mind. Greet always goes by the name of Anna and that is how people will know us in the United States of America henceforth.
My first time in New York, with one of my BFF’s, it couldn’t be less than great! Greet was the perfect guide as it was her sixth time in the Big Apple. She chose a great hotel (Pod 39), close to the Grand Central Station, in the middle of Manhattan, so we didn’t have to drag our luggage all through the city. The girl knows how I like to travel. And of course our trip involved a lot of food, cake and shopping.
What I liked most about the city, is the architecture. I was a bit afraid whether I would like it, because the modern part of Vancouver felt a bit claustrophobic last year. But New York is different. There are still a lot of old buildings dating back from the twenties and the thirties (such as the Fred and French building, Rockefeller …) and even some of the modern skyscrapers are very pretty. I really liked the Chrysler building (in the sun) and the Bryant Park hotel.
My favourite part of New York was Brooklyn because of its European (Berlin) vibe: lower buildings, vintage shops, nice bars and a lovely view on the city. This feeling made me realise that I just need to travel to Berlin to have the perfect holiday.
I am rather fond of street art. In New York we found a few really nice examples.
I visited two museums only, but both were amazing. They both featured some masterpieces by my favourite painter, the Austrian Gustav Klimt. I admired his two paintings of Adèle Bloch Bauer, one in the MoMA and one in the Neue Gallerie, a museum which features German and Austrian painters only. There was a really nice Schiele exposition as well. The MoMA offered some other masterpieces:a study for The Dance by Matisse, Dali, Pollock, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso … I just loved it.
I was disappointed in the Björk exposition. A few rooms with some dresses and a lovely narrative by the Icelandic poet Sjón: nice, but not enough. Björk has collaborated a lot with contemporary artists, but there was nothing about that. I sort of expected that from a modern art museum. I have been at the David Bowie exposition in London and that taught me something about the man and his influence on art and fashion. This Björk exposition was rather superficial although listening to Black Lake in the special room was very nice.
The concert Björk gave at City Centre Hall was amazing. She played most songs of her new record during the first part. As the songs are about her break-up with Matthew Barney, it felt sometimes a little too personal for me. It made me feel an intruder somehow. She sang it so deeply emotional. Part two was merrier. Björk chose old, yet lesser known songs.
Times Square is totally overrated, but hey, sometimes you have to be a little bit of a tourist! Greet gave me quite a laugh there as we were having dinner: “wow it 9 o’clock and it’s still light outside.” This was how it looked like:
And … we got photobombed! Hurray!