Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy, with tired feet

The view over Times Square from our hotel room...
K
We had a quick but intensive long weekend in New York during the Easter break; everyone was exhausted by the end of each day. My youngest daughter (she's six) was not so sure she fully approved of NY city (too much smog, too much traffic and too many people) whereas the older one (now eight) thought it was cool (“Hey we can go to Broadway every night …”). I'm somewhere in between; I love the amazing energy of it all, but at the same time, I feel a bit claustrophobic without seeing any "real" soil and nature around me... NYC really is such an inspiring but demanding environment for a human being, both physically and mentally. I don't think I would be able to live there full time though; I would miss the bird song far too much.
K

The Bethesda Fountain by the richly-ornamented Bethesda Terrace in front of the Lake in Central Park. It's sculpture, Angel of Waters, was designed by Emma Stebbins in 1873. The Boat House in the background.

Anyhow, we were very lucky with the weather and had some great play times in Central Park. The girls patted just about every dog that walked by, and they were many. I missed one of my objectives, to photograph the MoMA Sculpture Garden (the mother of all modern sculpture gardens, as John Walsh said), as I forgot my camera (!) that day and had to be content with just sitting there enjoying the sculptures in the sunshine. It really is such an amazing "garden"; with it's straight lines and rectangular forms, it visually connects so perfectly with the environment surrounding it. Anything else (like meandering lines and curving paths) would have felt like a joke in this extreme landscape of skyscrapers, stone and steel - you need the scale and size of Central Park to make a contrast to this huge city successfully. And happily, I got to see the MET exhibition with Pierre Bonnard's late interiors; his vibrant colours put me into a trance every time, I've never seen one single book or picture that can reproduce them correctly...

6 comments:

Daniel Mount said...

I always make sure to pass through Central Park as much as possible when In New York, the concrete and people can be fatiguing. One trip i just tried to take photos of plants i saw growing anywhere. Out of the cracks in the buildings, in window boxes, etc. I was surprised when i began to look how many plants were there. But still who goes to New york for plants? There is so much art. i go to New York for art. I have plenty of plants at home.

Carol said...

Love the contrast of the skyscrapers and the park coming into bloom. I love walking through Central Park and all the art, which is why I mostly go to New York too. I agree with you about the city being too hard to live in full time, but the energy is fantastic and inspiring for a bit. I find the return to the natural slower pace of country life with joyous bird flight and song so refreshing and restorative from the noise of the city.

Camellia said...

Jag har aldrig varit i NY, aldrig riktigt känt meig sugen (av ungefär samma sköl som din dotter), och gissar att jag i dag skulle känna mig som du. Det är något märkligt med en plats med bara spikraka rutnät av gator och hus på vetikalen...

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Thanks Daniel and Carol for your thoughts; I think we share some interests here... I really feel like a countryside girl in New York, but I enjoy the contrast too, and all the art - so wonderful to have so much in such a small area. Even if I do think Paris, Rome and London are far more beautiful as cities...

Hej Camellia, jag tycker att gamla Europeiska städer slår NY med hästlängd i skönhet och även kultur, eftersom deras historia är så lång. Men NY är mycket intressant, som ett otroligt experiment på hur mycket man kan klämma på en plats. Och det finns väldigt mycket häftiga saker som händer. Även om jag kanske föredrar Tokyo i detta avseende, det tycker är jag även mer intressant när man söker riktig hektiskt cityliv. Så många ställen, så lite tid...

Alice Joyce said...

By the way, I'm getting ready for a trip to NYC, my first since 9/11. I love the theatre, the neighborhoods, the museums, the energy, and seeing friends & family. I had planned to visit the new Highline gardens, as I'll be in Chelsea, and that section is set to open. Alas, they've changed the date to June. I'm truly disappointed. Hopefully I'll see the PIet Oudolf's Battery Park plantings. cheers,

Karen said...

Glad you guys had such a fun visit. Yes, it's exhausting to be there, your brain is just on all the time, taking stuff in, storing it for future perusal as well as experiencing everything in the high-intensity moment. I haven't been to MOMA since they remodeled, that's a sadly long time! Sometimes I'm glad when I forget my camera, it's a different pace and type of looking with just your eyes. This other blogger I really like just put up some posts about green spaces in NYC, if you have a second - she has a really interesting perspective, I think. http://localecologist.blogspot.com/