Sunday, June 17, 2012

NYC Top Ten Additions: Temples, Fireflies, and Highlines

Central Park at dusk as the fireflies began to twinkle.
Thanks to some careful planning from the better half and a last minute meet-up with a dear friend, this week's bucket list check-offs were long and rewarding, and I managed to find/confirm a few free favorites for the top-10-free-things-to-do-in-NYC-contest.

The fun began Thursday morning, when we were able to get through an early morning temple session by 8:30 a.m.  Extremely refreshing.  (And it might be one of those items that make the top 10 - the one place in the middle of New York where you are guaranteed quietude, beauty, and inspiration.)

Friday I took a bit of a breather after a long week and incorporated errands with a little fun.  Went to the Highline again and walked it with a friend and her two youngin's - I'm certain this oasis in the middle of the city is quickly becoming a favorite and will make it into the free top 10.  If you get off near 23rd street, check out Big Booty Buns - really enjoyed chatting it up with the owner and the gluten free cheese cornbread rolls - yum!

That evening Lance and I met up and went to the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) for their free evening, 4:00-8:00 p.m. (Huge savings here - otherwise, it is $25/pp.)  I probably like the Gauguins most - the palette he uses is so fresh and vibrant.  If you go during this time, I'd advise skipping the lines queued up for the 4:00 p.m. opening.  We arrived at 7:00 p.m. with no line and plenty of time to see the best stuff, the permanent collection on the 5th floor.  If you want the free audio guide, be sure to arrive before 7:00.  Also check out the young, Van Goghish artist outside with the thick palette of paint on the street. $50 is a bargain for his portraiture.  Very talented.

We then took a stroll through Central Park just as the fireflies got going.  With the hillbilly/Russian band wafting in from Columbus Circle, the moments spent watching the flies light up to the rhythm were somewhat magical.  Simple, but this just might make the free top 10.

Saturday I sadly missed taking my camera, but that morning we enjoyed FHE (see this post for more info on what this is) overlooking the Hudson from Grant's Tomb and explored Riverside Church and nearby Grange, Alexander Hamilton's only owned residence.

That evening was definitely a NY bucket list highlight; Lance and I attended the New York Philharmonic Symphony playing Beethoven, Neilsen, and Korngold.  I especially enjoyed the soprano during the second movement of the Neilsen Symphony No. 3 (a new friend from our congregation, Erin Morley).

Today after church we enjoyed hearing the Harlem Gospel Choir at BB King's- probably not something I will do again, but I would recommend it for those visiting NYC on a Sunday looking for edible food (it wasn't great - my cooking is better!) and an uplifting, fun experience.  I walked away wondering how the music of  my faith could be brightened up a bit.  Gladys Knight with her Saint's Unified Voices has done much in this regard, but there is still so, so far we have to go!

Perhaps understandably, I'm exhausted.  Happy Father's Day!

Can you tell what these are?  Paint brushes.  Unique art from the Moma.

NYC version of the station wagon

The kids loved the Highline - lots of green and this little fountain area, where 1/2 inch of
water provides the perfect amount for kids to play in.  Very safe, and very fun.

The Highline Zoo

At BB King's

They got soul.

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