7 January 2009
Impossible to not love a man who not only insist that you spend the day after all the museums were closed going to the museum but says, “Have you ever been to the Frick? I think you would like it.”
And off we set – backing up a bit, I mean how much detail do you want? The routine goes that I rise at 0730 hrs. (habit) while J. sleeps in, room service has my coffee and water at the door. I wake up, put on my face, and write my blog while he sleeps in. Once he is up and out of the shower the day outside begins…
I’m a big walker, we know this yes? From Paris, Rabat, Fez, etc.? I turn down a cab every chance I get and yesterday was perfect (albeit a tad on the f…ing freezing side) weather for walking. We made our way over to the East Side where apparently it is just too, too ‘common’ to drink (dare I say it?) Starbucks. We finally found a lovely little café for which I cannot remember the name! I googled for you, but no joy. It’s on east 71st and 3erd – great latté and the cutest babies you have ever seen! I made buddies with one small chap who was obviously in the throes of teething and found my fan fascinating. I ended up opening and closing the bloody thing about twenty times just to see him grin! Once fortified with caffeine we headed back toward Central Park to The Frick on1 East 70th Street.
The setting is a lovely old mansion that apparently Mr. Frick informed the architect, “Just make that place of Carnegie’s look like shack.” Um, yes… well. I purchased a book about the history of the place and when I get back home I shall fill you in further. They had some lovely Boucher paintings, quite a few Vermeer’s, several Whistler’s – one in particular “Harmony in Pink and Grey: Portrait of Lady Meux, 1881 – 82”. She is so striking that I’m determined to do a bit of research to see what I can find out about her – something in her carriage… As well I was struck by a whimsical piece by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, “The Wool Winder”. And there was another by Vermeer, “The Solider and the Girl” that had the face of the young girl so animated. It was charming and unusual I thought.
The house itself is stunning and contains an old pipe organ, one of the largest, and it has a built in sound system of the day that allowed the music to be heard throughout the house. Apparently Mr. Frick would hire the musician who had his own special room in the house to play for parties.
There were two Rembrandts I have never seen, as well as many by Mr. Gainsborough. I found the Bronze exhibit downstairs disappointing, but then that’s just not my cup of tea. We were struck by the disappointing size of the ….equipment of the Satyrs – I mean considering their reputations; albeit one did have his manhood encased in silver – I found that impressive.
Have I mentioned that all of Manhattan inside is bloody hot and overheated during winter. Apparently there is some “the water runs and the heat is set and the….” That prevents adjustments… Argh – layers people, layers. We had some lovely snow flurries on our walk over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was not going to put J. through any more museum walk since he had been so gracious but I did want to share with him the wonderful tearoom where Q and I used to have afternoon tea.
DRASTIC DISAPPOINTMENT!! Ug, yuk, crap, and oh my! They have apparently moved the location from the lovely huge airy room where it was formerly located to what is now what any museum restaurant looks like, and high tea? High tea? Not! The scones were COLD, and stale! There were no separate spoons for the jams, butter, crèmes, or tea! The sandwiches while tolerable were limited in number and variety. The tea was in BAGS! And only ONE! When asked if I would like more tea, the Philistine simply added water to the poor tepid weak concoction! Shudder!
And at such a cost! Ordinarily one has to pay the forty-dollar entrance fee, which a lovely older gentleman at the desk waived, for me, and then FIFTY dollars for the horrid excuse for tea. I was mortified. Please, go to the Plaza.
We walked back to the hotel, which I loved – J. was insisting on a cab so that I not get overtired before the night’s play but it’s so fun to walk…
Ah yes, the night’s play… We went to see “The American Plan” at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre with Mercedes Ruehl (our main reason for going) and Lily Rabe (whom I recognized from my one television addiction “Law and Order”). The play was written by Richard Greenberg and directed by David Grindley. What can I tell you? DON’T GO. Well yes, that would be first. It is a play about nothing that leaves you so stunned at the end you spend thirty minutes trying to discern some meaning or purpose – trust me, there is none.
Ms. Ruehl was fascinating and her presence on the stage was grand to watch. Young Ms. Rabe did a very good job with the material she was given. But oh my, just so very bad. Really – don’t’ go.
We came straight back to the hotel because I feared a migraine was stalking me. We had a lovely room service dinner – this hotel has the most consistently fast room service I have ever seen! And I was early to bed, under orders. When I woke this morning however, I fear that cold that J. lost last week found me. At present only an annoyance.
We have a matinee today and a fancy dinner planned for the evening. Details tomorrow. I hope your 2009 is going well.