Upper East Side

Wednesday (after breakfast, of course) was mostly about the east side of Manhattan.  We were up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art twice, met another Xangan for lunch and strolled across Central Park.  All of this before going to dinner at Le Bernardin!


I’ve been here countless times both for work as well as pleasure.  My most recent visit to New York was in October 2005.  It was the last point I was in the US before moving to Thailand.  New York is also important to me because I had accepted a job here at the end of 1999 and almost moved here.  Had I not decided the job was flawed for several reasons and quit before moving here, I never would have gone to Thailand between jobs and met Tawn.  So you can see why NYC holds a lot of meaning for me.


On our way to the museum the first time, walking from the 86th Street subway station, I spotted a Tim Hortons donut and coffee shop.  This Canadian chain, which I like, is making inroads into the northern US, it seems.  Good for them!  I doubt they’ll supplant Dunkin Donuts as the morning snack of choice for New Yorkers, but you never know.

P1180871 Our first visit to the museum was mostly spent in the exhibit on ancient art from the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul

It contained many beautiful pieces that reflect how much of a crossroads that country was, with so many different styles and techniques, adapted from many different cultures.

We also headed to the American wing, a newly renovated space that has a superb collection of silver.  Tawn was taking pictures of lots of tea sets and I’m sure he was disappointed that the gift shop wasn’t selling any reproductions of them.

The museum also has this interesting space that looks like an Etruscan courtyard.  The museum does a great job of intermixing spaces and the use of natural light in many galleries to keep visitors from feeling like they’re going from one darkened room to the next.

We could easily spend days on end browsing through the museum’s broad collection.  We had an eye on some other exhibits and resolved to come back later in the afternoon.  But first, we had an appointment in Bryant Park with another Xangan.

Yes, this has quite unintentionally become the trip of meeting Xangans.  In this case, it came about because Wai Sze, a fellow blogger with whom I’ve been corresponding about an upcoming trip she and her husband will take to Thailand, noticed that we’d be staying nearby her office.


Bryant Park is a great space with lots of trees and shade, free tables and chairs and games spread throughout the place.  It reminds me a lot of Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, a public place that invites people to linger and enjoy the space.

We had a quick lunch at Witchcraft, a sandwich and salad kiosk located in the park, and a short visit before Wai Sze had to head back to work.  My cousin, who had also joined us, headed back to work, too. 


After Tawn took a few more pictures around the park, we headed back to the Metropolitan Museum, where we met up with our friend Biing.  A long-time New Yorker, Biing really knows his way around and has given us lots of tips of places to eat, things to see, etc.


Here, he and Tawn are on the museum’s rooftop garden and Biing is pointing out famous sights: Yoko Ono’s home, Madonna’s home, etc.

After a few more hours at the museum, we walked across Central Park to the west side.  It was threatening to rain the whole way, but luckily we never had more than a few drops at any time.


Posing in front of one of the most-photographed spots in New York City: Bethesda Fountain.  We also stopped by Strawberry Fields and saw the John Lennon memorial before finally catching the subway back to Brooklyn.  This would seem like a long day in and of itself, but we still had dinner to catch!

Stay tuned…