Wednesday, September 10, 2008

dribs and drabs: a family visit in July

In July I also had the pleasure of hosting a visit from my brother and his wife who took a harrowing journey on a cheap bus from DC. I say harrowing because I was anxiously awaiting a call indicating they had arrived so I could leave my office a little early on a sunny Friday afternoon. The bus was scheduled to arrive sometime around 5 pm. My brother texted me to tell me they were just waiting to go through the Lincoln Tunnel. I finished up a few things and left the office thinking we would arrive about the same time. I called him to get the latest ETA and they were still hanging out in New Jersey. This was 45 minutes or so later. So I decided to stop at Whole Foods and pick up a few snacks and asked what they wanted. I did not hurry but still no call. I was home, changed, snacking on grapes when they finally arrived, very weary from the nearly 7 hour bus journey (that should have taken about 4 hours). That night we walked down 11th Avenue to the no-frills Daisy May's BBQ for a delcious dinner of ribs, sweet potatoes, corn bread, etc. We ended up running into some friends of mine I hadn't seen in a while and then walked back to my apartment along the Hudson River.
The next day we awoke early and had brunch at Norma's. I ventured out of my comfort zone of huevos rancheros and egg white frittata (both of which I highly recommend) and ordered the Red Risotto "Oatmeal" in a Crispity Wafer Bowl. I almost immediately regretted stepping out on this limb of trying something new which was not properly described to me by the slightly surly waiter. I envied that my brother was going to enjoy my favorite huevos rancheros and his wife was anticipating "Country Style Buttermilk Pancakes with Juicy Georgia Peach and Walnuts". I feared I had mis-ordered. But all that fear melted away with the first spoonful of what turned out to be a rich and creamy hot rice pudding with berries.
After breakfast we decided to walk through Central Park, until we looked at the sky:Which, in the span of the 5 minutes it took to walk to the Park entrance had gone from slightly gray to ominous and forboding with an unseasonably chilly wind. So we made an about-face and turned back toward MoMA for a rainy day at the museum. For reasons I do not understand, this is the only photo I took of my brother and his wife the entire weekend.We walked into the museum just as the clouds opened up and spit out a terrific summer monsoon-like thunderstorm that seemed to be the style for this past summer. MoMA had two special exhibits - one on pre-fab homes and one of Salvador Dali. I really enjoyed the home exhibit but did not enjoy the rude, abrasive, oblivious and jostling masses who all found it necessary to step in front of me and walk into me as if I was invisible. Before I grew too irritated I managed to take a photo of something that is used in building these houses. I have no idea what it was and I'm too lazy to track it down but I liked it:The Dali exhibit, however, did me in. I was tired and sick of tourists and Dali's bizzare-o films and drawings and paintings adorning the walls somehow just added to my irritability. I couldn't look at anything without being bumped or cut off. My head started spinning and my stomach squeezed itself into knots. At the end of the exhibit I ran into this which so completely confounded me I needed out. Normally it would have made me laugh but on that day I needed space, I needed my own air to breathe and I needed to get away from Dali's twisted dreams that put too much tension in my shoulders and a permanent furrow in my brow. I reunited with Nick and Meadow after having been separated by the overwhelming crowd and threatened to leave but felt the pull of the calm that was offered by the permanent collection. Just as I was about to part ways on the next floor, I was drawn in by Wyeth's Christina's World. A painting Nick recognized and admired. For a moment the throbbing in my head slowed and my eyes felt a little less strained, so I decided to stay. I thought if I could just go stare at Rothko's brilliant canvases or Van Gogh's Starry Night, I would feel better.
But it wasn't better. The people were still loud and rude and the herd-like movements once again separated me from my brother and just could not enjoy any of it. The last straw was the yammering mass clustered in front of Monet's Reflection of Clouds. It was difficult to maneuver anywhere and I needed out. It took me a significant amount of time to relocate Nick and Meadow (and found them separately) and gave my excuses and fled, promising to rest and be ready to venture back out when they finished up.
The rain had stopped by the time I walked back onto the sidewalk and it felt good to be alone without stray elbows and shoulders pushing up against me. I made one last effort at enjoying the museum by wandering into the lot next door to MoMA that displayed the pre-fab homes I had witnessed be speedily erected earlier in the summer. Unfortunately, due to the rain, no one was allowed entrance into any of the dwellings, so I snapped a picture and then took the bus home.I read and slept and enjoyed a quiet afternoon and then Nick and Meadow's company after they were worn out by the bustling museum. We spent most of the afternoon lounging and then ordered dinner in from Penang - a Malaysian favorite. Later in the evening Nick grew restless and I agreed to go for a walk with him to fetch dessert. While walking down 9th Avenue to try the cupcakes at Kyotofu, we ran into a friend of mine who was waiting for another friend of mine. I was feeling very popular in front of my brother to run into so many people I know in just two days. My brother was mocked for allowing me to take him to a place called Kyotofu but we were both very satisfied with the delcious souffle-like chocolate cupcakes we carried home, especially after we topped them with sweet cream ice-cream collected from Cold Stone. They left early the next morning and I prepared for vacation.

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In other, not-really-related-but-I-have-a-picture-so-I-will-share news, at a work event this summer we went bowling. I had not bowled (other than on the Wii, which doesn't actually count) in about six years. And I was never a good bowler. So it came as no surprise to me that my team came in last place. It was a surprise when my team voted me most valuable player of the losers. Wasn't sure if that meant I was the best of the worst or, more likely, the worst of the worst. I think it just meant my team appreciated my cheering for everyone, even gutter balls. I don't think I actually bowled the worst on my team, which is sad since I only hit triple digits in the speed round I played at the end with one other person. Here is the team in all our glory. My prize, as MVP, was a plastic set of bowling pins so next time I have visitors we should utilize my long entry hall so I can practice.
Wow, I must say, this ended up being a much longer post than I anticipated. Originally I was just going to throw the photos up and call it good. I think I'm falling back into my blogging groove.

3 comments:

lizzie said...

so good to have you back into blogging!

katie said...

I too am glad you're back. The bowling picture is interesting. The guy next to you looks like he's going to drop the ball on your head. Nice.

Soul-Fusion said...

katie, he did that on purpose. he thought he was very clever . . .

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