Saturday, December 9, 2017

Two-Day Trip

     My sister and her husband, who live in Phoenix, visited New York City for a few days this past week. "Why don't you come up and join us?" she suggested. "You can stay with us."

     So B and I drove over to Hamilton, NJ, and took New Jersey Transit to Penn Station ($14.70 round trip with our senior discount), and then the subway (two trips for the price of one with senior discount) to the upper East Side where they were renting an airbnb (free for us, with the sister discount).

These two fellows were keeping watch at the house next door to our airbnb

     That evening we met my son and his girlfriend for a thoroughly immoderate steak dinner at Smith & Wollensky (senior discount, hah ... no way!). The next day we walked over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art ($17 with senior discount). On the way we noticed that 87th Street was closed off -- apparently there's a school on that street, and for recess they just close off the block.
Kids playing on a Manhattan street

     We were going to the Met to view the Michelangelo (1475 - 1564) exhibit. There were many drawings and a few sculptures. My favorite was Michelangelo's bust of Brutus.

Brutus looking powerful

     There was also a controversial portrait of the youth Andrea Quaratesi, 37 years younger than the great artist himself. Apparently Michelangelo was smitten with the young man, and, well . . . Michelangelo by that point was a very celebrated and powerful man. (Remember, those were different times -- they would even castrate some young male singers to keep their voices from changing.)

Andrea with hooded eyes

     A portrait of the great artist himself, painted by one of his students.

Michelangelo as painted by a protege

     After Michelangelo we had a little extra time, and so I ducked into the David Hockney (b. 1937) exhibit, over in the next wing. Hockney is an Englishman but lived for a number of years in California and is famous for painting scenes of mid-20th century swimming pools.

The splash is ill-defined, but it's kinda cool isn't it?

     Here's another one, painted from two separate photographs in 1972.

Two photos merged together in a painting

     This is a more recent (2006) landscape of the British countryside. "Trees are never more alive than in winter," Hockney said. "You can virtually see the life force, thinned but straining, pulsing, the branches stretch palpably, achingly toward the light."

A winterscape near Hockney's studio in Yorkshire

     After that B and I headed back to Penn Station for our trip home, while my sister and brother-in-law were staying on for a few more days. It was my sister who took this photograph, as the two of them walked across Central Park at dusk, looking across the lake to midtown Manhattan.

New York skyline from Central Park

     A memorable little mini-trip. Isn't it wonderful that we're retired and can do these things!


Terra said...

I like the contrast between Michelangelo and Hockney. That sounds like a fun outing and nice to stay with your sis.

DJan said...

I agree that the bust of Brutus shows a very powerful man. And I too am glad to be able to do whatever I want without having to take into account the need to make money or do another's bidding (other than my partner but that is my choice). :-)

Tabor said...

I like when artists have a unique and clear style as they evolve and Hockney it certainly that. I like his flat and sunny California.

DDD said...

Wow! Glad you had a good time!
I am impressed with all the senior discount.
Did you park at the Hamilton station garage? Can you park overnight?

Still the Lucky Few said...

I love trees, and adore what Hockney said about them. Hence the 'tree hugger' generation, although I've never really done that! What a great trip—you are right...It's great to be retired!

Kathy @ SMART Living said...

Hi Tom! How wonderful that you live so close to be able to take a train so inexpensively to the "big city!" Looks like you had a wonderful time. ~Kathy

Tom said...

Yeah, I love that quote, too. He's a visual artist, but very good at expressing his feelings with words as well. And yes, we did go from the Hamilton station, where you can park overnight -- $10 for 24 hours; we owed $17 by the time we got back (no senior discount).

stephen Hayes said...

Thanks for sharing these arty photographs. I've never seen that depiction of Michelangelo, posed in the position of his famous sculpture of Moses.

David @ iretiredyoung said...

"Isn't it wonderful that we're retired and can do these things!" YES (in capitals because I'm shouting😀)

Carole said...

i just love NYC. So much fun to visit! I'd never want to live there, but the cultural experiences, great restaurants and hustle bustle of the city are unbeatable.

retirementreflections said...

Hi, Tom - I wholeheartedly agree that it is INCREDIBLY WONDERFUL that we're retired and can do these things. Especially when it includes dinner at Smith and Wollensky's! Love the art work. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Unknown said...

I was at the Met a couple of weeks ago, but the Micheangelo exhibit was only opened to members and it was super busy in the museum. I am making a return trip after in January to see this exhibit.

I am thinking of staying in the city which I have never done. I have checked out hotels which are either too pricey and/or not located where I want to be. I will check into airbnb as I have used them in the past with good results. Thanks for mentioning this in your post.

Living near the train line to NYC from Connecticut and retired gives me many opportunities to visit all the wonderful places in NYC that I couldn't do while working because of time limits. Not a problem anymore!

Also, I will be visiting the American Museum of Natural History. They have a new exhibit called Our Senses and I want to visit the Butterfly Conservatory before it ends.

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled with the freedom that retirement has given us. We can make last minute plans... or choose to do nothing - whatever we want. And, I love the discounts. We aren't old enough to take advantage of them all, but we certainly do what we can. (Although, we were recently given a 10% "senior discount" at a local restaurant without asking... I was a little put off about that :) .)

Meryl Baer said...

I love visiting New York City. And yes it is wonderful to be a free retiree!

Anonymous said...

Nice photos. I was last in NYC in 1997 for a week. We had a good time.

Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond said...

I love the different styles of art between Michaelangelo and Hockney. Loved the shot of the skyline across the lake. We were in NYC November 3 years ago so thanks for the memories.
Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

Rebecca Olkowski said...

I loved going to the Metropolitan Museum when I was in New York. (It's been a long while) Don't you just love those senior discounts?

Anonymous said...

Visiting nycas I read your blog entry. We visit 2-3 times a year as my son lives here. We were caught in the terrorist incident by port author but nothing seems to bother New Yorkers! After a few hours it was business as usual. So we went to see the Michaelangelo exhibit as well as the Hockney. Both terrific. But I have to say the older I get the less I like coming into Manhattan. Just too difficult , crowded and a bit cold to walk all around which is what we usually try to do. Can’t wait to go home! Ellen

Jennifer (UnfoldAndBegin) said...

Love the picture of the NYC skyline across the lake. It's been a couple of years since I've taken the train into the city. You've inspired me to do it again soon.

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