Thursday, December 28, 2006

Winter in New York

Note: This post is not related to Malaysian food. Writings on Malaysian food will resume when I am back from my vacation.

I had packed my bags anticipating a very cold winter. Someone up there sure has a sense of humour; the thick winter jacket which is still stored in my suitcase will not need any drycleaning this year.

New York, despite not having any snowfall so far, is still dressed to the nines for Christmas. If one isn't in the mood for Christmas yet, a visit to the ice skating rink at the Rockefeller Centre will definitely do the trick.

We spent a day at the Guggenheim Museum. When one has read so much about the Guggenheim, it is only natural to be disappointed to see the exterior covered in scaffolding. Apparently, the structure has been plagued by surface cracks since its opening in 1959, and in 2005, 12 layers of paint were removed to allow for an analysis of the building's surface. We, nevertheless, plundered along (of course lah...I had never done so much walking in my life) and were relieved to find the interior still in good condition. There was an exhibition on Spanish paintings from El Greco to Picasso featuring the works of Francisco de Goya, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali and of course El Greco and Pablo Picasso. I (I don't say "we", because we both have differing opinions on among others, Dali) found my introduction to surrealism particularly enlightening. Cubism, on the other hand, is something I shall leave to the art afficionados to debate. :-)

Another museum of interest is the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). So you either love it or hate it. I did enjoy the New Photography exhibition especially the works of Barbara Probst. There were also some particularly moving photographs depicting death, or rather, the act of dying e.g. the final moments before the firing squad. And I enjoyed the tiramisu in Cafe 2 in the Museum. :-)

There is so much energy in Times Square. Street artists at every corner. Wannabe-rappers selling their homerecorded wares. Screaming teenagers wanting to be part of the latest MTV recording. Stretch limos. Roasted chestnuts.

Central Park is bleak and desolate in the winter. But nannies and mothers still stroll in the park, prams in tow. Horse-drawn carriages still make their way through the park. Life does go on like normal.

And of course, the shopping's great. :-)

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