Sunday was a beautiful day and we had made arrangements to have a brunch with Ellen at the Morgan and then see the Jane Austen Show. On the way in we met Robert Bunkin and rode across the harbor in conversation with him. He had already seen the shows at the Morgan and talked about some of the drawings he liked in the Rococo and Revolution: Eighteenth-Century French Drawings exhibition. Colman and I said goodbye as we headed for the east side trains to get uptown. We got out at 33rd and Park to begin our walk to the Morgan at Madison and 37th street. We crossed on 33rd street where I noticed that the other side of the street was all mirrored glass and took a couple of quick photos. Colman says that extra gravity was in effect when I took the photo.
On Madison we passed the Savafeh Carpet store. One beautiful carpet after another was on display in the large windows. We liked this one, but it’s bigger than any of our rooms on Tysen Street.
After we crossed 34th street This unusual large blank space caught my attention, it’s not often thatyou see such a large un-’decorated’ surface in the city.
This gives you an idea of its location. That’s a new glass tower too, It seems that all the new buildings are covered with mirrors these days. It must have to do with the thermodynamics of the building, it’s also nice to have these large presences reflect light and be a part of the sky instead of obscuring it.
Here’s some Deco Era New York Iron work, if you want to see it in person, it’s at 181 Madison Avenue, the Domus Store is on the street level of the building.
These trilobite fossils were in the windows of the Astro galleries across the street from Domus. The quality and availability of these fossils is something I couldn’t have imagined as a child.
We both like this piece of coral, it was almost hidden in the window behind the store’s name.
A little further up Madison, some more iron work on a church.
We got to the Morgan and had a great brunch in the Ampersand cafe. Ellen ate a gorgonzola frittata, Colman had the lobster salad on focaccia, and I had french toast with moscarpone and blueberry compote. It was beautifully served and really good. I wasn’t allowed to photograph in the Morgan so I can only tell you a little about the shows. The most interesting thing (for me) in the Austen exhibition was seeing the hand written manuscripts. There was a book in Byron’s hand as well as the Austen manuscript pages. I spent a lot of time with the William Blake show and with the eighteenth century drawings. Seeing the original Blake engravings drawings and watercolors let me know how unfaithful the reproductions we see everywhere are. One highlight is the complete set of 21 illustrations from the Book of Job. It’s well worth the trip to see the engravings. I never realized that the works were printed in editions of only nine to twenty copies, some works even less.
We said goodbye to Ellen and headed downtown to Canal Street to buy some tea in Chinatown. It was incredibly crowded on Canal street and we took to some of the side streets getting back to the trains when we were through shopping.
You’d think that all of the city was finished with building skyscrapers, but as we crossed center street and looked down toward City Hall this new, mirror clad tower was rising into the sky. I don’t know whether I like it being taller than City Hall or not. It will certainly be bright.
The sun was setting as we crossed the harbor back to Staten Island. Manhattan is magical in this rosy sunset light. People are always taking photos on the aft deck, I do it a lot too.
A lot of seagulls were following this boat. As we got closer to Staten Island the sun was even lower.
Home again and fixing dinner, I wanted to try a new recipe from the December issue of Cucina Italiana magazine. Pollo alla diavola con olive; the recipe called for two chickens for 4-6 servings. Italian chickens must be smaller, our roaster was about 6 pounds before I cut the back out of it, we’ve had two dinners out of it already and we have yet to touch the breast. From the photo in the magazine, I think they must have used Cornish Hens. It cooks at a high temperature with herbs, adding wine and olives after the first twenty minutes. It wasn’t that pretty coming out of the oven but it tastes very good. Maybe even a little better tonight for the second dinner.