Hello, New York

At age 26, I made my first trip to New York City.


Landing in New York, the combination of rain and cold worried me. The transition from San Antonio with temperatures approaching 90°F to the 30-40°F range was unexpected and unwelcome.

I couldn't take photos in the rain, but this is what it felt like as we found our place to stay just north of Times Square, failed to find affordable theatre tickets that night, and journeyed to the Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art.


March 17–June 11, 2017 "The 2017 Whitney Biennial, the seventy-eighth installment of the longest-running survey of American art, arrives at a time rife with racial tensions, economic inequities, and polarizing politics. Throughout the exhibition, artists challenge us to consider how these realities affect our senses of self and community. The Biennial features sixty-three individuals and collectives whose work takes a wide variety of forms, from painting and installation to activism and video-game design."

Artists: Jon Kessler, Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, Samara Golden, Aliza Nisenbaum, Ross Bleckner

We ate dinner at Tavern on Jane, which was warm and golden in contrast to the wet cold outside. We laughed about the exhibition and drew each other as technological robot aliens, like the Whitney installation.

DAY 2: Welcome

We walked up the West Side to meet my cousin Lucy for brunch at The Smith Lincoln Center, which felt like true New York brunch. Then, Lucy showed us the Upper West Side. This included getting delicious chocolate cookies from Levain Bakery.

We hopped on Citi Bikes and traveled through Central Park. I first noticed how the buildings played behind the trees. I felt relieved the weather allowed us to ride through the park as we meandered and eventually traversed it.

The Guggenheim

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the architecture was equally a draw as it's modern art collection. I found the interior of the Guggenheim as inspiring as I had hoped. The artwork proceeds chronologically from the top, and you walk in a long spiraling motion. It is equally interesting to observe the other museum-goers, and I felt a surge vertigo staring out into the atrium.

One question didn't have answered during our trip: What is the length of the ramp from the ground floor to the dome? 1,416 feet or over 1/4 mile.

Artists: Alexander Calder, William Baziotes, Gino Severini, Piet Mondrian, Robert Delaunay, Piet Mondrian, Alexander Calder

We biked back through Central Park and then Broadway. This was my first time to bike on the busy streets of New York, and while the city has bike lanes, not every street has them. Also, being hit by a car, bus or pedestrian in the crosswalk seemed too likely.

The Great Comet of 1812

We had rush tickets to see Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. It's based on 70 pages of Tolstoy's War and Peace. The velvet curtains hung with reproduction nineteenth-century paintings. The lighting, with comet-like chandeliers and simple exposed Edison bulbs created stunning lighting. Dancers and actors performed beautifully.

Afterwards, we took in the Times Square madness and met Lucy on the Lower East side at Lowery's Beer Garden and then stumbled home on the subway.

DAY 3: let's get lost

We started out the day meeting Lucy at Zaro's for bagels in Grand Central Station. We biked and were nearly hit by the many buses on a street with no bike lane. (I did feel like I was doing something wrong, but after seeing other New Yorkers bike in the street despite the buses, that went away.) We saw the New York Public Library and Chrysler Building after docking the bikes and walking to Grand Central.

Grand Central Station awed me, another building from my modern architecture course. New York has the most wonderful early 20th century buildings, when architects were still deciding how skyscrapers and modern buildings should look. The terminal felt more like a ballroom than train station. We also spoke into the Whispering Wall, a domed passage way that carries your voice from one corner to another.


Created with images by Carl Mikoy - "Rain" • Diego3336 - "Times Square in the Rain..." • Walking Off the Big Apple - "Macdougal Street, night, rain" • ahisgett - "New York Rain 2" • torbakhopper - "mulberry rainflection" • swruler9284 - "IMG_2483" • Mourner - "Night rain" • smaus - "usa new york city nyc" • MonicaVolpin - "brooklyn bridge new york manhattan" • ^Joe - "Grand Central" • stevenharris - "Roof of Grand Central Station" • theother66 - "Grand Central Station, New York City" • theother66 - "Grand Central Station, New York City" • djprybyl - "IMG_1972" • Ralph Hockens - "new york" • Orangeadnan - "Isaac Rain" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "The Meadowlands, Site of Super Bowl XLVIII" • bjaglin - "Time Square #2" • torbakhopper - "mulberry rain at dusk" • Steven Pisano - "New York City Streetscape - Rainy Night, Plaza at Lincoln Center" • torbakhopper - "mulberry rain : SoHo, manhattan (2004)" • Michael Cory - "umbrellas" • Charlie Phillips - "View down 5th Avenue from the Empire State Building" • torbakhopper - "prince street rain : manhattan (2004)" • bjaglin - "Time Square #1" • Ty Nigh - "Top of Empire State" • Lola's Big Adventure! - "New York City" • ahundt - "brooklyn bridge new york places of interest" • Devin_Smith - "Love in the city" • pchurch92 - "Steam from a New York City street" • Marcela McGreal - "Brooklyn Bridge - NYC" • Unsplash - "world trade center new york buildings"

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