Monday, August 09, 2010

In the Big Apple: Sunday in NYC

Kelly and I had a fun and very relaxed Sunday in New York City yesterday. I'll give you the lowdown, but by and far the highlight was The Meetles, the band you see here. They are a Beatles and 60's tribute band, so large that this is the only pic I got with them all in it. They were right at the 72nd Street entrance to Central Park, and we stayed and listened for hours. They were so good that I have done a separate post just about them here - it has lots more pics.
Now, for a few more highlights from our day, in a rambling scrambled order, because that's just fitting for a summary of a lazy Sunday! This is a closeup of the mosaic at Strawberry Fields, the John Lennon memorial area in Central Park.
This area is a designated quiet zone (and it mostly was) and, despite the crowds, you could easily get a pic of the entire mosaic, as everyone stood back - or went close in for just a minute. I found a real sense of togetherness of all the strangers gathered there... John would have been 70 this year. How sad and crazy that we lost this brilliant and compassionate man. It is wonderful that the music of The Beatles lives on.
I have no idea why someone left an onion on the mosaic, but I'm sure it will come to me with time. Apparently Yoko Ono had the memorial created, and had all these countries sign on to it's significance as a peace memorial (you can click to read the names).
Strawberry Fields was the last stop on our pedicab tour of the park. Here is our driver, Yevgeniy, welcoming us back from a stop. He was from Tajikistana and had been in NYC for 5 years. Boy, did he have to work hard, pedalling all those hills with us... but there were well placed stops and good history tidbits - and lots of info on what movie scenes were shot where. We paid $30 each, so $60 in total, and he definitely earned a tip.
I'd highly recommend seeing the park by pedicab, as we got a good overview, and had a chance to see a few of the highlights. This magical little spot is under the road by the big fountain (next pic) and is filled with wonderful mosaics. The acoustics were great.
Here we are on the stops overlooking the fountain. In the back, to the left, is where people rent rowboats.
A cute little guy with short legs got a ride yesterday too!
Right at 72nd and Central Park West is The Dakota, the famous old apartment building. When it was built, it was surrounded by farmland. It was "the" building to live in, with 65 apartments, and came complete with dumbwaiters. Rosemary's Baby was shot here and residents have included: Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, Leonard Bernstein, It is also the site of where John Lennon was shot.... Yoko still keeps apartments here (right up in the nearest dormer, where you see the air conditioner).
So... earlier in the day, after we had brunch on the patio at a little place on Columbus, we checked out the Sunday market stalls across the street (between 77th and 81st). Amongst the veggie and baked goods, we found this great duo. The vocalist's name is Marion Cowings, and he is featured on the CD for my mom from him (it's called Hank and Frank II, Hank being Hank Jones and Frank being Frank Wess). Sorry, I don't know the other dude's name. I've since learned that Marion has played at Lincoln Centre, worked with Leonard Bernstein, as won a Clio and co-founded the Vocal Jazz Department at NYU. Wow.
Other highlights from the market... Choosing the best sunflower is clearly an art.
Don't be sad, it's just a marionette resting after her gig.
This stall had 5 different types of eggplants. They were so beautiful!!!
Kelly and I debated whether these girls were on their way home from ballet lessons, or whether they just insisted on wearing their tutus that morning, but either way, they definitely bounced along with glee.
I can't begin to tell you how many other pics I took the same day, from Batman cycling through Central Park and a pedicab turned upside down to repair a flat... to fresh lavender and carrots-with-character at the flea market, but it was delightful all around.

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