First thing I decided when I walked out into the chilly morning air was to go back upstairs and change out of my shorts into jeans and also grab a jacket. The predicted temp was not much above 62F so a cool day was in store.
Then it was a walk past Central Park and down 5th Avenue where I dropped into St Thomas’ church for a look and a rest. In the absence of benches on the street, churches are a good option. There were nice comfy cushions on the pews and I almost dozed off. Then it was along to the Rockefeller Center where I visited the observation deck on the 67th. floor (takes just 43 seconds to get up there). The view was spectacular, as one might expect.
At midday I met Sam Pang, from the Breakfasters, outside the Ed Sullivan Theater and we had lunch over the street at the Europa Cafe where we planned our trip out to see Bruce tomorrow. Sam has to be in San Francisco for a wedding in a week or so and is at a bit of a loss as to whether to stay in New York or go to LA and drive up the coast. I said he looked more like a New York kind of guy.
Next it was the Guggenheim museum which is probably the most famous Frank Lloyd Wright design and is really impressive. Inside you undertake a circular walk up 7 levels. At present they have a Kandinsky exhibition and, frankly, after the first 50 I got a bit tired of his style. Sometimes I reckon you can have just a little too much Kandinsky. Much more appealing to me were the Picassos (more), Van Gogh, Cezanne and Chagall and I wished that there had been more. Are there any Picassos and Van Goghs left in Europe?
At one point an older gentleman got into an argument with one of the attendants who politely warned him for getting to close to a painting. I raised my eyebrows in sympathy with the attendant who shrugged in frustration. I was later asked by him to be a witness when the supervisor arrived. To tell the truth, I was surprised that it wasn’t me getting grumpy! But I am a bit more chilled out on holidays.
Coming back to the YMCA I discovered that further up Broadway where the bus dropped me are a whole new bunch of stores and cinemas. I found a Barnes & Noble, which is much bigger than any Borders I have seen outside San Francisco, and bought the David Byrne book ‘Bicycle Diaries.’
Then as I walked back down Broadway I ran into Dustin Hoffman! Out for a stroll, dressed casual with a pair of sunglasses on. “Hey!” I yelled and he wisely ignored me. Why did I do that? Dustin freaking Hoffman! Good to see you can be a celebrity in New York and still go for a stroll and only have Australian tourists yell at you. I have a sneaking suspicion that he isn’t staying at the YMCA.
This evening I went back down to 45th Street on Broadway to see the David Mamet play Oleanna featuring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles. The first act was a bit confusing and as verbose as everything else Mamet does. The story concerned a university Professor and his ‘relationship’ with a student who later made a complaint against him which had him sacked. The essence of the play was what the Professor said and how it could be and was misconstrued. Though written in 1992 it is still relevant.
There was a 45-minute discussion afterwards featured two prominent female lawyers and a moderator. Most of the audience were really hostile to the female character and felt that she set up the teacher. That was interesting and a bit surprising.
On the way to Oleanna I stopped at the Jacobs Theater and managed to get a ticket for tomorrow’s matinee session of the God of Carnage, which stars James Gandolfini (Sopranos) and which everyone is talking about.
Finally, I walked around to the AMC Cinemas on 42nd Street – all 25 of them! – and saw the new Bruce Willis film Surrogates which I reckon is a superior sci-fi film.
Back at 12.30am, watching Craig Ferguson who comes on after Letterman. All I have to do is figure out what I will tomorrow morning. Better sleep on it.