I was really excited about the museum of arts and design (MAD). Until I went – it was decidedly unimpressive. There was a interesting (but too brief) exhibit about a French designer Jouin, who does pioneering work with rapid prototyping, exploiting the process to make furniture that functions differently, rather than just being made differently – for example the stool at the centre of the display was collapsible, but was made of just one piece, no fasteners or hinges. Neat stuff but not enough of it. There was almost nothing from the permanent collection, the rest of the (disjointed, oddly laid out) space was dedicated to African craft, which showed a lot of inventiveness but really wasn’t my speed. The museum on the whole wasnt an awesome experience, not recommended.
I walked by the metropolitan museum of art on Monday but concluded (correctly) I didnt have enough time to see everything before close. Today the opening hours were longer so I gave it a go. It’s an incredible space, the main halls and sculpture galleries are really majestic. The scale means that it can be difficult to navigate, even with a map and my superb sense of direction. But the scale also permits things like whole Japanese gardens or medieval choir screens or whole rooms of houses to be displayed in their full glory. It can be intimidating, crowded, but worth it. Only real downside was that on the day I was there the place was packed, with tons of whiny kids and their earnest parents trying to explain the difference between Buddha and medusa to them (“no honey, medusa is a woman, not an Asian man). Actually listening to people for more than 15 minutes led me to conclude that I was experiencing more culture per square meter than anywhere else in manhattan, but simultaneously more morons per square meter. I then made the wise choice to drown them out with a continuous loop of the Mumford and Sons album, which is excellent.
….is not a secret at all. I had a beer at the “Campbell apartment” which at one time may have been secret but is definitely not anymore. It’s packed with commuters in suits and women unsuccessfully trying have their “sex and the city” moment. In contrast, I am wearing a t-shirt with a Sasquatch printed on it, so I TOTALLY fit in. It’s gorgeous, and sumptuously decorated but the people are sort of dicks (both staff and patrons). Dimly lit, loud jazz, lots of red leather and dark wood. Ironically it’s the same colour scheme as the charleston, minus the free beer and pizza.
The beer is a pilsner urquell, the cheapest thing on the menu by a factor of half, luckily one of my old standbys. Nice clean lager, with a little bit of bitterness at the end. Yummers. But in all honesty, I’d rather have it in friendlier surroundings.
Made here in Brooklyn, drunk at the cozy pub around the corner from the hostel, so cozy the bartender offered a cigarette from his own stash to a gal who wanted to buy a pack. I dont think that happens at the campbell apartment 😉 The beer is Very Light, sweet, clear. Drinkable, pleasant, but doesn’t knock my socks off. Sorry no photos of the brew, (too dimly lit) but here’s the hygge light fixtures – red shades and Xmas lights.
Full disclosure: this beer was free, well not free free but bought for me by a rep of the brewery. The accompanying personal cheese pizza was “free free”, this bar’s regular weeknight offer. This bar, the Charleston, in williamsburg is example number one of why America truly is the land of liberty and freedom for all as far as I am concerned! Example number 2: the abundance of hot pretzels.
Back to the beer: classic lager, slight labatt blue funkiness, teensy bit of tanginess. Drinkable, but not as glorious as the bluepoint lager reviewed earlier.
After manhattan I popped over via a very long, bone jarring ride to the neighborhood of park slope. If you know Vancouver, park slope is the kitsilano of Brooklyn – lots of yummy mummies and yoga folks. Some cute shops and restaurants along 5th (which could not be more different from manhattan’s 5th). The standout was “Goldie+Mac” – super cute stuff, incredibly low prices for a refreshing change.
Only downside to park slope: getting back to williamsburg takes at least 2 trains and a lot of walking. Although my long march took me by the superhero supply store- these geniuses sell capes, tights and empty packages with “invisible” toothbrushes and plastic “ray guns” that look suspiciously like the super-soaker water gun I had as a kid. I asked the gal working there/surfing the net on a laptop “so what do you guys sell?” and she said “super hero supplies” in total seriousness. Wow, only in NYC. After all that trailing around, I definitely feel like I earned my happy hour beer tonight!
The weather was great today so I decided to do some rambling. I walked and subway-ed all over, starting with DUMBO (down under manhattan bridge) for a great view over the water towards manhattan and the brooklyn bridge. It’s ironically pretty hard to get to from north Brooklyn, but the view was worth it. The neighborhood itself is apparently the new “creative capital” of NYC, to me it looked like it was heading in a more yuppie direction. Every street was under construction, so not the most pleasant walk. Then I hopped on the subway again, over to Chinatown and shopping on broadway. I went to Scoop, that fancy store that’s always on “what not to wear” and it had amazing stuff, way way out of my price range, except for some amazing sigerson morisson ankle boots, my size, but alas, heartbreakingly too narrow. I also buzzed through bloomingdale’s and Macy’s but honestly not that impressive or different from what we have back home in Toronto.