Friday, December 19, 2008

New York, Autumn 2008

Autumn of 2008 saw us visiting New York City again - we love New York - to see friends, attend the opera (Don Giovanni) and a play (Equus), visit museums and art galleries and just wander around New York neighbourhoods. A short trip quickly turns into a delight!

We visited, as you see above, the Guggenheim, after a wonderful evening before that at Bemelman's, then to see our friends for a glass of wine, then on with them to Candle 79, conveniently just around the corner from where they live. How great to have such a great restaurant in one's own neighbourhood. I swear that if I had Candle 79 so close to me I'd never cook again!!

At the Guggenehim, we saw what wasn't quite supposed to be there: the tail-end of the superb Louise Bourgeois exhibition that had supposedly already closed. This was of particular interest to us, since we had seen her exhibition in Paris (see previous entry here)in the spring. Another exciting exhibit at the Guggenheim was the photographic exhibition by American photographer Catherine Opie. This exhibition will be on until the 7th of January and is not to be missed.

After paying homage to our usual faves at the Guggenheim, we wandered out and down the street, seeking a way to get to a late lunch. Manhattan is of course serious dog territory, which delights us every time, and we do tend to get delayed, much to the discomfort (I am sure) of various dogwalkers and dog guardians, by admiring all the wonderful pooches on parade. Even the cars parked along the street seem to be celebrating matters canine, as you see below:

On the way to lunch we passed the Flatiron Building, which always catches my imagination

as we found our way to a lovely Vegan Korean restaurant, Franchia which we have visited before. You see me being very very serious contemplating the many offerings as well as the wine list.

They also have an excellent Prix Fixe menu at lunchtime, which I highly recommend. Delicious as always! We have plans to revisit Franchia's sister restaurant, Han Gawi, on our next trip. Han Gawi is more formal and is open only in the evenings. We have been there only once and have vowed to return!

We also spent an incredible amount of time at the Met, and I'm interested to note that most of the photos I have are taken in the various asian galleries.

Asian culture seemed to be a theme this trip, including, later, a visit to the Rubin Museum in Chelsea which specializes in Himalayan art - a place which we had not visited previously. (I highly recommend this lovely museum.) To add to this asian theme, we had even, unknown to us before we registered, been booked into the Bamboo Room at our favourite New York small hotel (it calls itself a Bed and Breakfast and is in Chelsea: The Inn On 23rd). We were almost, but not quite, ready to believe that Powers were at work!

Another luncheon experience before we left was at Beyoglu, a Turkish restaurant. This is very good food, and for vegans this omnivore restaurant has a good selection of mezze; they can advise which ones will suit ones ethical and aesthetic needs. Service of course was excellent and portions were more than generous, so our choices were excellent.

In the summer, Beyoglu also serves on its outdoor patio, but it was just a tad chilly when we were there - although I did see one stalwart soul braving the elements.

Time in New York is never enough. Next visit I swear I'll take the camera with me everywhere, but somehow there's so much going on that I forget that I even have it with me.

We'll be back before long. Indeed, the next visit is already lined up. So lovely to have this city's new places to discover every time!

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