We awoke to what would be our final day in the city – what an amazing trip it has been. Although we were feeling sad at the thought of going home and even worse, back to work, we were determined to make the most of our last day in the city of dreams. Not before we made the most of our last few hours in the hotel though!
We had to check-out at 11a.m and so afterwards took the subway to the Guggenheim for take 2! We had tried to visit the museum earlier in the trip but having made it there realised it was actually closed. Thankfully when we arrived it was open and after getting our tickets from our Explorer Pass and our free media guide we stood in awe at the bottom of the spiral rotund just taking in the majesty of the building, it really is such a unique museum.
The main exhibition was Silence by On Kawara and although we both walked round each of his exhibits and listened to the accompanying audio we were not very impressed by his work. He had a lot of canvas date paintings which were a block colour and had different dates on for example his largest piece of works were date paintings from every year from 1966 to 2013. I am not denying the effort he put into each of his works is impressive, he also sent postcards every day from whatever city he was in simply stamped with I Got Up. It was interesting to say but a bit too ‘artsy’ for us.
The next exhibition was by Monir Shahroudy which was entitled Infinite Possibility. This was the work of an Iranian female artist who used geometry and mathematics as a central focus to her work. Some of his mirror pieces were beautiful and even her drawings were always very interesting and intricate with pretty colours and shapes. This was much more to our taste.
The museum also has a permanent albeit ever-changing collection from Thannhauser which showcases 19th and early 20th century work that were all donated to the museum by Thannhauser from his private collection. There were some beautiful pieces by some very famous artists including; Picasso’s evening in Paris scene, Monet’s Palazzo Ducale from Venice and Van Gogh’s Mountains at Saint Remy. It was a great chance to see these works as well as lots by other artists who really underpin the 20th Century Modernism era.
The final exhibition we went to was by Paul Chan who won the Hugo Boss prize. Again, like Kawara this was not really to our liking, his pieces consisted of some white material being stuck to a wall and blown by fans as well as installations in the centre of the room with sports shoes connected to video projectors which were shining lights. It was all very whacky yet interesting to see. We had a lovely iced fresh lemonade and cookie in the museum café before heading across museum mile and into Central Park.
We had really done well with the weather for our last day, the sun was shining and there was no wind at all, a perfect day for a stroll through the park. Central Park is absolutely huge so we just wandered from halfway up on the Upper East Side back down to Midtown. They were doing construction on the reservoir but we kept our eyes peeled for famous faces running past anyway. I really wanted to see the Alice in Wonderland statue which unfortunately had some bratty children climbing all over it. We took this opportunity to sit on a bench in the sun and watch the world go by until they left. The statue was right next to the boating pond which straight away reminded me of Stuart Little and the Hans Christian Anderson statue. We continued our wandering right through to the south side of the park and thetop of Midtown. It was a gorgeous way to take in the city in the sun and spend our last afternoon.
We went to an Italian for lunch/dinner that we happened to stumble across called Luigi’s Gourmet Grill which seemed very homely and authentic. They had huge pizzas to order by the slice which looked amazing but we opted for chicken. I had Marsala Chicken which came with a side of a whole Linguine Pomodoro! There was so much food but like a trouper I reminded myself it would be a long time before I would see any food that was this good again and so managed to work my way through. My mum didn’t even manage half of hers though.
It was with a heavy heart that we made our way down 8th Avenue in the late afternoon sunshine to catch our last 7 train back to the hotel to collect our bags. It is sometimes only when you are leaving a place that you see the true beauty of it. We had walked past the art in the subway stations loads of times but only now seemed to really see it.
What an amazing city and brilliant holiday we have had! As my mum said it has truly been the trip of a lifetime.
After a lot of flights and waiting in airports we made it into Gatwick and back onto British soil. I had met a lovely friend Natty on my travels in South Africa previously and as she works in Gatwick we took the opportunity to catch up after almost a year. It was amazing to see her and hopefully we will not wait so long next time. After a final short BA flight we were back in Edinburgh, thanks for picking us up Dad!
And so for now over and out, until the next trip. Thanks for reading!