What I Did On My Summer Vacation
July 09 2015

Occasionally, I like to take myself outside the routine to rattle my brain a bit. I find that change of scenery and/or routine can give me a new perspective on things and unblock creativity. So on my sister’s invitation, I decided to visit her in NYC. Last time I was there, it was in winter and, OMG, that was cold.

Airplane at the airport 

Here we go. I had an early 6 AM flight.

I arrived around 7 p.m. We took a taxi to her place in the upper-east side. After depositing my baggage, we walked to a local café serving South African cuisine—not a cuisine I’m familiar with, but I like trying new food. It was delicious. Spices paired in an unfamiliar and mellow combination made for a perfect dinner after a long flight.

Bread bowl with spices South African food

Bread was served with olive oil and spices.
You dip the bread in the oil and then dip it in the spice bowl.


dandelion greens, fennel, almond and apricot salad spicy jerky and nuts

Salad: Dandelion greens, fennel, almonds, goat cheese and apricot slices.
Bowl of spicy jerky and nuts.   


Next day, off we went to the NYC Botanical Garden. It was humid that day and the air in the subway platform was so thick with heat and stuffiness, it was like a hot oven being used for bain-marie with people crammed inside. Thank goodness for the trains with their cold AC.

At the garden, we walked around the huge acreage, admiring the various foliage and flora, all the while trying to capture those elusive and adorable creatures known as chipmunks. I’d never seen one, and let me just say, they are super cute—and fast. So here is a pic of one I was fortunate enough to capture.

cute chipmunk under the leaves at the NY Botanical Garden

See the little chipmunk?

White poppies green leaves NY Botanical Garden

I've never seen white poppies. They were so beautiful and ethereal looking. 

Fairy plants at the NY Botanical Garden

I love places that look like where fairies might reside.

After the garden, next on the list was the Whitney Museum. I have to say nothing really stood out for me at this museum. The only thing I remember were the tacos we ate across the street.

Pork and chicken tacos NYC

The following day, we were off to Neue Galerie to see the Klimt exhibit. The exhibit was exquisite; however, you couldn’t take pictures, so all I can show you is a pic of what we had for lunch at the museum’s café. It was delicious but heavy like any good Bavarian food should be. Their dessert selection looked fabulous, but after cleaning the plate, I practiced self-restraint and passed on the sweets.

 spaetzel and apple celeriac salad

Creamed Spätzle with wild Mushrooms, Peas, Carrots & Tarragon
Celery Root Salad with Apples, Walnuts and Endive with Lemon-Mayonnaise Dressing


Next on the list: the Brooklyn Bridge. Yeahhh, there were a lot of people going across and coming back.

I took this panoramic photo. Not a great photo but it shows the length of the bridge. 

 On the Fourth of July, we went to see Kristen Chenoweth in “On the Twentieth Century.” On the way to the show, we stopped at the Plaza food court and I had my first taste of Lady M’s Mille Crepes. Sweet foam in every bite! Then it was onto Broadway to see the show. I'm a huge fan of Kristen Chenoweth, and yes, she is tiny, but wow, is she fabulous. The show was funny and great. I managed to get a quick shot of the curtain, which was so worth getting yelled at by the usher for taking! Apparently, there are no pictures allowed in the theatre before the show or during intermission. Oh well.

Mille Crepe cake sweet dessert

Mmm... so creamy. 

time square on the way to the theatre

Time Square, on the way to the theatre.

stage curtain

The next day, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art to see the John Singer Sargent exhibit. I’m a big admirer of his work, and I adore Madame X.

Madame X John by Singer Sargent

They also had “China: Through the Looking Glass,” a fashion exhibit showcasing Chinese inspired creations from the world famous couturiers. That was a fascinating and stylish exhibit.

Metropolitan Museum of Modern Artgolden dress Anna Wintour Costume Center

We walked around the museum and found this little gem of display.

Dancing shoes by Stephen Arpad

Whew. It was a jam-packed trip, and to think that it almost didn’t happen: Three days before the trip, while on the phone with my sister, I found out that I didn’t have a flight reservation. Apparently, when I was making flight arrangements, I didn’t confirm it. Oops. So, “calmly”, I went online to see if there were any tickets available, and voila! I found another set of round-trip tickets at the same price, at almost the same flight times. What are the odds of that happening? I think it was meant be, yes?

Now I’m home and letting all that I’ve seen and experienced stew in my mind, eagerly anticipating what’s next on my creative journey