I’ll bring them back alright – because they must see this. Oh, I love New York.

Posted: July 17, 2016 in Photography
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our last day in the city, which left just one thing to do-

Breakfast at Tiffany’s!

The book’s title is actually drawn from an anecdote popular among Capote’s social circle about an “ignorant” out-of-towner who, upon being asked which glamorous New York restaurant he would like to visit, answered, “Well, let’s have breakfast at Tiffany’s”. We soon discovered that, under certain circumstances, they do make exceptions.

And a champagne breakfast at that.

At the northern side of Grand Army Plaza by Central Park, a golden equestrian statue of William Tecumseh Sherman designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Sherman sits astride behind Victory, her one hand holding a palm frond and the other pointing the way forward.

John, fantasising about a life taking a walk from his fictional New York apartment to walk his fictional King Charles.

Where they belong.

Alice in Wonderland statue in Central Park!

Not pictured: the 10 minutes of waiting around for jerk parents to get their kids off the statue so that the ever-expanding queue of people could get the photos they were visibly waiting for.

“Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”

“No time to say hello, goodbye, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!”

“Nonsense? That’s it, Dinah! If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.”

Fun fact: the girl who inspired Lewis Carroll’s classic was named Alice Liddell (!).

Our final destination was the Neue Galerie, located in the William Starr Miller House at 86th St and Fifth Avenue.

It’s a museum of early twentieth-century German and Austrian art and design, with one particular inhabitant having caused a surge of popularity in the last year.

The Woman in Gold herself!

Companion piece to the one we’d seen earlier at the MoMA and referred to as the final and most fully representative work of Gustav Klimt’s golden phase, this painting was the subject of last year’s Woman in Gold. The film tells the story of the late Maria Altmann; an elderly Jewish refugee living in Cheviot Hills, Los Angeles, who, together with her young lawyer, Randy Schoenberg, fought the government of Austria for almost a decade to reclaim Klimt’s iconic ‘Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I’; a painting of her aunt which was stolen from her relatives by the Nazis in Vienna just prior to World War II.

Maria Altmann sued Austria in US Court for ownership of the painting, and others from her uncle’s collection and, after a court battle, binding arbitration by a panel of Austrian judges established in 2006 that Maria Altmann was the rightful owner of this and four other paintings by Klimt. In June 2006 the work was sold for $135 million to Ronald Lauder (son of comsetics magnate Estée Lauder): at the time, the highest sum ever paid for a painting. It’s been on display in the Neue Galerie ever since.

I did, though, feel like an enormous moron for wasting the *only* two photos I was allowed to take in the gallery on this fucking clock before a member of staff informed me that photography of the exhibits was forbidden. Had I turned 90 degrees to my right, I could have gotten a photo of the Woman in Gold instead. 😐

You are, however, allowed to take photos from the foot of the stairs before ascending to the gallery, so here’s what the entrance hall looked like.

One of the art world’s most recognisable pieces was also on display upstairs as part the Munch and Expressionism exhibit which opened the very day we left (how’s that for perfect timing?): The Scream by Edvard Munch. There are actually four versions of The Scream (not counting the lithographs), and the one on view here was publicly unseen for many years before it was auctioned at Sotheby’s a few years ago. Executed in pastel on cardboard, and the only version with a stooping figure in the background, it has one other striking peculiarity: the self-authored poem that Munch painted onto the frame, describing the experience that prompted the work:

I was walking along the road with two friends
The Sun was setting – the Sky turned blood-red.
And I felt a wave of Sadness – I paused
tired to Death – Above the blue-black
Fjord and City Blood and Flaming tongues hovered
My friends walked on – I stayed
behind – quaking with Angst – I
felt the great Scream in Nature

Again, visitors weren’t allowed to take pictures, though there was a blown-up version downstairs to curb people’s temptation to do this with real thing.

Owing to John’s unerring ability to spot them from three blocks over, he made us cross the street to see if this little guy (who we could only see from the back) was, in fact, a King Charles Spaniel. Meet Wembley! He was 13, a total lovebug, and came over to rest his little chin on my knees while I was taking his picture.

Before we headed back to grab our suitcases, a final stop in Penelope was in order. This was the “veggie burger heaven”: a flame-grilled garden burger with pesto mayo, red onion, lettuce, and tomato on a toasted English muffin (with sweet potato fries).

John savouring that one last cup of coffee before our flight to Puerto Rico that got in at 2 in the morning.

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