Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

NYC: Day 4

Looking back, it seems as if we were a little all over the place on the fourth day! We started off by looking around Rockefeller Center before SAKS opened. And oh my: the department store has so many beautiful things! After some persuasion and tipping in with my own money, I got a lovely silk Tibi dress that I am going to save for a very special occasion.


For lunch we ate at the trendy restaurant, Café Baltazar. The funny thing was that the menu was basically identical to that of “Café Deryné” here in Budapest. Not only were the dishes familiar, but the layout of the menu and the interior of the restaurant as a whole was the same. It was quite evident where the owner of Café Dernyné got his inspiration from to create a replica in Budapest!

My dad left in the early afternoon to go back to Luxembourg; the rest of the day was basically dedicated to shopping and looking around SoHo, Lafayette Street, and Madison Avenue.

Erik trying out his new 'portrait lens'

We also visited the extremely modern and abstract art museum called “Whiney.” There were some very strange pieces of art. For example, one enormous screen taking up an entire wall of the museum showed a video of computerized bowling (like a video-game) on repeat.  There was also another room where a video was playing on the floor –facing up towards the ceiling and another room, which showed a graphic photo of a dead person in the 80’s as a result of aids. Interesting, to say the least! Unfortunately the Whitney Museum didn’t have any Andy Warhol pieces, which our guidebook had taken up 2 pages to describe! Finally we visited the world’s largest synaogue “Emanuel.” Then again, I still think the main synagogue in Budapest looks more magnificent.


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For the evening we went to the extremely trendy steakhouse, STK, in the meatpacking district. I don’t think the person who recommended the place to us knew that we were planning on having a nice quiet family dinner! Anyhow, it was a great experience and I can imagine that ‘rich new yorkers who want to be seen’ are regulars there. The atmosphere was very club-like with loud music, and the staff was probably only employed considering their looks! My brother was first not allowed to enter because he was wearing shorts, but strangely enough women could wear as short skirts as they wanted 🙂 Despite those details, the food was delicious!

I think their business card says quite a bit about the restaurant!

The funniest memory, however, is from after the restaurant when we went to a bar/café place down the road. There were only chinese waitresses and waitors, and we quickly noticed that their lack of english was a bit of an obstacle!

First problem:

Erik: “Could I please have a hot chocolate?”

Waitress: … (looking puzzled)

Erik: “A hot chocolate please…”

Waitress: “…Can I see your ID?”

Erik: (very confused!)

She must have thought my brother asked for a hot shot or something like that?!? I really have no idea, but my brother gave up on the hot chocolate.

Second problem:

Dad: “An Irish Coffee please”

Waitress: “…hmm” (looking puzzled again)

Dad: “An irish coffee…”

Waitress: “uhm… I don’t understand…” (looking even more puzzled)

Dad: “okay-do you have coffee?”

Waitress: “yes” (nodding eagerly)

Dad: “whiskey?”

Waitress: “…yes!”

Dad: “sugar?”

Waitress: “yes”

Dad: “cream?”

Waitress: “yes”

Dad: “then you have an irish coffee!?!”

Waitress: “oooh okay!”

After a couple of minutes she came out with the ‘irish coffee’ and waited for my dad’s approval.

Dad: (after a sip)… this is not an irish coffee… it’s sweet- it’s baileys (grimacing slightly) But it’s fine; we just want the bill thank you!”

Waitress: …? (extremely puzzled)

I won’t even go into the fact that my mum and I asked for a café laté, and it came after we had paid…

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NYC: SoHo shopping

I just absolutely love SoHo! They have so many fun shops there, and I actually got my very first pair of Dr. Martens and a Tumi bag there!

love them!

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NYC: Brooklyn

On the 3rd full day in New York, we visited Brooklyn. We began by looking around Borough Park which is where the largest Hasidic Community lives in the whole world. Basically, they’re extremely conservative orthodox Jews. It was actually my mum’s suggestion to go there, and I’m so happy we did. I’ve never seen anything like it, and it was like going 100 years back in time! The men walked around in huge hats, some even fur hats [(kolpik) and it was 35+ degrees celsius!] and the women wore wigs and were dressed in black. All of them wore a little hat and walked around with their prams. At first glance, it seemed like all they do is walk around with their babies! Apparently, their children go to special schools and there are restrictions for driving… well I don’t know much more, but it was very fascinating!

the area looked very run-down

After that we went to the vintage and second-hand store in Park Slope. Everything was very cheap, but I was a little disappointed because they didn’t have as much as I had expected. Next time I’ll try the store in Williamsburg instead. To conclude our mini-Brooklyn visit, we went to Brooklyn Heights and walked on the promenade which boasted a magnificent view over the New York City skyline.

I did end up buying something though!

Iconic Brooklyn Bridge

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NYC: Galerie LeLong

I found a postcard from the gallery we went to in NYC on the first day; the artist is called Jaume Plensa, and the exhibit was called Anonymous.

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We didn’t only see Alexander McQueen’s hyped up exhibit; we also looked around the permanent exhibits. These were some of my favorite pieces of art:

Van Gogh



My absolute favorite by Degas: The Little Dancer

Then we walked through Central Park and enjoyed the fresh air and street musicians.

Later we walked down Madison Avenue, and the “girls” and “boys” separated. In other words, my dad and brother went into the gigantic photography store B&H, whereas my mum and I looked around Urban Outfitters. I really like the clothes there, but it’s a bit pricey for bohemian ‘music-festival’ style clothing. Eventually we walked up again to The Plaza for afternoon tea, which was a bit of a disappointment. We had dinner at a place called “Bobby Van.” It’s a steak house near Times Square with the largest portions I’ve ever seen! Our kind waiter, who had moved from Kosovo a couple of years ago, told us about the hard work yet excitement of living in NYC. He summarized it perfectly: “It’s a crazy city!”

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NYC: Savage Beauty

On the second full day in NYC, my family and I got up early to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit, Savage Beauty, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Thankfully we did because the queue seemed to grow exponentially! Personally, it was the best exhibit I’ve ever seen. The combination of Hendel’s “Sarabande” and the haute couture outfits on display was incredible. It’s difficult to describe the dresses completely made out of feathers or shells, or the hats made out of hand sculpted butterflies… Well if  you have ever seen any photos from his previous runway shows, you will know what I mean! I think McQueen, himself, summarized the exhibit perfectly: “There is no way back for me now. I am going to take you on journeys you’ve never dreamed were possible.” 

The following pictures are borrowed from  http://blog.metmuseum.org/alexandermcqueen/ :

A look from his last fashion show before he died 2010

the classic victorian gothic look he is famous for, and of course, with some british nationalism

I thought this was a really fascinating piece, as it was spray painted by two robots on the actual fashion show in 1999!

Now how do you wear this?

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