Having asked for your help trying to figure out what the four of us should do in NYC this past weekend, here are some highlights of what we ended up doing. Keep in mind our multiple restrictions: two shabbos-keepers, four vegetarians, one crutch-assisted walker, one whiny adult…
On Saturday we got up late and went to the Museum of Modern Art’s Pixar exhibit. (We’d bought tickets ahead of time online, but there wasn’t much of a line.) Somewhat disappointing. The wide-wide-wide screen movie they put together for the exhibit was mesmerizing and makes you wish Pixar gave itself permission to do a non-commercial film. The rest consisted mainly of items to please fans, although some of the items by themselves were beautiful, clever, or intricate in their design. Surprisingly little on the how-to, which was ok with me, Still, I was hoping to see more of Pixar-as-art…whatever that means.
We also spent some time on the fifth floor of the MoMA, which is hard to beat. (By the way, the MoMA is poorly designed for wheelchair access, at least in the special exhibit space.)
We went up the Empire State Building. Ten on a Sunday morning turns out to be a good time to go: No lines. The building is still very tall. (I plan on posting some photos soon to prove that point.)
The Darwin exhibit at the Museum of Natural History was good but a little disappointing, focusing more on eye candy than on telling us how he got to his idea. It covered big influences, such as the revolution in geology, Darwin’s observation of artificial selection, and Malthus’ writings, way too briefly. It was more about Darwin as an isolated genius.
We also went to the planetarium and saw a by-the-numbers show that starts with our night sky (spectacular) and then zooms out to the farthest edges, narrated by Tom Hanks presumably because Morgan Freeman was unavailable. It sounds better than it is: Our 15-year-old son came out of it feeling that he hadn’t learned much. Me too. The ramp around the planetarium provides a walkable timeline of the universe that’s pretty interesting, and the floor around it a gives helpful comparisons … “If the planetarium were Jupiter, this bubble would be the size of Google’s market cap”… that type of thing.
We had a great dinner at the Udipi Palace, one of five Indian kosher vegetarian restaurants within a block. How weird is that? The food was delicious and the waiter (owner?) was very helpful. And, for NY, pretty cheap.
We also spent a lot of time wandering around. The weather was eerily good for January, and the wandering was fantastic.
1. The plug converters (US to Europe) range in price from $20 to $4 in the frequent electronics rip-off stores in NY.
2. Random overheard comment made by a middle-aged man to his companions as they entered the observatory of the Empire State Building: “This building is going to be really tall by the time I get done with it.” Say wha’??