NYC // Macarons & Museums
I am sooo absolutely thrilled to be able to return to the Big Apple due mainly in part because of a photo contest hosted by Mockingbird Station in Dallas, Texas. I was so lucky to be the one to win a trip to New York City and spend a few days going to different places. Having been to NYC before, I learned that squeezing in as much as you can in one weekend is great but it left it harder for me to really take my time and enjoy the city itself. This post is going to be pretty brief and it's going to focus on three point places on the Upper East Side. That strangely sounded like a thesis statement. hah! But onto the first!
MAISON LADUREE 864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021
Or is it just Laduree? That's what kept showing up on Googlemaps. Either way, I only wanted to go to this place for the sheer popularity of it. Every time I mentioned it to friends, they all agreed that it was a "must". I enjoy eating macarons (phonetically pronounced RON as in Ron Weasley - not ROON as in Rooney the band), but I would be the first to admit I don't know much about them. I have several friends who are fantastic at making these delicious delectables. They were yummy no doubt about that but I wish I could tell the difference between a great one versus a bad one. The place is incredibly and on the more expensive side. A box of 6 is $21. >< But the box is cute! And it makes for a great gift or souvenir to take home. I heard you're not allowed to take photos yet I somehow managed a few =)
SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM 1071 Fifth Avenue (89th Street) New York, NY 10128
I had been waiting forever to see the Guggenheim. Initially, I was told that between here and the MoMA - MoMA is better. And I can see why. The MoMA is about 7 huge floors covering all types of genres of art and even has a cafe too. Not that there isn't one in the Guggenheim; but is so much smaller and focuses on a smaller array of work. Unfortunately, I caught this art space on a day where they closed off the entire rotunda area to make way for new work coming in. This only happens three times a year - lucky me. Even though this was a huge disappointment for me, the guy at the admission desk told me to look at the staircase and sure enough it was a great consolation. This space is beautiful even just being able to go through one side of it. It's dimly lit though so of course I went in and edited my shots to be more white balanced and brighter. If you go during this certain time like I did, admission is cheaper by $10. I say it's still worth it.
NEUE GALerie 1048 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028
Two words - one name: Gustav Klimt. If you don't know who that is, keep scrolling down. If you do, then this gallery is where you want to go. It's a very small gallery that fixes on German and Austrian Art. And if Klimt is one of your favorite artists from the Art Nouveau movement, you should definitely come here. Many people know his work like "The Kiss" or "The Tree of Life" but he has done a few landscapes and so many stunning portraits. One in particular of Adele Block Bauer. Like most museums you can't take photos but usually the space or the building compensates for not being able to photograph the art. But with Neue Galerie being so small and one three stories - you don't have many options. In fact, like the Guggenheim, the Neue Galerie had a section closed off for new artwork coming in. Sadly, that took up the entire third floor. And with the second floor dedicated to a collection of Klimt's works occupying the second, there was only photo ops in the book store and the basement.
I actually wrote one of my college art essays on a comparison between another portrait of Adele and another woman Emilie. (See images on the right.) The original "Adele Block - Bauer I" portrait sits on the second floor. I was absolutely stunned to see first hand the painting's true goldness - that sounded lame but I can't really think of a better way to describe it. The other paintings both in scale and color are so diminished as to almost purposefully subdue themselves to make Adele even more...shall we say saint like??Strategically enough, the light illuminates the gold iridescence of the paint, gives patterns the illusion of texture, and makes Adele's skin glow. But alas, you can't take pictures of it so in the basement they have a giant facsimile you can take a photo with instead. Of course the lighting for this one is terrible. You can see the lamp in its laminated reflection. But it's great for social media and Neue loves Instagram! So be sure to hashtag your picture with this lovely lass with #womaningold.
(L) Adele Bloch-Bauer (R) Emilie Flöge
"When Gustav Klimt's portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer was restituted to the Bloch-Bauer heirs in 2006, students from a public school on the Hagenmullergasse in the third district of Vienna, ages 10 to 14, were given a school assignment: visit the Belvedere Museum, look at the portrait, and imagine Adele in America. When the Neue Galerie New York acquired the painting, the resulting drawings were presented to the museum as a gift. Shown here is a selection of those works."
- Neue Galerie Basement Wall (Photo bottom right)
And my personal favorite is the one on the left. I think it's a fascinating conversation starter of the American adult lifestyle juxtaposed to the Viennese pre-teen mindset. Notice that the student took the time to draw the curvature of Adele's bosom, his directional movements of marker strokes, and may I say, his attention to fashion, his use of perspective, and choice of isolating color of subject and elimination thereof in the background presents a very deeply thought out piece of work!
Lastly, the photos below are on the West Side. We spent the second half of the day traveling to our AirBnb location and the view is breathtaking! I regret not bringing my wide angle lens because the view is incredible. Not to mention that I had the accompaniment of scrumptious macarons to snack on while taking in this NYC cityscape.
Aaaaannnnddd last but definitely not least is a shoutout to some amazing and incredible brands all made in the heart of Dallas, Texas! My goal while I am in New York is to show off the people and businesses of my hometown. I am so truly grateful for the opportunity that Mockingbird Station has given me that I wanted to do something to highlight the talents and designs from my community. I felt that NYC is more or less one of the cities that spots trends and hones in on them. I figured the least I could do is put others out there for people to see. So I'm ecstatic to tell you that my leather clutch comes from the beautiful simplistic but charming talents of Corrie Pocta and her leather bag business RECUIR LEATHER. What I love is that there are no patterns, no crazy designs, and no fussy chains or straps. She hand makes everything (literally from cut to stitch) and she's so passionate about it. And kudos to her for being an art teacher =). My straight to the point and yet elegant gold bracelet which says "BOSS" is made by the kind and sweet Katie Kisko of Simple Stamp. All her handstamped jewelry is made by her and she does all sorts of neat words or hashtags. With my newly claimed freelancing lifestyle, these past few months have been so great because I basically can call myself the Boss. It's a very small but powerfully uplifting word for me and transcends the "You can do it." or "Anything is possible" sayings that I often hear - it's my daily encouragement. But I digress...Ok that's it for day 1 of my 2015 NYC trip - lots of words and more photos coming to you in the next few days! Thanks for reading!