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Lead us not into Penn Station

Or it could be Titled  Unicorns and Roller-coasters--

I fell off of LJ yesterday morning, and have been having such fun ever since. Rikibeth came to visit me in Brooklyn. I met her at Grand Central, and we went North to Washington Heights,  to the Cloisters. I have wanted to go the Cloisters and see the famous unicorn exhibit since I was a tiny girl.I had never been. But yesterday was the last day of an additional unicorn extravaganza!

Many of you in the UK and Europe can see 14th century European art with some regularity. But here we just don't have it, not so much. The Cloisters is a rare collection. It was just amazing.

We came from the subway through a park which was in part an herb garden, crazy with bees, gorging on the last of summer. The smell of lavender was all around, It was warm and drizzly, but not really raining, and not too hot.

Once inside,  the Cloisters was stunning. The tapestries had tiny little details of flowers and dogs and people, as well as the unicorn being hunted and finally brought to capture. And there were other things to gawp at too-- sculptures and paintings, and a silver kettle drum made for George lll, and a silver torah crown and a narwhal horn, (just like the one that Jack gives Stephen!!) . We stayed in the Cloisters for probably two hours-- enough time to stuff ourselves with astonishing sights, until I, at least, was as dizzy as a bumblebee.

Here is a link -- so you can see some of the things.


Then we rattled south on the subway for a long time, all the way to Coney Island, where I had not gone yet this summer.And Rikibeth, who is a roller-coaster expert, got me onto the famous Cyclone roller-coaster. The sun was going down, and we had a view of the whole world, it seemed from up there. The rides of Coney were lit right against the sky, and the night was coming over the water. We had the first car on the coaster, and it was old and wooden and it went click, click, click, whoosh! Splendid!  And I bought a T shirt.

And then we had Nathan's hotdogs which are a Coney Island thing, and very good.

Then she came back to my apartment. And she looked at my fleam and my lindsy-woolsy blanket that makes me think of Wm. Bush. (It is a rare person who responds with eager affirmation when you say 'do you want to see my fleam.)  I showed her some things I had in my sea-chest. She explained to me how exactly the blanket  was woven on the loom, demonstrating with hands and feet. And all this time we had been talking about writing, and books and all sorts of things.

By this time it was about 10 pm. She had to go to Penn station to pick up her kid on the train.And that was great because I got to meet  someone who was interesting and funny, and kindly.   But the train was very late, and it ended up making better sense for them both to stay over at my apartment. We were quite tired, by the time we made it back to my place for the second time. But it allowed for charging phones, and more laughing and talking.  Hazel and Yodel and Lyra greeted both as long lost friends, and they slept on my sofas, and I got to keep them both until early afternoon today. Oh, and she got me set up with Tumblr which had been confusing me.

And I am wiped out with tiredness. They must be more so, and they have a long train and car ride home.

This is something I have tried to explain to my kids, that the joy of friendship is just as sharp and real and sweet when you are almost 50, as it was when you were 10. Also, roller-coasters.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 19th, 2013 10:17 pm (UTC)
Sounds quite wonderful!!
Aug. 19th, 2013 10:51 pm (UTC)
It was. It was splendid.
Aug. 19th, 2013 10:42 pm (UTC)
Maybe one day I'll meet you and Rikibeth.
Aug. 19th, 2013 10:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, I would like that very much!
Aug. 19th, 2013 10:58 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a lot of fun! Especially the unicorns :)
Aug. 20th, 2013 02:57 am (UTC)
Sounds perfectly lovely, if exhausting. It's funny, the things we don't get around to doing, when you live in the middle of somewhere so full of things to do. (I hardly got to anything when I lived in San Francisco, and still don't, though I've lived less than an hour away for twenty years now.)

I'm actually considering coming to New York in the fall with my daughter. Family friends have a place near the Cloisters we can stay at. I've seen the unicorn tapestries in Musee Cluny in Paris several times, and I have a poster from the Cloisters hanging in the library from a visit my mom took there ages ago to tempt me too. It sounds very worth the journey.

If I do come, I hope I can take you out for a hot beverage at least.
Aug. 20th, 2013 03:35 am (UTC)
Oh, i would like that so much! Let me know, as you get a little closer in time, about the particulars.

And I would happily go back to the Cloisters again, should you like to do that with me.
Aug. 20th, 2013 08:35 am (UTC)
We take all our art, etc for granted. We being the Brits.

Edited at 2013-08-20 08:38 am (UTC)
Aug. 20th, 2013 11:19 am (UTC)
I think this kind of thing means more when you get older. The simple pleasure of friendship should never be underrated.
Aug. 20th, 2013 04:58 pm (UTC)
SOunds like a grand day out indeed

glad you had such a good time
Aug. 21st, 2013 02:40 am (UTC)
I didn't know you were a fellow NYC-er when I friended you, but hey! Hello! I used to love going to the Cloisters when I first moved here, but haven't been in a long while. Have you been to Saint John the Divine? It's the other place that makes you feel like you're in Europe (and is around the corner from where I live).
Aug. 21st, 2013 03:05 am (UTC)
I have, but only once. I took my dog Hazel to the blessing of the animals. It was a great experience-- and Hazel was very well behaved, but it was not serene. I was watching all the cool animals, (Everything from camels to stick insects,) and not appreciating the art. Maybe I should go back someday mid-week.

I have lived in Brooklyn since 07. Before that my husband was in the Navy, and we lived all up and down the East Coast mostly. I can say with some assurance that the people of New York are kind and helpful. I like it here a lot.

I have never been to Europe, or the UK. I have driven through some of Canada. (Even some of Canada is a lot!) But that is the extent of my overseas experience.

Very cool that we both live here. Maybe we can get coffee sometime?
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )