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.