My friend Ellen came to visit NYC (and me) this past weekend. Ellen is not a first timer, so planning her time required some digging underneath the usual tourist options. I anchored the visit around a Broadway show and a dinner reservation in the East Village.
Ellen arrived midday on Saturday. And, we immediately hopped the subway to Brooklyn. Since we were dining in the East Village, a jaunt to Brooklyn seemed a great way to avoid the Manhattan crowds. We headed to the Fort Greene Brooklyn Flea. First stop was lunch at Chickpea & Olive's pop up restaurant.
We then wandered around the flea finding a couple of treasures, including a soy candle from Apotheke and an urban bucket of succulent plants from John and Ariel Covello's Little Gardens.
After an hour or so, we headed to the Brooklyn Museum. The flash exhibit currently running at the museum is "Killer Heels" that looks at the birth of heels in ancient China and the palaces of Italy and France to today's modern runway and rockstars. And while the exhibit is fascinating, and a bit repellant at the same time, exploring the museum we found more compelling works. "The Dinner Party" by Judith Chicago is an installation featuring an enormous table that "seats" 39 special women through the ages from Eleanor of Aquitaine to Emily Dickinson. The 1970s work is an in-your-face tribute to role of women, some 999 additional names are etched into the floor of the exhibit.
We ended our day at King Bee an Acadian restaurant in the East Village. One of the owners is from New Orleans famed Herbsaint restaurant. Terrific, light food included roasted oysters, Louisiana crawfish & brioche, and buckwheat risotto.
On Sunday, we went to Neue Galerie for the Egon Schiele exhibit. Schiele was an Austrian artist, who came of age in the time of Gustav Klimt and Freud. His stark, lively works are known for their psychological impact and nuance. Schiele's work portrays gallery owners, family members and stark self-portraits. His body of art is remarkable, especially when considering that he died of the Spanish flu at the age of 28.
Next was a brief stop at the Park Avenue Armory to see the set of "Tears Become...Streams Become." The installation, which fills the Wade Thompson Drill Hall, is a field of water that features two pianos set in the center. The darkness of the water sets a perfect reflection surface that transforms the hall into what one observer aptly called a space ship. The setting was the home of 10 performances of Douglas Gordon and pianist Helene Grimaud.
Our spatially consuming experience was completed Sunday evening with "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time," now playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway. Based on the popular book, the play tells the story of autistic boy, who sets out to solve a mystery. The broader theme immerses you fully -- the set is fantastic-- in Christopher's ordered but inflexible world.
Ellen's visit was enlightening, interesting and off-the-beaten path--much like Ellen herself!