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Back from the Big Apple

April 18, 2012

I’ve just returned from a four-day cultural rejuvenation trip. We were here:

View of Manhattan from Brooklyn. It was so windy the birds were all hiding.

And… I have exciting news, dear Birdful readers! As I’m sure you’ve been following the dramatic developments of my quest for a new pair of binoculars, you’ll be happy to know that they’ve been acquired! In the end, I couldn’t resist the Zeiss Conquest HD binoculars. They’re slick, sharp, bright, light, and I hate to admit it, but I’m having a terribly difficult time restraining myself from pointing them at the condos directly across the street from us. (OK, full disclosure: I now know that the family living across the street has a futon with embroidered green elephants on it. But that’s all I know. I PROMISE!) The binoculars are incredible.

But in all honesty, here’s the picture that sold the deal:

image from wikipedia

Ever since looking him up on Wikipedia, I’ve started dreaming of Carl Zeiss, and not just because he was the optics genius of his time. Somehow, I saw a glimmer of kindness and genteel manner in his eyes, and thus began my fixation. And in my dreams, he appeared wearing that exact outfit (and yes, he was cropped just like in this image). In the end it was fate. Anyhow, dreaming and Zeissian fantasies aside, I can’t wait to try out my binoculars this weekend! I’ll keep you posted.

Apart from Ziessian conquests, we visited the Met (great show about Gertrude & Leo Stein’s art collection); the Frick (goodies from the permanent collection, including an ORGAN I’d never seen before in Mr. Frick’s abode, and a Renoir exhibit); the Guggenheim (a John Chamberlain exhibit, wherein I understood absolutely nothing, but enjoyed the shapes and colors of objects that resembled car parts nonetheless); discovered the Tenement Museum (as you can tell from my fixation with Carl Zeiss and the speed with which he’s managed to enter my dreamscape and quotidian vocabulary, you won’t be surprised to learn that I have a soft spot for “day in the life” museums, and this one was wonderful); and the Brooklyn Museum (stunning building, curious curatorial choices of blending the ultra-modern with the somewhat mundane). We drank coffee at a Swedish cafe, rediscovered the High Line in all its springtime glory, roamed through Central Park, walked the city until our feet hurt and I can’t wait to go back.

Spring on the High Line. Birds in absentia. Spring in full swing. Zeiss in my backpack. A great day.

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