I spent the afternoon in the museum of the New York Historical Society and I spent the evening in a wine bar with Karen, whom I had met in my writing class. Another catching up and saying goodbye.
The New York Historical Society is interesting but it is not a must. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass greeted me outside.
They do have a very well done video presentation of New York History, using several layers of screen. For me that was the highlight. Another highlight I may have missed: the Armory Show. I was mistaken by the name, thought it is an exhibition about armory. It was an arts exhibition however, referring to a 1913 show of paintings and sculptures named after a group of artists. Showing works of famous artists like van Gogh and Degas it is included in the ticket price but I would have had to fix a time to see it. I didn’t do that when I bought my ticket – which seemed a bit overpriced to me – because I am not interested in armory. So I missed it, stupidly.
The wine bar that Karen had suggested to meet in, Ardesia, is in Hell’s Kitchen but way off the beaten track between 10th and 11th Avenue. I was skeptical about it because it is so far off and because it looks a bit sterile during the day, but I agreed to go there. They have a good selection of wine by the glass and a nice selection of snacks and the reviews are good. It was not a mistake. The Italian Sauvignon Blanc I had was excellent as were my shrimps skewers and my beet salad with goat cheese and arugula. Karen surprised me with a birthday present. She handed me a heavy thing wrapped in purple gift wrap. It looked like a book. After we had ordered our wine I opened it – and was delighted. It was that book about New York recipes and ingredients that I had seen in a bookstore in Chelsea Market all those months ago and then decided not to buy it because it was just too big and too heavy. Karen had connected me to food what of course is a hit. She even offered to ship it for me if I cannot carry it. But I will manage somehow and I was really excited about it. It is a very thoughtful present.
It was so nice to meet Karen again. Like yesterday with Priya we reviewed my time in New York, we talked about my book plan and about other things. Although we have pretty different backgrounds we have a lot in common.
When we left the wine bar we started walking towards the subway together. Karen insisted on buying lottery tickets. She said it makes her feel good for a while and is much cheaper than therapy. I think that’s a great point of view. I then suggested to make a little detour to check out Schmackary’s. We had talked about the cookies earlier. Karen took home three cookies. I took just one, a chocolate cookie with chili. It is for tomorrow – but I did have a tiny little bite with my wine while writing this.