Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Welcome to New York, it's been waiting for you!

Hello friends!

For my first Travel Tuesday post I want to chat about the quick trip I just had to the big apple! The purpose of the holiday was to visit a city I love and, FAR more importantly, to see my sister. So, if you are disgusted by art, food or shopping then please close this tab now! The beginning of my trip reminded me of how important it is to be nice to people, even when I feel tired and moody! I was in line at Heathrow airport, queueing with crying babies and angry businessmen. When it's my turn to board the plane I bounded over to the man, handing him my passport with a big smile and a joyful 'Hello!' The man explained to me that the airline had overbooked the passengers and that I would be upgraded...  DONT MIND IF I DO! I watched an amazing film called 'The Imitation Game' which I would highly recommend, but that's for another time!

So, the highlights of the trip. It was all about the art! The Guggenheim museum held a stunning collection called 'infinite possibility' by Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (bit of a mouthful!). The collection was of a series of mirror sculptures based on the concept of 'geometric families', exploring shapes from triangles to decagons.

More importantly, why don't I own one? I'm well aware that art doesn't have to be considered 'beautiful' to be great, and that it doesn't have to be something you'd 'hang in your livingroom' but these sculptures certainly fit that criteria. They were mesmerising to look at.

The next day I visited the Brooklyn museum to two galleries which were incredible. Firstly, Kehinde Wiley presents paintings of African-American men and women incorporated into traditional portraits, sculptures and stained glass. 'Painting is about the world we live in. Black people live in the world. My choice is to include them. This is my way of saying yes to us.' My favourite of these works is of a young man from a wanted poster. Wiley describes that instead of seeing him as a criminal, he saw a cherub, and that if people had seen the innocence in him that Wiley saw, he may not be on that poster.

The final exhibition I want to mention (missing out on the Tenement museum and the Museum of Modern Art!) is Judy Chicago's 'The Dinner Party'. This piece of feminist art celebrates the achievements of 1,038 female figures, most of whom were historically neglected. It is set as a banquet, with 39 place settings. Each setting has an individually designed embroidered runner and China plate, appropriately styled to the woman honoured. The remaining 999 women's names are written on the floor below. It was incredible to witness and what strikes me most was that the piece could be recreated again and again, selecting 39 different women from a variety of cultures with equal importance to our history. I began to imagine my own list of 39 women who I believe have been influential in my life, Beyonce, J. K. Rowling and Anne Frank would definitely make the cut! 

Now, enough with my art ramblings - food and shopping! My sister has developed an incredible gift of finding the best places to eat wherever she goes - New York is no exception! There's one cafe that I HAVE to mention, Two Hands. Now... my friends are tired of hearing this, but if you are ever in New York I would highly recommend going out of your way to have brunch there. The atmosphere, music, food, staff, decor... you name it, it was perfect. I felt so relaxed and soothed. My brunch (on both days!) consisted of an acai bowl: a beautiful blend of frozen bananas, berries, acai and almond milk, topped with granola, chia seeds, hemp, coconut and cacao nibs - DELICIOUS! As that was far too healthy it had to be supplemented by a slice of banana bread and a jasmin green tea. With the sounds of Ed Sheeran and Bon Iver in the background I felt truly at home.

Ending the longest post ever: shopping. Oh how I wish my home town had Victoria's Secret, Sephora, J Crew, Madewell, Papyrus and many many more. I've come away with a sad bank account and bags of new clothes, jewellery, makeup, sportswear and gifts... I am now poor. I hope you enjoyed reading about these little treasures, without even mentioning Central Park, the Brooklyn bridge, The Empire State Building or Nobu restaurant. The city is so fun to walk around, everyone is either thrilled to see you, gossiping loudly about how terrible their boss is or singing happy birthday to themselves (a lot of crazy people in New York!) The city that never sleeps is full of adventure and I LOVED it.

For now, thanks for reading!

Love & Hugs 

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