Hi Mr. and Mrs. Bloggy Friends!
I hope you have been doing well over the past week. I've been totally out of bloggy commission since our friends, Michael and Jeremy, arrived in town last week.
I picked them up from the airport last Tuesday, and we immediately hit the town. We spent the first few days here in Philadelphia checking out different neighborhoods, site-seeing and enjoying a little of the night life. To keep our budgets in check, we decided to eat in most nights. Michael is a fabulous cook, so he kept us full on a delicious array of vegetarian foods. I don't think our refrigerator has ever been so full.
On Friday morning the four of us loaded the BOLT BUS for New York City. This was my first time back since late last summer. Just like always, the energy swept me up as soon as I touched my feet to the warm sidewalk. We stayed in the St. Marks Hotel in the East Village. The room was about as basic as they come, but completely affordable and very well located. This is one of my favorite parts of town, because every block is chocked full of funky shops, sexy bars and a wide variety of vegetarian friendly restaurants and grocery stores.
This was Jeremy's first time in NYC, so we decided to get some of the more touristy things out of the way on our first day. First on our agenda was a trip to Midtown to wander through Central Park. I've been here several times, but the surroundings never cease to tickle my fancy. We only covered a fraction of the grounds, from the Midtown entrance to Strawberry Fields, where we sat around the Imagine monument for a quick session of people watching. We then proceeded back towards Times Square, which is an amazing thing to see, but the crowds always rattle my last nerve. We were pretty beat after dinner and a couple of drinks, so we crashed rather early.
The next day had breakfast in the Village before taking the train back to Midtown to see New York's Museum of Modern Art. As a first timer, I was completely blown away by the collection. There were so many famous pieces decorating almost six levels of galleries. Some of my favorites were works by Picasso, Mondrian, Miró and of course Andy Warhol. I saw his original Marilyn portrait, and the Campbell's Soup Can collection in its entirety. I had no idea there were 32 of them! Later that night we had dinner in the West Village with my friend Mark, then headed to Stonewall for a few cocktails.
Our last day was devoted to shopping. I always have to hit up a few shops on Broadway in Soho, namely one of my favorites, Uniqlo. Alan and I both loaded up with a ton of stuff. Along the way we became separated from Michael and Jeremy, who wanted to head downtown to see Ground Zero and Lady Liberty. I didn't have any interest in doing that again, so Alan and I headed to the New Museum of Contemporary Art to check out the latest exhibit, Generational: Younger Than Jesus. This tri-level installation showcased artists who are younger than 33. It was fascinating to see, because Alan and I could relate to a lot of the inspirations used to create their pieces - since we came of age during the same time as the artists. The pieces ranged from photography, multi-media, video installation and even some live human art. It was absolutely amazing, and a perfect way for us to end the trip.
On our final day together, we attended a Memorial Day cookout at our friend Michele's. We all had a great time eating, drinking and playing some silly games. I didn't get home till almost 3 a.m.! I took them to the airport yesterday afternoon, and came home to an abnormally quiet house. A part of it was refreshing, to have a little peace for a change, but then again it was kind of sad knowing that our guest room was empty again. I had a great time with them. I'm so happy I have friends who come to visit, and who allow me to come visit throughout the year. These are some of the moments I look forward to the most.
I hope you have a great afternoon. If you are interested you can check out pictures from our time in PHILADELPHIA, and then head over to an album of pictures from our trip to NEW YORK CITY. All the photos are brought to you by Jeremy. I didn't hardly pick my camera up at all.
I'll chat with you soon!