Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Date With Myself

It's a good thing that I am so cool, nice, and fun because I spent the entire day hanging out with myself! It's also a good thing that I wore my Nike comfort footbed flip-flops because I can not even begin to estimate the number of miles I walked. It was... a lot.

I slept in until almost 9:00 which is something I haven't done in a while. I guess this first week wore me right out. Once I rallied myself to get dressed for the day, I walked around the Columbia and Teachers College campuses to snap some pictures and give you an idea of my surroundings. Teachers College is across the street from the main Columbia campus. The Teachers College buildings have been in use since 1886. They are very old fashioned and it sometimes feels like going back in time! Here is a picture of the outside of Teachers College on 120th street.
Teachers College is right across the street from Riverside Church, a BEAUTIFUL structure. Here they are together.
Here are a couple of shots of the main quad (I guess you'd call it?) of Columbia University.

After walking around campus, I took the subway to 79th street to the American Museum of Natural History. I was pretty excited about it, but it turned out to be a bust. I quickly discovered that everything fun and cool at the museum cost extra. You had to have a separate ticket for the planetarium, IMAX, and all special exhibits. So my general admission ticket got me... pretty much nothing. I got to see a bunch of stuffed animals. I really wanted to see the cool stuff, but I would have racked up a bill of like $60, so that was a no-go. But, it was a nice cool place to spend a morning.

Around 1:00 I ventured to the nearby famed "Shake Shack". I swear I've heard about this place like every few days on Facebook. Apparently, it's super popular and people wait in line for hours to get these burgers. I had all the time in the world today, so I decided to try it. I NEVER eat burgers, so I was probably due for one. I had to wait about 25 minutes to get my burger and fries. It wasn't so bad - maybe because I was expecting to wait longer. I have to say it was pretty delicious. Here's a picture before I devoured it. It was a great Saturday afternoon lunch, and I got lucky and got a cute little table right next to the window, so I quite enjoyed myself.

With energy restored and fortified by a burger and fries, I walked across Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Good thing I was wearing a strapless cotton dress and had a large bottle of water. However, it was a lovely walk. I captured a few picturesque scenes including a view across the turtle pond and Belvedere Castle.

I made it successfully to the other end of the park and took on the Met. I got a little taste the other day with my class, but I was glad to go back for a whole afternoon. It was kind of nice to be there by myself. I went to the exhibits I wanted to go to, and I didn't have to ask anyone else what exhibit they wanted to see. I sat down when I was tired, and I didn't get back up until I wanted to! I saw a lot of unhappy families while I was there - they were so stressed! My favorite was a mom and dad trying to pose their two young children next to a mummy in the Egyptian exhibit. The conversation went something like this:

Mom (yelling angrily to kids): SIT DOWN RIGHT THIS MINUTE! SIT STILL and SMILE!!!!
Dad: Carter, if you don't sit still right this minute we're going to take you right out of this museum.
Kid (crying): I don't wanna smile!!!!!!!!
Dad (taking picture): Fine. I just took the picture. Let's go.
Mom (to dad): NO! You didn't get their shirts in the picture! Without the shirts, the whole picture is POINTLESS!!!

Please, Lord, don't let me be a crazy parent. Amen.

I, on the other hand, had a lovely time. I saw the Egyptian collection, the European masters, a Picasso special exhibit, Asian art, and the American Wing.

There is this beautiful atrium where they have reconstructed an entire Egyptian temple complete with a little reflecting pool. When I came across it, all I could think of was that scene in From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler where the kids take a bath in the fountain and gather up the coins! Have you read that book? Oh, you should. It's about these kids who run away from their parents and secretly go live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's a classic. But I digress...
Just when I was feeling really weary and about to go, I discovered that in the American Wing, they have a "Period Room Tour". Basically, the museum has re-created 15 rooms, each representing a different period in American history all the way from the 1600s to the early 1900s. In most cases, the museum actually purchased the buildings and transported the rooms beam by beam and stone by stone to the museum where they re-created them on site. The furnishings are either original to the room or typical of that period. It was fascinating to me for some reason! I always love seeing what other people's homes look like, especially from the past, so this was like the ultimate tour of homes!

It was also great because hardly anyone was in the exhibit. Every room had a large Apple touch screen computer where you could learn about the original house, the people who lived there, and the story behind all the furnishings. Below, you can see the room with the touch screen - it was so innovative and I think all museums should do that! It made it really fun to learn about the room. (Side note: I'm ashamed that I took these types of pictures in a museum. I think it is SO ANNOYING when people take pictures - or better yet, videos - of every work of art in a museum. I mean, what are you doing? Are you really going to go back and look at that Egyptian pottery you insitsted on photographing? I think it's really weird. However, I wanted you to see these cool rooms and the computers in them. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.)

Here are two parlors from actual New York homes in the 1800s. Luxe fans.... can't you just see Penelope, Elizabeth, and Diana in these rooms???
I finally left the museum around 6:00 and walked back across the park again, fully intending to pick up the subway to go back "home". However, I started contemplating the hamburger and fries I had for lunch and I was like, "I bet I can walk." So I did. I'm like a crazy person - I guess I just really love to walk. I walked all the way from 79th to 121st. On the way, I picked up some most delicious Thai food and ate it in my room. And that's a wrap.

All in all, I'm a pretty good date. I'd ask myself out again.



Liz said...

What a fun day!! Love it. And yes... I LOVE "From the mixed up files..." Truly one of my favorite books ever. And did you know that the "castle" you passed in Central Park is called Belvedere Castle and that's where they record the weather that they report in Central Park?

When Kate and I went to the natural history museum, it was only worth it because there was this HUGE crab on the wall and this little girl looked up and said, "look mom, a mosquito." AND... Kate came face to face with a stuffed tiger and ALMOST peed in her pants because she was so scared. I don't know that I've laughed that hard in like years.

So glad you had an awesome day with yourself! "Smart, Fun AND Pretty. And nice. And cute." snaps for you.

Liz said...


Tiffany said...

I'm so glad you got Shake Shack. It's well worth it. I looked at all of your pictures before I read the blog and as I scrolled down I was like, "She got Shake Shack. I'm so jealous." ha! Sounds like you had an amazing day! I wanna be you when I grow up!

Kate and Zach said...

I LOVE living through your blog... you are amazing. what a journey and a blessing!

Sweet Simplicity said...

What a fantastic day! I'm so jealous.

Meghan said...

Hi Katie,

It looks like you had a really great day! Being that you enjoyed the Picasso exhibit, I wanted to let you know that Charlie Rose will be sitting down with Gary Tinterow, a curator at The Met, to talk about the Picasso exhibit. If you are interested in checking it out, the episode will air on Bloomberg Television tonight at 8P & 10P. There is a preview of tonight's episode posted on Facebook at

Hopefully you'll get to enjoy a few more days like the one described in your post a couple more times this summer!

All the best,


Anonymous said...

Yes, I remember the book From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (or whatever the name is). I feel like I'm the only person who remembers this, but that's whay I always wanted to go to the Met. My mom directed me to your blog so we could read about NY. Marty and I saw South Pacific was great...I didn't like the theater, but I loved the musical. We ate at a Bobby Flay restaurant too, but not the one you did. Oh, I'm dying to go back to NY. Glad you have enjoyed yourself.

Julie Gibson Mendivil

Abbie said...

Katie, this is so fun! I'm just reading all of your NY fun! Makes me miss it--LOVE your pics!

Yours is my new favorite blog!

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