Monday 27th August – NYC

4.08pm

We return home, our temporary home, with tired and sweaty feet. The subway exit is a block and a half from the apartment. Climbing the steps up to the street is just that extra bit of struggle after a crowded, stuffy four-stop subway ride. Scaffolding covers a high percentage of the Manhattan footpaths and today I’m grateful for the shade it brings. Waiting on the corner for the lights to change, I announce my detour.

‘I’m going to pop into Dylan’s Candy Bar for a look around before coming up.’

‘You going to get something for Steve?’ my sister asks.

‘Probably. I’ll see upstairs in a bit.’ It’s across the road and only a few doors down. No chance of me getting lost on the way back.

I cross the road and push open the double glass doors. It’s a multi-coloured wonderland inside. Over-sized fixtures proffer packaged confections in every colour of the rainbow and more. Signs point to the café upstairs, the cotton candy bar downstairs, corporate gifting in a corner and much more. Walls of jelly beans in every conceivable flavour, shelves of boxed chocolates and stands of personalised mints delight and confuse the eyes.

‘They really do have every kind of candy,’ I hear one kid say.

Earlier in the afternoon we visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or as the cool kids call it The Met. When my sister first moved to New York, she made the fortuitous friendship with a woman who has a membership. After some fancy soirées and exclusive tours, she now knows her way around this cultural institution without a map. We picked one up for me anyway.

Room upon room of art from around the globe and through the ages is presented for one’s viewing pleasure. Writing tablets from ancient Sumer, a complete reception room from early 18th century Damascus and six-metre high fresco of Buddha are only some of my highlights. Over two hours we weave our way through the galleries and exhibition spaces. Simone has compiled her own top ten list: Madame X by John Singer Sargent (link here), Washington Crossing the Delaware (link here), The Oxbow by Stephen Hancock (link here) to name a few. If The Temple of Dendur doesn’t impress you, then something’s wrong.

It was a shame that due to an exhibition setting up, we couldn’t get to the Frank Lloyd Wright room. I love me a bit of interior design porn. Up and down the odd stair, we would settle in the quieter rooms for some restful contemplation. Every now and then, an unexpected vista would present itself through a doorway. I can’t say which piece was my favourite. That’s like asking me to choose a favourite child. It’s the middle one but don’t tell the other two.

So after a few hours in air-conditioned splendour, we trekked out into the heat of afternoon and the sauna that is the subway platform. I hope Gregory is staying cool.

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