New York, June 2007 - Museums and Jazz

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You only wish you could store your food in a fridge this cool. If there were another 9/11, you could hide in this fridge and survive unscathed.

We were lucky enough to be able to stay in a friend's apartment on our six-day trip - for freeeee - on the Upper East Side, across the street from the Guggenheim and Central Park! 

Wonderful books.  Maybe next time we can stay in this apartment for a month or two while we hang out and read their books?  They're mostly old old books.  One of them is 1923 printing of "The Travels of Marco Polo". 

The people who own the apartment live upstairs.  They have a harpsichord in their living room, and often have people come over to play recorders.  Very nice people.  And we are extremely grateful for their hospitality.


The next morning (Tuesday), we walked south a few blocks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Lisa really wanted to see the Egyptian exhibit, so we went there first.  The Metropolitan is monstrous.  One could easily spend several days exploring this museum alone.

A Burmese harp in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A clay camel from the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), China, as seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This is just a tiny section of an enormous 45-foot scroll depicting an imperially commissioned panorama of a royal inspection tour, part of an exhibit called Journeys: Mapping the Earth and Mind in Chinese Art.

A section of a carved wooden dome with miniature balconies and supports that once crowned a meeting hall in a Jain temple in Gujarat, now reassembled at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

In front of the carved wooden dome sits a seated Jain Tirthankara, Solanki period (ca. 900 - 1250), most likely from Gujarat or Rajasthan in India

Jainism is a dharmic religion and philosophy originating in India. The Jains follow the teachings of Tirthankaras. The 24th Tirthankara, Lord Mahavira lived in the 6th century BC. Jainism is a small but influential religious minority in modern India, with gorgeous temples, some of which I've seen in Rajasthan

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Hangin' out on the steps of the Met.

Why don't all cities have food vendors on the sidewalks?  This is a hot dog vendor on the Upper East Side, not far from the apartment where we were staying.

Some beautiful buildings of the Upper East Side, just across the street from where we were staying, east of the Guggenheim.

Later in the evening on Tuesday, we took the subway down to the Time/Warner Center, which houses what has to be one of the worst names for a jazz club, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, part of the Jazz at Lincoln Center.

This is a view of Columbus Circle from inside the Time-Warner Building.


We caught the 9:30 show, Chasin' the Trane: The Sonny Fortune All-Stars featuring Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, Charles George Cables, Buster Williams and Louis Hayes, at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.  There's a beautiful view of the city behind the performers, food's good, and the jazz even better.

Eddie Henderson taking a solo during a set that put a smile on my face.  I could have listened to them play all night. 


Wednesday morning, we walked over to The American Museum of Natural History.

In the main hall as one enters you can crane your neck to see the skeleton of a mother Barosaurus rearing on her hind legs to an enormous height to protect her offspring from an Allosaurus. If you lived in the penthouse apartment of a five-story building, this momma Barosaurus could nibble on the cherry tomato plant you were growing on your balcony!!

Another fantastic museum, and another day in which we put some serious mileage on our shoes.

 


Later Wednesday evening, after the American Museum of Natural History, we ate at Guantanamera Cuban restaurant and then walked over to Carnegie Hall to see another amazing jazz show. 

This evening's show was Ron Carter @ 70, part of the JVC Jazz Festival.  We were treated to Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock.  Three-fifths of the mid-60s Miles Davis Quintet, playing together, with none other than Billy Cobham on drums!!!


This is the interior of Carnegie Hall before the show.  We had the worst seats in the hall.  No, really.  If we turned around, we saw a blank white wall.  Still, though, nothing could mar the evening's performance, not even the lightning and rain we trampled through after the show.

Ron Carter also performed duets with Jim Hall, a guitarist who provided imaginative solos as a lovely counterpoint to Carter's solid rhythms.

The final act was Carter's current quartet, with Stephen Scott on piano, Payton Crossley on drums and Rolando Morales-Matos on percussion, with more of a latin jazz feel. 

Cool gig.

This town is fantastic for jazz.


New York 2007

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