Ayumi in New York

I met Ayumi in New York City on Friday morning while Aki was stil flying in from Amsterdam.   Ayumi arrived by Amtrak train.  The background of this web page is a depiction of our meeting in Penn Station by Robert Campin (from The Cloisters).

zcranford.jpg (3633 bytes)I left from Cranford, my old hometown, using mass transit of course!




zpost.jpg (5272 bytes)Ayumi and I met up at Penn Station.  Just outside of Penn Station, Ayumi saw her first site - the main New York City Post Office!  It was huge.  I explained to her the history of the postal service and the meaning of the dictum carved in the building.




zmuseum.jpg (2912 bytes)We zoomed uptown by subway from Penn Station while waiting for Aki to arrive.  We went to the Metropolitan Museum.  The subways were cleaner than I remembere them.




zpark.jpg (5507 bytes)The trees were beautiful fall colors in Central Park - and I failed to notice my digital camera was set to only capture black and white!  We passed what looked like a university film crew doing something.




zmet.jpg (4575 bytes)The Metropolitan Museum is huge!  We only had about an hour and a half before Aki called us (after having problems with US Immigration in Newark Airport).    We saw the collection of European paintins (including Van Gogh self-portrait), the Greek and Egyptian Antiquities and the coat check room.



zus.jpg (3341 bytes)Aki caught up with us in New York, and we zoomed through traffic jams to drop our stuff off at the Le Refuge Bed and Breakfast in Brooklyn.  A convenient 1/2 hour ride from central Manhattan (sigh).   After waiting for a cab and the long ride, Aki and I collapsed for a few moments in bed.




zgift.jpg (3488 bytes)Then Aki went through the traditional Japanese gift exchange with Ayumi (where Aki attempts to explain the function of the latest thing she found in Amsterdam).




zdinner.jpg (3716 bytes)Aki was tired, Ayumi was tired.  We had dinner in the restaurant downstairs.  The B&B was owned by a displaced French chef. The menu was good.  We ate, and then went to sleep early.




aki.jpg (6439 bytes)The next day proved much more colorful!   Of course, Aki was a little slow on the uptake during our continental breakfast.




nysubway.jpg (4014 bytes)z33.jpg (2828 bytes)But a couple cups of tea were enough to jar her from sleep and we set off to the Big Apple on the Number 6 subway.  We got off at 33rd Street.





akiempire.jpg (3031 bytes)yempire.jpg (3701 bytes)We made our way to the Empire State Building, it was an unexpectedly beautiful day!  We had a huge wait to get to the elevators to take us to the observation deck (we went through a cheesy ride to try and get through the lines faster).





zstatue.jpg (3709 bytes)We did get a chance to take a picture in front of a down-sized statue (we couldn't make it to Liberty this trip).





zstairs.jpg (2637 bytes)We climbed the last six stories by stair to avoid yet another line!





empire.jpg (4604 bytes)The wait was worth it!  It was a beautiful day, very clear (as far as New York is concerned).




zcanal.jpg (3490 bytes)We hopped on the subway again, because my honey wanted Vietnamese noodles.  There was a great place said to be in Chinatown.  So we took ourselves to Canal St.




noodle.jpg (4827 bytes)zmarket.jpg (5209 bytes)Aki loved her seafood rice noodle soup.  We walked around Chinatown a little - very busy and cool.





arch.jpg (5071 bytes)zcloisters.jpg (4392 bytes)In spite of complaints from the lesser members of the party, I dragged everyone up to 190th street to The Cloisters - one of my favorite museums in the world!  Just walking there through Fort Tryon park, overlooking the river, was wonderful.  The reconstruction of several cloisters from Europe to house the Met's medieval art collection created an oasis of quiet and otherworldliness in Manhattan.



monkeys.jpg (6917 bytes)They had some very odd stained glass windows in addition to reliquaries and illuminated manuscripts.





ysushi.jpg (2135 bytes)We then made a confused trip down to 110th St. to meet up with Aki's friend Eishin.  He took us to a sushi restaurant in Greenwich Village (where I forgot to take a picture of the manager who was decked out in a very cool outfit).



duet.jpg (4074 bytes)meandayumi.jpg (3176 bytes)We then rushed to Brooklyn where Esihin - a Jazz pianist - had a gig.  While Eishin played, Aki and Brian got drunk - and Ayumi just relaxed listening to the music.




bar.jpg (6150 bytes)At the end of the night, the musicians (Erin and Eishin) of course relaxed.





homey.jpg (3976 bytes)It was cold on the way home, but Brian had his homey sweatshirt.  Aki hates the beard.





zsleep.jpg (3706 bytes)The next morning, even the people who didn't drink had some trouble getting up.





lerefuge.jpg (4337 bytes)We said goodbye to Le Refuge, grabbed a breakfast in a diner in the city, and departed to our respective destinations.

It was a blast!