A Travellerspoint blog

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A few weeks on the East Coast: DC again!

Second time here in less than a year... who woulda thought.

sunny 40 °C
View Summer 2014 on ErnieLG's travel map.

Had to come to DC for my sister Dana's wedding, so just made a trip of it. Stayed with my friends Lindzay and Yoshi. Helped them with some of their tea making and selling! And it was so hot! It was crazy. But it was good.

Started out at the Holocaust Museum. Wow. This was really big. And free! They only let a certain number of people in at a time so that it doesn't get too crazy crowded. I literally spent about 4 or 5 hours here. And let's beer honest: you've pretty seen it all after your 10th shoal museum/concentration camp. But there were a lot of things to look at and even a few survivors to talk to if you want.
Holocaust Memorial Museum 9.0

It was pouring rain all of a sudden, so I ran to the closest museum, the American History. Lucky I was wearing boardshorts, flipflops, and a tanktop. But the AC was out of control! I was freezing inside! A hodgepodge of artifacts from throughout history ranging from Washington's sword to James Brown's jumpsuit. A few things were interesting. Most wasn't. Maybe the coolest thing was the star-spangled banner from the war of 1812 which is like 20m across or something. And at least it's free.
American History Museum 7.0

I went to this gallery called the Phillips since it's open real late on some days. This is great if you love impressionists, surrealists, and cubists. Has some big Renoirs (whom I hate). A famous Rothko room. Some smaller works by Degas, Kandinsky, Klee, Cezanne, Manet, Miro, Gris, and some others... I did like their temporary American photography exhibit which had works from as early as the 1910s including some cool Ansel Adams.
Phillips Collection 7.5

Linz and Yoshi joined me for a trip to the Library of Congress! This is probably the most beautiful building in DC. It has old books and documents such as Jefferson's library, a Guttennburg Bible, and maps and logs from the time of the European invasion. If you get a library card you can view their collection. And there are literally dozens of good guides just floating around. And it's free!
Library Of Congress 8.5

I had a little more time, so I went to the Natural History. Not as expensive as some other nature museums, but it was pretty good. Has a large specimen collection that you could peruse, especially native species. Some live animals and a big human evolution section which was refreshing. The mineralogy section was pretty good too! I couldn't help buying some ammonites and trilobites. And it's free!
Natural History Museum 8.5

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Posted by ErnieLG 05:22 Archived in USA Comments (0)

A few weeks on the East Coast: NYC one more time!

I guess I still hadn't gotten enough of NYC either...

sunny 35 °C
View Summer 2014 on ErnieLG's travel map.

NYC was great, OF COURSE. It always is. I stayed with Tom a little NE of Brooklyn. He let me crash for the whole time I was there, which was awesome. Got to hang out with his friends and check out some sweet rooftop clubs and apartments. He has a cool little hood, too. And it was sunny as hell!! Can you believe that I barely got sunburnt? Go team!

Well, I started over at Chelsea Market. Expensive shopping in a big cool building. Not really my jam, but lots of interesting food to try.
Chelsea market: 7/10

From Chelsea, it's easy to get to the High Lines. Wow, I had no idea this existed. There was a train system that was built around the 5th story of NYC centuries ago, and it'd been abandoned for decades. It became overgrown with plants and animals, and just recently got turned into a beautiful path full of art through the west side high above the city. Great views. It connects the Whitney on the south side with Chelsea Market and then Hudson Yard and the Lincoln Tunnel on the north side. I even saw since milkweed!
High lines: 9/10

At the south end of the High Lines, there's a new Whitney Museum. So this was kinda like the Phillips Collection in DC, though admittedly much bigger, newer,and better. It's at the end of the High Line in the Meatpacking district, and it's cheaper and faster if you buy tickets the day before online. So it's American art from the 20th and 21st centuries, a lot of installations and abstraction. That being said, I saw since things I like, like a small Andrew Wyeth, a Thomas Hart Benton, some Warhol and Lichtenstein, and some Jacob Lawrence (an interesting black painter who does sequences from American History). I'm getting better at spotting O'Keeffe (she uses a lot of skulls, cows, and south west imagery), but I don't really care about her. There're a few other big artists like Rothko, Pollack, and Man Ray.
Whitney Museum 8.5/10

Around the WTC, there's Saint Paul's. It's a pre-colonial church, and it survived 9/11. Quaint, but not that amazing.
Saint Paul's Chapel: 8/10

The Museum of Natural History is on the NW side of Central Park. It was $35 for the full experience, but the temporary exhibits were definitely worth it. It's attached to the Hayden Planetarium which you probably know about from Neil Degrasse Tyson. I caught exhibits on spiders, natural selection and extremophiles, dark matter and energy, and natural disasters. It had a decent array of everything else. I was there for maybe 5 hours or so, but I could've definitely stayed longer.
Museum of Natural History: 9.5/10

I had some time to kill after the museum, so I walked over to the Hudson River. Beautiful views of the boats and buildings on the other side of the hudson. Some Restaurants and rec areas. Nice for biking or running!
Riverside Park: 9/10

Checked out this tiny Brooklyn comedy club afterward. Room for maybe 50. There were some real good local acts. Then a couple surprise guests. Todd Barry and Sarah fucking Silverman. Can you believe that shit. Epic. I was about 3m from the stage.
Littlefield Stand-up Club: 10/10

One day, I hung around Rockefeller Center. There's this big cathedral next to it called Saint Patrick's. Well, this is enormous. It's super cool. Just a giant church pretty much. It's being renovated, but should be done in a year or so?
Saint Patrick's Cathedral: 9/10

So around 30Rock there's just shopping. And a few statues. I didn't do any tours or watch any shows at NBC which might've been cool. I do recommend the Lego store and the Nintendo store. But I went to the top of the tower, and there're basically the best views of the city. It was like $30... I know, kinda expensive, but just do it ONCE!
5th Avenue/30 Rock: 6/10
Top of the Rock Observation Deck: 9/10

There's a kinda cool gondola type thing that goes from the east side of Manhattan to Roosevelt Island. Well, it's a short ride, but for about 5 or so minutes you have a real cool view of the bridges, the East side, and Brooklyn. And it's part of the metro system, so you could use your card. But there isn't much on the island. Just a little park with some cool views and some hospital ruins that're a couple centuries old.
Roosevelt Island Skyrail: 8/10

So I hung out around Greenwich Village a couple times. Hey this whole area's pretty cool. I saw a jazz show at the Blue Note (Earle Klugh, a guitarist). Bela Fleck and Chick Corea are playing later, which I wish I could see. Watched some local b-ball teams in this Nike tourney. Saw some buskers and street performers. Lotsa cool-looking bars and clubs and restaurants.
Greenwich Village/West Village/Washington Square Park: 7.5/10

So I went to this synagogue on the Lower East Side. This is maybe the second oldest American synagogue that wasn't a repurposed building. It's been renovated, and it looks pretty cool. It's orthodox and the tour guide was horrible. But I don't think you can opt out of it. $12?
Museum at Eldridge Street: 8.5/10

Well, went to a screening of Jurassic Park with some peeps at McCarren Park in the hipster area of Brooklyn. The area's cool, but... I haven't done any serious hanging out there yet.
Williamsburg: ?/10

I walked across the Manhattan Bridge to Brooklyn. It's not super pretty and maybe it's a little scary at night, but in the day you get some sweet views of the city and Brooklyn Bridge.
Manhattan Bridge: 8/10

There was a new John Singer Sargent exhibit at the Met. It was hella good. The met already has one of the biggest collections of him in their permanent collection, but they got about 50 other works from around the world for this. The other temporary exhibits sucked.
Met: 10/10

So this gallery on the east side of Central Park near the Met is free some evenings, but there's a super long line. You haveta get there an hour before it opens. This gallery had a few awesome rooms of Gustav Klimt including his Woman in Gold. This museum is supposed to be German and Austrian, but this is definitely the only part worth seeing. They have a few rooms of Brucke, Blaue Reiters, Jack of Diamonds, and Donkey's Tail. Some Kandinsky (whom I like 1% of the time).
Neue Gallery: 7.5/10

So I saw all the WTC stuff with my fam. Wouldn't call it a must-see (especially since it costs like $30), but the museum is HUGE. It's got some cool artifacts like pieces of the original WTC and planes.
9/11 Memorial/Museum: 8.5/10

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Posted by ErnieLG 05:44 Archived in USA Comments (0)

A few weeks on the East Coast: Philly

Just stopping here to go to the airport.

sunny 30 °C
View Summer 2014 on ErnieLG's travel map.

I just stopped to get on the plane back to Sac. I went to the market which was kinda crazy. Lotsa good-looking chocolate and diners and doughnuts and everything. But, you know, I'm not real into shopping.
Reading Terminal Market: 7.5/10

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Posted by ErnieLG 06:02 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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