Tuesday, October 25, 2005

New York, New York

..it's a heckuva town.

PH and I went up to the city (drove in the rain) this weekend to see the Russia! exhibit at the Guggenheim, have a fancy dinner, and sleep in a bed someone else was going to make the next morning (a little boutique hotel near the museum). It was delightful, despite the rain.

We went up with another couple - we were all celebrating our respective anniversaries, their 25th, our 8th (we're late bloomers).

The exhibit was quite good. We went primarily for the icons and they didn't disappoint. The big draw was the iconostasis from the Dormition Abbey. Each of the five panels (representing Christ in Glory, Mary, Mary Magdelene, and the Archangels Gabriel and Michael) was 7 feet tall and over 4 feet wide, with beautifully restorated colors. Almost overwhelming, there were so many things going on and layers of symbolism. In contrast, some of the art from the Communist era was as you would expect propoganda to be. There were some amazing eighteenth and nineteenth century pieces, though, including some portraiture that rivalled John Singer Sargent.

We took naps, then dressed up and went down to Sutton Place for dinner at March. Five course tasting menu, with wine. Amazing food, with a bill to match at the end, but we only do a big splurge meal like this once in a blue moon.

We went back to the hotel, had a glass of bourbon, read Compline together, and went off to dreamland.

We decided after a bit of breakfast that we would go down to Ground Zero - still moving as nothing more than a hole in the ground while they argue about how to best fill it - and then to church at Trinity Wall Street. Very high church Solemn Eucharist, along with smells and bells. Great choir, very down-to-earth preacher, a sense of real community and diversity across socioeconomic and ethnic lines, which surprised me. The celebrant was a bit plummy, and there were more people up on the altar than I've seen since the concelebrated funeral mass for my uncle the priest thirty years ago. One of the joyful moments was a mentally challenged man sitting in front of us who clearly loved the music. At climactic moments in the hymns, he would play imaginary cymbals and vocalize a crashing cymbal sound - truly praising him with harp and cymbals! He was clearly a regular and beloved of the congregation - a couple of people came over to visit with him after the service. Another interesting moment was at Communion, when we received the wine from the verger, who looked into our eyes with great intensity. It was a moment of connection and recognition of the power of the Gift.

Then we drove back down. The Jersey Turnpike is still as boring as it was when I was a kid, and we hit the Washington Beltway just as the Redskins game was letting out. Lots of happy fans all driving SUVs.

Then I led our Emmaus group - we're currently doing a study on the nature of Sabbath and how we can reclaim it - and came home and slept the sleep of the very tired and overstimulated.

So good to be home, even if I do have to make my own bed.


St. Casserole said...

Oh how wonderful! What a treat to get away!
I love NYC and will be there in November for my annual Shopping Pilgrimmage. My budget is much less this year but I anticipate seeming marvelous things.
Happy Anniversary! We are late bloomers, too.

Rev Dr Mom said...

I love New York! Your trip sounds wonderful. I'd really love to see the iconostasis at the Guggeheim.

Congratulations on your anniversary.

mibi52 said...

Thanks, friends. St Cass, a shopping pilgrimage to NYC sounds like such fun, except I'd see too many things I'd want to get with too little $$$ in my pocket!