New York, Picasso, and Matisse


What a great little vacation in NYC!  It’s an easy 5 hour drive from here and my husband is a self-proclaimed “driving fool” and doesn’t mind driving, even in NYC, at all, so I have the luxury of my own private chauffeur!   We stayed at a very nice European style hotel, the Hotel Elysee, on 54th st. between Madison and Park Ave – right in the middle of everything.  The highlights were (in no particular order):

Great dinner at Sfoglia, an Italian restaurant on the upper East Side at which the homemade pasta dishes are heavenly!

Great performance of the play “The Piano Lessaon” by August Wilson.  Acting was superb and it was so much fun taking our son who majored in theater and drama in college.

Great performance of Puccini’s “Turandot” at the Metropolitan Opera.  This could be the most spectacular stage event I’ve even been to.  The sets and costumes were otherwordly and, of course, the singing was heavenly.  This is the second year in a row I’ve been treated to a seat only a few rows from the front and it’s been worth every penny!

Seeing the Picasso exhibit at the Guggenheim with my son, Michael.  Fascinating exhibit because it included only works by Picasso that had no color, i.e. all were entirely black, white, and shades of gray in between.  Seeing an exhibit at the Guggenheim is fun because of the spiral walkway around which the works of art are displayed – the building itself is a work of art!  This exhibit made me realize the art displayed is all about LINE, SHAPE, and VALUE.  Since there’s no color, those 3 design elements take center stage.  I’m sure some of the pieces work also because of balance and harmony of placement of line and shape.  It was so much fun to look at and discuss the works with Michael.

Seeing the Matisse exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum with Al and Michael.  The day after we saw the Picasso exhibit, we went to the Met to see the Matisse exhibit.  It was fun to contrast the two.  The Matisse exhibit also made one realize how much he used LINE and SHAPE to create forms but this one was very much about use of COLOR too.  I really love his use of intense colors.  One aspect of the exhibit that was fun was that they often displayed 2 or 3 works of the same scene, one usually being more detailed and one more abstract as Matisse experimented with styles.  I found myself liking the more detailed, less abstract versions.   I like seeing TEXTURE in the brush strokes, too.  We also went to the Japanese Rinpa exhibit featuring many of those beautiful Japanese screens – had to see that since I love oriental art and design!

Window shopping on Madison Avenue.  Michael and I walked 36 blocks down Madison Avenue from 90th st to 54th st. after finishing at the Guggenheim.  It was very do-able with one stop for a coffee along the way.  There were dozens and dozens of wonderful shops along the way – all way to expensive to actually shop in but much fun just to look.


Now I’m back at home and getting ready to return to work tomorrow.  I have to start planning how the Health Service is going to handle the flu situation; we need to be prepared to see lots of it just in case.  Meanwhile, I spent some of yesterday and will spend some of today sewing blocks together for “Spring Sonata.”  My brain is playing through some ideas for the borders, but nothing concrete yet.  I did manage to hand piece a few of the hexagons together for the doll quilt in some quiet moments in New York so it was worthwhile taking those with me.  Pictures next post!

Thanks for stopping by!



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