A couple weeks ago, two of my daughters and I attended the Vogue Knitting LIVE knitting conference in New York City. The event was held on the weekend of the Martin Luther King holiday, and since my daughters both had Monday off work, we were able to spend an extra day being tourists in the city.
We did not expect great weather – after all, it was January – but we didn’t plan for the terribly cold weather we experienced. The forecast called for a high temperature for Monday of 29 degrees. It was much lower than that when we started out in the morning, but we were determined to make the best of it.
As had been our practice the previous couple of days, we walked through Times Square to the nearby Whole Foods to enjoy a healthy, but reasonably priced breakfast. The grocery store has a small cafe on the second floor with windows overlooking Bryant Park and the New York Public Library. (We had hoped to visit the library, but it was closed because of the holiday).
After breakfast we walked past the library on our way to 5th Avenue. As we shivered past the original Saks 5th Avenue, I thought about how cold it was outside, instead of looking at the fashions in the windows. We should have retreated from the cold and gone inside to have a look.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
A block beyond the famous department store, we arrived at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We were finally able to escape the cold as we circled the inside of the beautiful church.
The cornerstone of St. Patrick’s Cathedral was laid in 1858, and the building was dedicated in 1879. At the time, it was located so far from the center of the city that it was nicknamed “Hughes’ Folly,” referring to Archbishop John Hughes whose dream it was to build the cathedral.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a beautiful example of Gothic style, built in the shape of a cross. The cathedral can hold over 3000 people. There are several stained glass windows, including a Rose Window created by Charles Connick. The organs include over 9000 pipes.
A half block back south and then west brought us to the Rockefeller Center. The complex includes 19 buildings – several of which were built in the Art Deco style. The iconic central plaza has been seen in various movies.
We walked around the plaza watching skaters on the ice rink. We did not go inside – maybe we’ll go that next time. On a clear day the view from the “Top of the Rock” observation deck, 70 floors up, would be amazing.
We made our way to the subway so we could visit another part of the city. We rode to Central Park West and walked through the park. I imagine the view would be entirely different in the summer. It was still cold, but the sun had come out so it was becoming more comfortable.
We saw the Great Lawn, the Turtle Pond, and then the ancient Obelisk. After a photo break, we walked around to the entrance of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or The Met, as it is commonly known, was our priority for this day in NYC. My daughters and I all enjoy art, so we were looking forward to visiting one of the greatest art museums in the world.
The Met, which opened in 1872, is the largest art museum in the United States. There are over two million pieces in the permanent collection. I can’t even imagine how long it would take to see everything in the museum – or if it would even be possible.
Lunch and Then…
After a couple hours at The Met, we stopped for lunch. It felt good to sit for awhile. One of my daughters had to head to the airport after lunch, since her flight was in the afternoon. Over lunch, my other daughter and I debated about where to go next.
We wanted to visit the 911 Memorial and Museum, but we would have had a long subway ride there and back – and it was starting to cool off outside again. In the end, we decided to go back to The Met, and we were very glad that we did.
The Museum is large, so we had only visited a couple of the many galleries. When we returned after lunch we started in the American Gallery, looking at all the antique furniture, china and glassware. The Frank Lloyd Wright living room was impressive. The entire room and most of its contents was moved and reassembled from its original location to a space at The Met.
As we wandered through this section of the museum, we noticed a sign for Visual Storage. Not knowing what it was, we investigated. We found a large room where cases of art that was not currently on display in the museum was stored. The best part was that all the cases were made of glass so we could see all the pieces stored in them. There were paintings, pottery, silver, and furniture. Seeing them was like discovering hidden treasure.
An Early, yet Late, End to the Day
We took a break in the mid afternoon, to rest for a bit. As we sat, I realized how tired I was. After a busy weekend at the knitting conference and a full, although short, day playing tourist, I was ready to call it a day. We decided to head to the airport early.
We stopped back at the hotel to pick up our bags before taking the train to Newark Airport. There, we enjoyed dinner at Currito Cantina, a Mexican Cafe in Terminal A. We arrived at our gate plenty early, but it felt good to relax and knit as we waited to board the plane. The late night flight home was short and uneventful.
I am excited to return to NYC again sometime – we saw so little of it.
We used Lyft a couple of times during the weekend, and one of our drivers warned us not to come in the summer. I probably won’t visit in the summer or winter, but there is always spring and fall.
Have you been to NYC? What was your favorite part?