Monday, November 10, 2008

A museum weekend

I took the day off on Friday to celebrate my friend Polina's birthday - she had invited me to her party Friday night but I wasn't able to go, so we spent the day together instead. We met outside Penn Station in the middle of the tourist crowd and walked up to 42nd Street-Port Authority Bus Terminal to meet Laura, one of her friends who also came in from New Jersey, probably about the same time I came in on my train. Interestingly enough, Laura lives in North Haledon, which is very close to where I live.

The three of us headed uptown to the Museum of Modern Art, and we sat out in the courtyard so Laura could interview Polina for an anthropology project for school. After that was done, we took a short break in the cafe before visiting the marvelous Van Gogh exhibit that I saw a few weeks back with my family ("Poly public relations" - October 5, 2008) and viewing some of the contemporary art galleries. Since it was getting late and it was starting to get crowded because of Free Friday Nights at MOMA, we took off to do some shoe shopping so I could buy Polina a birthday present. We went to two stores and she picked out a pair of black Timberland hiking shoes, which will hopefully keep her feet dry this winter without having to resort to using plastic bags.

At one of the stores, we met up with another one of her friends, Patrick, who is a visual arts student and aspiring cartoonist. The four of us went to have a quick dinner before they had to take off to Brooklyn for the party, while I went home for my Friday night date with Tara. We finished our Hannibal Lecter mini-marathon with a viewing of Red Dragon and had our pancake breakfast in the morning, which unfortunately was marred by some difficult conversation.

Saturday was also a miserable day weather-wise: cold, drizzly and windy. I got my usual errands and grocery shopping done, and also got a manicure, since my dark purple polish was chipping off, and my nails were getting too long anyway. In the evening we had a nice dinner followed by a quick lesson in poker - five card draw and Texas Hold'Em - in preparation for watching Casino Royale, the last James Bond movie in advance of Quantum of Solace, which we'll go see this weekend.

I'm hoping we will have a full night of playing poker someday soon so I can play all the game variations I used to play with my old poker group (Pearl, Amy, Dominic and Little Vic) like Five Card Double Draw, Follow the Queen, Guts (or Balls, as we called it), and so many others. Good thing I wrote all these games down in a notebook that survived the two fires or else I'd have forgotten them myself. I'll have to poke around and find that.

Sunday we were planning to visit Alex Gray's Chapel of Sacred Mirrors but unfortunately we found out that morning that it's closed on Sundays. Then we wanted to visit the Picassos at Aquavella Galleries, but that too was closed - bleh! So we strolled around Central Park outside the Met and saw Cleopatra's Needle, a five-story high granite obelisk covered with hieroglyphics before going inside and touring the Philippe de Montebello tribute exhibit and the Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art.

Busy long weekend, but lots of fun. Plus, I'm so happy that the weather is back to being cold and dry.