New York: June 15, Friday

Brooklyn Bagel & Coffee Company: It had great online reviews but the food was okay. Honestly, the restaurant looks better than the taste of its food. It wasn’t bad, just meh.

Today, we were off to watch comics performing for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I got the tickets free from their homepage. It’s a taping of just the stand up comics usually shown at the last part of the show. We must have watched over 5 comics. The last guy was especially funny:

So, the whole process is straightforward. You line up outside the Ed Sullivan Theater. Your tickets are checked. You get a wristband. You’re not allowed to bring in huge bags. A. did not want to leave his knapsack, so we used this service called Vertoe. It shows a map of New York with blue dots on it, and those dots are places where you can temporarily store your goods for a very minimal fee.


After watching the show, you get an e-mail from the production company containing a code that you can use for a free ticket for the full show at a later date.

Because it was Friday, we got into The Museum of Modern Art for free. I couldn’t contain my excitement. I had to curb my enthusiasm for a bit because we were getting thirsty and we were expecting that visiting the museum would involve a lot of walking. So, off to Starbucks to take a deep breath. Also, this was a good place to get me mum something. She’s been collecting these Starbucks city mugs. Surprisingly, she did not have New York City.

Anyway, Van Gogh’s Starry Night is housed at the MoMA. You don’t even need a museum map to know where it is, just follow the crowd. Poor guard, he had to tell everyone to back off every couple minutes.

van gogh

But, if you’re like me, you will notice the other masterpieces in the room.

The Sleeping Gypsy (La Bohémienne endormie, 1897) by Henri Rousseau
The Young Ladies of Avignon (Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907) by Pablo Picasso
Dance I (1909) by Henri Matisse
The Lovers (1928) by René Magritte
The Hunter (Catalan Landscape, 1923-24) by Joan Miró
Interior with Mobile (1992) by Roy Lichtenstein
I and the Village (1911) by Marc Chagall

I’ve only ever seen these works in my mother’s 30-volume encyclopedia before this. Seeing these works relived all those afternoons, when I was 8 or 9, in our family’s home back in the Philippines, just reading about art without necessarily understanding what it was. I still don’t understand a lot of it. Seeing these works up close made me feel equal parts happy and sad. Happy because the experience was a dream that came true. Sad because I’m no longer that child who dreamt it. But, I feel very blessed to have had this experience. I will never forget it.

Long sidenote: When I was in high school, I drew a lot. My parents thought I had no friends because I was in my room a lot on weekends. I only ever had one good friend, my best friend since 1998, the next door neighbour, R. When I drew, I drew anything heavily influenced by the artists whose works you’ve just seen. I wouldn’t say I was good. Boy, there were amazing artists at school and I’m not even close to the talent they had. When I moved out to attend university, I left my high school illustrations behind. Unfortunately, the illustrations were relocated in a house that eventually had termite infestation. The illustrations were burnt, as a result. Nothing survived. It took me a while to pick up drawing again. I don’t draw as much as I used to and as much as I would like to. I’m hesitant to keep at it because I might lose the works again. Whenever I paint, for example, a voice in my head keeps saying “What’s the point? You will lose it anyway.” I’m now less adventurous with the images I produce. But, I hope someday I will truly get over what happened. When I rediscovered Chagall’s work Birthday (1915) in university (between 2005-2010), I remembered this one illustration I had that also had a dreamlike quality to it, and used a similar palette. Needless to say, I instantly connected to his work. I even printed a copy of Birthday and hung it on the wall of my tiny dorm room. Now you know who my favourite artist is.

After our memorable visit to the museum, we went to NY Pizza Suprema. It’s near Madison Square Garden. I was surprised to see that there wasn’t a long and crazy lineup outside the store considering that big names like Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern and Curtis Stone have visited the place. Also, the tomato sauce on their upside down pizza is insanely good! I feel like people are sleeping on it. We needed another round though we were quite full!

I cannot say this enough: I love this pizza sauce.

This is the third entry of my and A.’s second trip to New York City.

To read the previous entries, please click here and here. Please note that words or phrases that are italicized and underlined are hyperlinks and open a new tab.


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