Friday, January 9, 2009

Our tour was winding down. After another quiet evening at the Henley Park, which we spent listening to and chatting with pianist Sheila Davis during dinner, Marti and I would be training back to New York in the morning. Just a couple of days remained until our flight home.

Giant tree at Washington's beautiful Union Station, December 28.

As usual, soon after arriving in Maximum City and reinstalling ourselves at W. 46th, Marti and I hit the ground running. We collared Jody and went up to the Museum of the City of New York.

We caught a fine little exhibition depicting the cross-influences in Paris-New York arts and culture between the World Wars of the 20th Century.

Print ad for St. Raphaƫl aperitif, L'Illustration, June 10, 1939.

Promotional image of the Normandie superimposed on New York City streets, photo by Byron Co. 1934.

We poked into a second exhibition, Catholics in New York, 1808-1946. This 1929 photo of Tammany Hall movers and shakers includes Mayor James J. Walker and Governor Alfred E. Smith.

In this show Jody, Marti and I were delighted to discover Robert Burghardt's charming mural "Growing up in New York City, 1926-1938," based on his memories of Yorkville in the 1920s, '30s and '40s. (Detail above.) There in Burghardt's wonderful folk art illustrations was the long-gone Hungarian-American community we'd just learned about in the research that led to finding the Hungarian Meat Market & Deli. Serendipity.

Post-museum hot beverages and sweet thangs at Sarabeth's, Madison Avenuen at 92nd Street. Jody lived near here at one time and is our personal glucose guide to New York City.

Smile for Mira!

By the time Marti and I returned to New York Jody and Emmett were hosting another couple, Mira and Mark from Hilton Head. Mark is a photographer and Mira does marvelous color-intensive paintings.

They joined us for dinner that evening. We all piled into Mark's Volvo. Besides Emmett and Marti, there were two other people in the back seat. That's Jody stretched across the lucky three who found seats. I was happy to be up front.

We went to Michael Psilakis' new incarnation of Kefi, his neo-Greek taverna on the Upper West Side.

Mark and Mira.

Everyone's favorite hosts with the mosts.

Marti wore an H&M camisole while I sported my new John Varvatos fleece -- a Christmas gift from my bride and very appropriate for a Greek restaurant.

Could we look any cuter?

Monday, December 29 was the last day of our tour. Marti and I packed it all up, then hit the streets. She loves them big balls.

Big lights, bright city. The weather was sunny and cold, perfect for brisk walking and ducking into stores for a final bit of shopping.

Rockefeller Center. The heart of Christmas in New York.

Marti is drawn to a familiar logo. (Hey Lisa, this one's for you. I told you Marti swoons over Swarovski. She loved the earrings so much that she used a gift check to acquire the matching necklace!)

Monday afternoon turned out to be the perfect time to check out the Rock Center scene . . .

. . . not too crowded on the plaza, but a loooong queue for the skating rink.

Cartier under wraps.

At the 55 Gourmet Deli: a pastrami on rye bigger than my head. I heart (attack) New York.

Getting ready to fly home to Paris. (We should all look this good when we hit 60.)

Happy Holidaze to all and to all a good flight!