January 25th, 2010


Catchup - New York

It’s a nasty, icky, raining-sideways sort of day. I’d really like to be in bed under a quilt and a couple of cats. That not being an option, I’m going to goof off a bit in between agreements.

I told you about Christmas, given that there wasn’t much to tell. Shortly after Christmas, merimask  and her Charlotte flew down to have a NYC adventure. Bob was good enough to stay home with my Charlotte, and I hopped a train and met them at Grand Central Terminal. The train ride down was fairly crowded – the train went to standing room only at Stamford, so I was very glad that I get on at a terminus in New Haven. I ended up sitting next to a really nice red-headed girl who was going down to NYC to meet friends and hang out for the day. We chatted a fair bit – I hope she and her friends had fun. People were just being very, very nice that morning – I saw a gentleman stand so that his wife could sit, and then a father shift his young daughter onto his lap so that the other man could have a seat near his wife. I saw a college age girl offer her seat to an elderly gentleman, and him refuse because he wouldn’t take a seat from a lady. I don’t know what got into everyone, but it was the most astonishing display of sheer civility that I’ve seen in a long time.

We got into the station on time, and I finally fulfilled the cliché of meeting someone at the information desk at Grand Central. We then put my newly minted subway confidence to the test by taking a train to the Met. I even put us on an express and it all worked out fine.

I know a bunch of you are snickering at my pride in this accomplishment, but this is a big step for me! I really do need to get around to calling and having them send me a subway map, though. That would help a lot. Why on earth doesn’t the MTA have a version on the website that’s actually printable? It would make SO much sense. But I digress.

We got to the Met, checked coats and bags, and headed for the Christmas tree. I always love their Christmas display, but it’s an old friend. Andrea hadn’t seen it before. I think she liked it.  :-)

After that we roamed the museum, looking at whatever they wanted to see. Let me tell you – you’ve never seen the Met until you’ve seen it with an enthusiastic teenager who has never been there before.  I saw galleries that I haven’t seen in DECADES. I saw galleries that I didn’t know existed. I actually had to ask how to get back to the great hall at one point. I was pretty sure that my feet were going to fall off. But it was a really great time. I’m accustomed to going down for special exhibitions. For example, I’m working on planning a trip to see the unbound Belles Heures with an eye to timing it properly to also take in the exhibit of medieval tomb sculptures from the court of Burgundy. But I will guarantee you that by the time I’m done ogling the Belles, I’m going to be in complete visual overload, and probably down a number of IQ points. Which means that I’m not going to go see the rest of the museum. Certainly without Charlotte towing us around it would probably have been several more decades before I found myself in the Cypriot art section, much less Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Which would have been a shame, because they’ve got some really cool stuff in there.

As a side note, I know that they’ve redone the Greek and Roman galleries fairly recently, and I’m pretty sure that they’ve either changed or added to the items on exhibit. Because there were a lot of people doing naughty things on a lot of that pottery, and I am quite certain that a pack of giggling teenagers would not have missed the opportunity to comment on it when I saw those galleries while I was in school.

I only took a few photos, most of which didn’t turn out – I’m an indifferent photographer most of the time. I’ll post the okay ones when I get home.

After the museum we caught dinner, which turned out to be a bit of a chore. Originally we were looking for sushi. The sushi restaurant in the hotel was closed for a private party, and when we went looking we found one or two others – also closed that evening. The one we found that was open smelled… fishy. Literally. So we retreated to the Cuban restaurant also in their hotel where they had eaten the night before. I had the Best. Piece. Of. Fish. Ever. Chilean sea bass served over white asparagus. Some sort of light sauce that involved coconut. Heavenly. Absolutely delightful. Spectacularly good.

I liked the fish.  :-)  The waiter was really cute too.

After dinner we went next door for dessert. Andrea and Charlotte split a piece of chocolate mousse cake, leaving me to work on one by myself. It won. Absolutely marvelous. Afterwards they walked me down to Grand Central and down to my platform. We got there about half an hour before my train was going to leave, which was perfect. Any later and I wouldn’t have had a seat – that train was standing room only well past Stamford. Fortunately I got a forward facing window seat. Unfortunately my row companions ended up being a very JAP mother and daughter who had something to say about pretty much everyone they could see, and they enumerated everyone’s shortcomings of dress or behavior to each other. It was a truly astonishing display of negativity that left me breathless. I spent a lot of that ride remembering the people from the morning so that I wouldn’t end the day in a completely cynical mood.

So my 10:22 train got into New Haven sometime after midnight, and I pulled into my driveway in the vicinity of 2:00 am. There was an issue on I-91, and I took a somewhat… circuitous route home. Let’s hear it for GPS, because at that hour I’m fairly stupid.

The next day I felt like I’d fallen down the stairs. But it was worth it.


Storage Dilemma

I have a lot of issues that fall into the category "storage dilemma."  But right at this particular moment in time I'm only fishing for ideas for one of them.

Cassette tapes.

I have a copy paper box full of cassette tapes.  Some of them can probably be easily replaced by repurchase of a CD (or I suppose on MP3 at this point in the technology spectrum,) but some cannot.  I've read up on how to rip cassettes to MP3, and quite possibly I'll do that at some point since it doesn't seem to be beyond my capacity.  However - some point is not now.  I've got more pressing issues.  Like finding the floor in my basement, for example, or any horizontal surface in the sewing room.

So I need to store these for an indeterminate amount of time.  Preferrably in an accessible fashion so that when I actually want one (like when I'm driving mom's Jeep across the radio wasteland that is Pennsylvania,) I don't have to empty the box onto the floor and then refill it one cassette at a time.  What I don't want are stacks of those old attache cases with the plastic inserts.  Even when I still had them I hated them.  These are probably going to land in the basement, so display is not an issue - just reasonably accessible storage.

I found a great shelving unit at Ikea that's currently holding all the vinyl albums AND an assortment of board games that I'm very happy with.  I'm hoping for an equally useful solution for the tapes.

Does anyone have an idea that's better than "a better organized copy paper box?"