Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to Mary!

Today is Mary's 47th birthday! This photo of her was taken right across a small plaza from ... the Plaza Hotel. What an ideal location for a hotel, adjacent to Central Park and next to all the action of Fifth Avenue.

Rachel is still away in Croatia, having a wonderful time. So Jeff and Mary had a relaxing day exploring the city. We started in Central Park and took a few photos (shown here). The weather was just about perfect, with low humidity and the temperature around 80. We understand it has been unbearably hot--record breaking--on the Central Coast of California, so all of you reading this who live in or around San Luis Obispo, we're thinking of you!

We stopped for a hot dog and a yummy ice cream and then visited The Frick Collection, which is housed in the former home of the Frick family. It's quite an amazing private collection of art, with works by El Greco and Goya, Rembrandt and Renoir, Turner and, famously, Vermeer. Neither of us had ever seen a Vermeer in person before (we didn't get a chance to see the museum of Dutch masters in Amsterdam a few months ago). So that was a special treat.

After the museum, we took a leisurely walk through the Upper East Side and enjoyed looking into the windows of the designer stores. We stopped for lunch at a nice little deli and then continued our walk down toward Carnegie Hall. The area was bustling with activity, with a couple of street fairs going on and people reveling in the first official day of summer.

When we got near Carnegie Hall, Mary went into Joseph Patelson Music House and bought two books of piano music: Hanon (gotta keep up those chops!) and a book of six sonatinas by Muzio Clementi.

We walked a bit north up Broadway and stopped at one of our standby places, Cafe Europa, and ate some cake in honor of Mary's birthday. Well, actually two cakes: carrot and double fudge (we couldn't decide, so we got both!).

As for gifts, Jeff bought Mary three nice items at The Frick Collection: a Parisian cookbook with a French music CD to accompany dinner; a book called New York for New Yorkers, a Historical Treasury and Guide to the Buildings and Monuments of Manhattan; and a fun pack of cards related to NYC that ask, "What happened here?"

Here's example: What happened at 11 West 4th Street (right near NYU) on April 11, 1961--just a couple of months before Mary was born? Answer: Bob Dylan gave his first paid performance in Greenwich Village, at Gerde's Folk City.

Thanks to all of my family who called me today: my sister Carolyn and her husband Ted, my brother Tom, and my dad Hank. Thanks for the cards, too (very thoughtful, Bonnie!) and for the good wishes from Jeff's dad Glenn as well as my nieces, friends and co-workers.

Here's to many, many more birthdays!


Trisha Oksner said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I didn't know you are a Gemini, like Jayden. Anyway, keep those posts coming. I have never been to New York so I appreciate the virtual tours.

Jeff and Mary said...

Thanks, Trisha!