we had brunch at banania. john and i both got the eggs benedict while deanna went with the french toast. later, we took the subway to tech serve, this all mac store. other than the new apple stores now dotting the country (one of which i saw last night, after seeing famke), i haven't seen a mac only store since 1987 i think. it felt kind of weird to be surrounded by so many mac users, a sort of kinship. after that, we went to a flea market nearby. i thought a lot of the stuff for sale were kind of expensive compared to a new england flea market. from there, deanna left us to go to lohmans while john took me north of the city to the cloisters, the medieval branch of the metropolitan museum of art.
it was my first time at the cloisters. from the subway stop, it's a bit of a walk through very scenic windy gardenscape. it reminded me of a zoo, the way it's contoured in a multi-tiered fashion. off in the distance, new jersey and the hudson river. in the heart of this place is the museum itself, a converted monastery. john was my tour guide, he had been through the museum before with the taped tour, so he knew some of the secret history behind the art pieces.
we left the cloisters, but not before getting some popsicles from a ice cream truck nearby a park. we passed a guantlet of senior citizens perched on park benches lining the path leading out of the museum.
john came with me to rockefeller center, where i was meeting jack and bruce for the christie's auction of harvard medical antiques. we had some time to kill so we did some people watching. there was a murakami exhibit, two giant balloons suspended in the air and some anime inspired statuaries.
we also saw a wedding:
at 6pm i went inside christie's while john went back home to brooklyn. i was kind of nervous, i'd never been to christie's before, and didn't know if i was underdressed for the occasion. the guard made me sign in and i stood there kind of confused and pointed inside, as if trying to say, "is it okay if i go in?" he motioned me to proceed. i was greeted by people i didn't know who urged me to take a look at the collection and to have some food, two tables worth of catered snacks, salmon slices, cheeses, crackers, fruits, and some expensive looking spreads. i tried to act casual and took a gander at the collection, not even really sure if i was in the right place. thank god jack and bruce showed up minutes later and greeted me. bruce gave me a copy of the collections catalog (i was supposed to take one when i came in, but i thought i had to pay for it, so i didn't grab one). it turns out that it wasn't really an auction after all, but it was just a showing of the collections, to garner interests (i think the correct word is "buzz") for the items. some of the stuff were really interesting, like a letter from thomas jefferson about a smallpox vaccination, the skull of phineas gage which was punctured by a 4 feet long steel rod yet he survived for nearly 2 decades before finally dying, x-rays of czar nicholas II and empress alexandra (in better times, year before they were murdered), and many first editions of medical books (including several "incunables" which are any books printed before 1501). there was a 20 minute talk and slideshow given by jack at 7pm, explaining some of the collections. after that, there was some more mingling. i went to go use the bathroom and took some personal delight in knowing that somebody who could afford a $20 million painting must've sat on this very same toilet.
after the showing, about a dozen of jack and bruce's friends and family took off via subway to gradisca (126 west 13th street, italian cuisine), jack and bruce themselves meeting us there later. there was bruce's brother dave and his sister-in-law sarah, michael the actor, jerry, bruce's penpal karen, and married couple bob and pam (pam "eustis" no less). jack received a round of applause when he finally showed up with bruce. we ordered, we ate (i had the lamb pasta), we conversated, the waitstaff even brought out a complimentary bottle of grappa (80 proof) for us to share at the end of the evening.
i followed karen and jerry to the subway station that would take me back to brooklyn (they had a laugh when i called called 6th avenue "6th street", everybody else went the other way), then took the F train to carroll street, where i successfully found john and deanna's apartment. while casually peering into the basement window of one of their neighbors, i saw a trio of girls wearing nothing more than t-shirts and panties sprawled on the floor of a living room, either bored or passed out on a summer night. ah new york city!