Beryl’s Byways Continued

Sharing my experience of New York became a unique family opportunity with a visit from my daughter, Victoria, and granddaughter, Tina! I loved it!

Going to the show, “The Cottage”, was high on our list early on. We were especially delighted to recognize Eric McCormack (Will on “Will and Grace”) and Alex Moffat from “Saturday Night Live” as two of the main characters. It was an especially fun experience to hear their British accents delivering really clever lines and perfectly timed actions all brilliantly directed by Jason Alexander (former George Costanza on “Seinfeld”).

Enjoying New York cheesecake after the show seemed to be the perfect way to end our first day! Food and New York seem to be reflect one another in the vast range of options. Over the course of only two days, in addition to the cheesecake experience, we enjoyed deli food, pizza, croissants from a nearby French bakery in my neighborhood plus the very high-end (pun intended!) delicacies at The Peak restaurant on the 101st floor of Hudson Yards!

One of the relatively new and exciting experiences of New York is the multipurpose Hudson Yards building, a tribute to the significance of the combination of money and imagination. It’s the largest private real estate development in the United States and the largest development in New York since Rockefeller Center. Originally rail yards along the Hudson River, visionary thinking turned this area of another era into a statement that consists of unique apartments, a luxury hotel, office towers, and an upscale mall that are all literally topped off with “The Peak” restaurant and “The Edge”! We were in awe!

The deck of The Edge, at a height of 1,100 feet, or the 100th floor of the Hudson Yards building is the world’s second-highest outdoor observation platform with a part of the floor transparent. We had to go out on The Edge and take a selfie. The ground seems quite far away on a cloudy day! Even on a sunny day, it is!

The three-minute video of the Peak Restaurant describes the place that served as a memorable lunch, 101 floors up!

In addition to our experiences of food and adventure, we also developed the following realizations:

Given that there’s so much to do and see in New York, life is wonderful here. It’s also hard! That’s just a reality since accessing possibilities can be challenging to access and expensive to experience.

All of us agreed, however, that people are surprisingly friendly and helpful! I know that sounds counter to what is typically reported, but it was absolutely true for the three of us. It’s also very true for me on a daily basis!

The competition for resources (time, energy, money, courage, etc.), means that everything requires both discipline and preparation.

The high energy that distinguishes people here is a component of their high expectations. Interestingly, they also enjoy high returns! I’m not sure that I’ve encountered another place where people have higher expectations or subsequent returns!

I don’t know why this conclusion seems relevant, but I’m reminded that ultimately, the best in us is at its best when it serves the rest of us!

If you are still reading… I’m finally focusing on the Ronald S. Lauder’s “Neue Galerie”.

Dedicated to German and Austrian Art, as you may already know, a major feature of this museum is the painting by Klimt called “Woman in Gold”. You may have already seen the movie of the same name. I recently re-watched it to refresh my memory of the historically significant history of the painting and the determined effort to reclaim it. This painting is only one of the several by Klimt that, for me, serve as unique invitations to learn about the specific and significant impact of the war on individuals.

Tina, Victoria and Beryl with “The Woman in Gold”

It was especially fortunate for me that a Docent arrived about the same time as I did in the gallery with the Klimt paintings and provided wonderful commentary. I don’t remember it all but found this YouTube video which provides helpful background:

In addition to period objects and relevant furniture, there’s also a Bösendorfer grand piano near the entrance of the Café that is used for all cabaret, chamber, and classical music performances that focus on honoring the vibrant German and Austrian theatrical culture of the 1890s to 1930s, none of which I have not sampled…yet! For more information and an image of the building itself, check the website

I was especially interested to learn (from the website) about the purposeful partnership that resulted in this museum given their mutual Austrian heritage. Art dealer and museum exhibition organizer Serge Sabarsky and businessman, philanthropist, and art collector Ronald S. Lauder shared a passionate commitment to Modern German and Austrian art and dreamed of opening a museum to showcase the finest examples of this work. After Sabarsky died in 1996, Lauder carried on the vision of creating Neue Galerie New York as a tribute to his friend. The on-site restaurant bears his name.

More Museum Meanderings

Metropolitan Museum of Art

This impressive museum is overwhelming to me. It’s so massive! I’ve visited four times already and intend to go a few more times just to experience the richness and variety. I can get lost just trying to leave!

My recent excursion there was focused on the impressive Manet/Degas Exhibit. As stated eloquently by Max Hollein, Director, “Our collaboration with the Musée d’Orsay brings together the work of two gigantic trailblazers of Modernism in a way that you may never experience again, with over half of the 160 works on display coming from our two unparalleled collections of the artists’ work. I could genuinely go on and on about this once-in-a-lifetime show….”

Image from Museum promo

It was especially interesting to me to view the paintings of Degas from his visit with his family in New Orleans in 1872. It was the time of Reconstruction, and it was the city’s process of re-focusing itself that resulted in the beginning of the Krewe of Rex and other krewes that soon followed to celebrate Mardi Gras in style, which continues to this day!

Many of you will already know about the ongoing homage to Degas via the Café Degas on Esplanade. A classic French Bistro where I’ve enjoyed several delightful meals with family and friends.

After the intensity of the museum, it was a delight to “do tea” at the King ‘s Carriage House. Tina took the photo but also shared the delight of our “proper tea”.

The yellow walls reminded Victoria of a traditional practice in England. It was “de rigueur” for wealthy family members to enjoy “grand tours” of the “continent”. Of course, they needed to provide evidence of their travels and a room painted yellow was the perfect setting to display blue and white plates which were not available in England. I love such background for a “background” that could easily be missed.

Museum of Natural History

Another delightful experience with Scott recently is the impressive Richard Gilder Center which only recently opened. The new entrance to the museum is described as a “cavernous, almost Gaudi-like architecture”. It suggested prehistoric to me.

The visionary thinking that advances a museum is in full evidence in this campus that began in 1869 (just after the Civil War!) and has a dual mission of research and education. Impressively, it includes 20 buildings and spans four city blocks!

Friends had suggested that I would visit the “Beryls” in the extensive gem collection. The exhibit includes a “behemoth beryl” stone as well as smaller versions of the stone shown side-by-side photos below.

 


Beryl B. Byles, MBA University of Dallas, worked as an Executive Coach, specializing in leadership development for senior executives in large corporations, CEO’s of small to mid-sized companies and leaders of non-profit enterprises, challenging and supporting her clients in making growth oriented choices.  She wrote a professional memoir called Authentic Leadership: An Inside Job.  

Beryl ‘s continuing explorations of what life has to offer epitomize what OLLI-USF is all about.

3 Replies to “Beryl’s Byways Continued”

  1. I haven’t commented before, however, your enthusiasm, energy, and exploritory verve just has to be commented on. You are a dreamer, a doer and a seeker. Wow to you!! Also, of course, how I love NYC and am going up next week to introduce my 9 yo grandson to the “big apple”. It’s bound to blow his mind. So much to see and do.
    Keep on truckin’ Beryl….I’m following you every step of the way.

  2. Given that I lived in Manhattan for 44 years, it’s not surprising I enjoyed your informative and lively piece–nicely illustrated too. Made me homesick for my toddling town. Like Sara Cohen, I’m behind you the whole way.

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