Monday, September 15, 2008

The Cloisters

I can't even begin to describe how beautiful the Cloisters Museum is. It's north of Manhattan, on 190th Street, and when you go there it feels like you're in a different country, like the south of France. The grounds are breathtaking, and the building itself houses several ancient chapels, art, and stained glass dating back to the 13th century. Come take a trip to this peaceful place with us through my photos!

I think what I love so much about this religious art and iconography is that it is both beautiful and eerie. It symbolizes both the hope and fear of generations of people who are now long gone. Like a cemetery, the Cloisters feels sacred, quiet, and dense with history. 

The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is such a magical place to be. Burke and I went there soon after we moved here, in the middle of all the stress of unpacking, to kinda remind ourselves why we're here. It was great. Even though I've been there before, I always forget how stunning the bridge is until I'm actually there. Plus it's large--so large that you feel like you're miniature when you're walking through its archways.

As you can see, it offers crazy awesome views of the city at all angles. Also, as you walk on the pedestrian part, you're above the part where cars drive (hence my photos of headlights). The bridge seems to buzz with activity, travel, and life.

The purpose of Gothic architecture is/was to awe and humble people with its intimidating beauty and size. (In cathedrals, the idea was to make the worshippers feel like they were seeing god.) I definitely sense that when I am at the Brooklyn Bridge. 

Riverside Park

Just half a block to the west of us is Riverside Park, a small park that has a jogging trail, a playground, and benches. It's a great place for strolling or throwing the Frisbee around. Our entrance to the park has this statue.

We walked around one night, and I took the following pictures.

Immediately west of this park, through the pedestrian tunnel pictured above, is water! It's the Hudson River, beyond which is New Jersey. Here's the view from the water's edge.

The Inside of Our Apartment

We finally got some furniture, so I took some photos of the inside of the apartment. Here's the living room.

(Notice the fan in the window. We don't have any air conditioning! And even though we're not in super-hot Texas anymore, it's still been really uncomfortable at times without AC. It gets humid here, and our windows face south, so the afternoon sun really heats up the place.)
Here's the bedroom.

We got a king-size bed, and it actually fits in the room! 
I didn't take a photo of the kitchen, which is off the living room. It's really small (could be a closet), so you're not missing much. Also, we have a small table and two chairs next to it, on the wall across from the couch. We just got those yesterday, so they weren't there when I took the photos. 
So there's our NY home! It's not huge, but it seems like just enough space for the two of us.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Welcome to New York!

We live on the Upper West Side, a kind of "Woody-Allen-esque" part of New York. We are on West 76th Street near Riverside Drive. Here's a shot of me on the doorstep of our apartment.
And here's a shot of Burke out front too (no comment).
Our street is a quiet, residential one-way street. It's free from the usual New York noises, like sirens and traffic. The apartment itself is a one-bedroom on the fourth floor--that means we have to walk up 3 flights of stairs to get to it! I better get in shape after all this walking and stair-climbing.