Yes indeedy, today was a full day. My mom came into town yesterday to spend some time with me, and we managed to accomplish a lot today.
First, we spent the morning shopping at the Union Square Farmer's Market, which is the only really good one of it's type here in the City. There are other little markets throughout the city, but this one in Union Square is where I've heard all the chefs of the city shop. I can see why. There is a big variety of wonderful looking fruits and vegetables, and it's all reasonable. I was also able to get some farm fresh eggs and rustic organic bread. I will definitely be going back there for produce. I made a really yummy and slightly bizarre peach salsa thing with the ripe peaches and fresh basil from the market, and put it on top of toasted pieces of the rustic bread slathered with warm brie. It was pretty good.
The next stop on today's whirlwind tour was the Neue Gallerie, a museum on the Upper East Side with German and Austrian Expressionist Art. It is my friend Kim's favorite place in the City, and it was ridiculous I had never been there. Well, now I've at least been in the cafe, but I still haven't seen the Art. We went to the cafe first because it was lunch time and we were hungry. While we were there listening to a live pianist play lovely jazz and classical pieces, a customer having a coffee who turned out to be an opera singer got up and sang with the pianist, randomly. The pianist was playing Summertime, and I guess this girl, who seemed like maybe a student, just wanted to sing along, so she did. Afterwards she was handing out her card to the manager and seemed to be generally schmoozing. I don't know if she got herself a gig out of it, I found the whole thing really bizarre. She was dressed in flip flops and a tank top, although she did have a lovely voice. After we left the cafe we discovered that half of the museum is currently closed, so I decided to return in a week when the whole thing reopens, so I can see the entire collection at once.
This change in plans led us to have a few hours with nothing to do. We started walking towards the park, and my mom had the idea that we could rent bicycles and ride around the park. But once we got to the bike rental place it had closed - but the boat rental was still open. I hadn't ever rented one of those rowboats on the Central Park lake before, so I figured it would be a fun thing to try. It wasn't. It was hot and humid, and rowing was harder than I thought it would be. But you know what was even harder than rowing? Steering. I really suck at steering a rowboat. The thing that made the whole experience completely bizarre was the fact that a bunch of playboy bunnies who apparently have a reality tv show called "The girls next door" were right in front of us in line for the boat rentals with their entire tv crew. At first I thought "what are all these porn actresses doing with a tv crew in Central Park?" until the russian guy renting the boats informed me "You know, The Girls Next Door! They live with Hef!" He seemed delighted by their presence (go figure). We waited while they climbed into their rowboats with their platform heels, spray tans and bleached blonde hair, and we were next. The entire time I was in the lake I kept nearly running into one of their boats, so much so that when we finished our hour rental, one of the producers asked for our signature so they could use our images on tv. I told them just to blur my face out - I don't want to appear on that particular show, thank you. As I was getting out of the boat I twisted my knee in a weird way, and my mom had to help me hobble out of the park and into a cab. Now my shoulders, arms, and back really hurt from all that rowing (I was absolutely doing it wrong and making it much harder for myself), but at least I'm looking forward to seeing my blurry face and very bad boat steering skills on the Playboy channel.