Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NYC Trip Day #2: Upper East Side and Midtown

It's day 2 of my spring break extravaganza in NYC, and even though the rain still hasn't stopped (I leave Boston and the rain follows me. WHY???!) so we had a chill day today and strolled around the Met. AKA the Metropolitan Museum of Art AKA my favorite museum of all time. I know it's cliche, but there's something about the grandeur of that building, and the way that they customize the interior space to fit the collections that its displays that really gets me. Seeing Greek and Roman statues in a sunlight Greco-Roman hall just adds so much to the experience. I'm a total art history nerd, and it definitely has something to do with how much I love fashion. The connection between a twelfth century reliquary and New York Fashion Week might not always be that clear, but it does exist.

Just look at the gorgeous interior architecture! How much does that set the mood for the sculptures? And did I mention that at the Met you decide how much you pay to get in? You can spend a dollar and the entire day there. There's another lovely ceiling detail from the European painting collection, and one of my favorite pieces, a Byzantine reliquary. I love the brilliant contrast of colors and the simplicity of the shapes against the intricate details.

Medieval sculpture absolutely gets me. This sculpture is less than a foot wide, and yet it has so much grace and so much detail without looking crammed or overwhelming. The lines really remind me of Donna Karan, with all the fluid draping. I know it's hard to see, but the thin linear detailing on these compasses is stunning up close. They remind me of some of the thin, geometric prints that we saw on the Fall runways.

This is Klimpt's Mada Primavesi, one of my favorite paintings at the Met. His painting style is so direct and provocative, but still refined and sensual. The subject here, the little girl, and the pastel color palette seems to indicate that it should be a lovely child's portrait, but there's something so challenging about the way that she stands and stares right at the viewer that it's almost unsettling. I know that it's a little morbid to have a grave effigy here, but I thought it was such a striking visual. It's so serene and peaceful, but the lines of the coffin underneath give it a subversive darkness. It's a piece of medieval art, but the way that the contours of her form peek out from the draping and that the palm slouches across her body is so unexpectedly realistic.

Madewell Lightweight Knit Jacket, $78 at shopbop.com, Scoop Flannel Shirt, $34.50 on sale: Even though I finally have a leather jacket (FINALLY! seriously) I'm still looking around for affordable options for you guys. This Madewell jacket isn't leather, it's a knit, which cuts down on a little of the edge factor but makes it a million times more affordable. What I like about this jacket is that it actually looks like a leather jacket, even though it isn't, and since it's a knit, it'll be really easy to layer around. So this is the flannel shirt that I got on serious sale yesterday at Scoop, and I love it. I've wanted a flannel for a while, these colors really work for me, and it's a really comfy, worn-in cotton that feels like I've owned it forever.

Marc Jacobs Pomegranate Splash, $68 for 10 oz. at sephora.com, Rick Owens Blister Leather Biker Jacket, $2,070 at net-a-porter.com: I finally got to sniff the Pomegranate splash! So excited. I'm a little torn about it. It has an aquatic cleanness that reminds me of the Rain splash, but with a dark, juicy undertone, with perhaps a hint of leather, that makes it a lot sexier and more feminine than Rain. It dries down with a hint of fruity/floral notes. According to Sephora, the notes are pomegranate, mandarin blossom, bergamot, rhubarb, violet, musk, vanilla, amber, exotic fruit accord. It sounds a lot sweeter than it is. I'd want to try the Apple splash and the Biscotti splash before I purchased, but I really like this fragrance. It is a splash, so the lasting power sucks, but you do get a lot for the price. Unrelated, but at Barneys today I finally saw one of the Rick Owens leather jackets. I've always liked them, but never really understood the price point. And now I totally do. That is some fantastic leather, and the cut...I just died. On the fourth floor of Barneys.

On the way back to our hotel we stopped at Demel, an Austrian cafe in the basement of the Plaza Hotel. I actually found it on Yelp (loves it), and I wholly recommend it. Although it's in a well-light, marble shopping area, it feels intimate and salon-like, and extremely authentic. I went to Vienna a few years ago, and this cafe would not have been out of place on any street corner. Their hot chocolate was to die for, and they had an impressive array of Austrian pastries, including Sacher torte (SO GOOD). My tummy was very, very happy.

Image Sources:
Klimpt painting: metmuseum.com, Madewell jacket: shopbop.com, Marc Jacobs splash: sephora.com, Rick Owens jacket: net-a-porter.com, Demel cafe pics: yelp.com.

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