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NYC Weekend - a couple of museums worth a visit plus breakfast

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Nov 18th, 2013, 12:04 PM
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NYC Weekend - a couple of museums worth a visit plus breakfast

After too many quick jaunts to NYC just to hit up some museum exhibitions at haunts we'd already visited a million times before, we finally went to two we'd not been to, and I thought them worthy of a recommendation here as I'd not seen them mentioned here in recent memory.

Morgan Library and Museum - at 36th and Madison. This is a private collector's library with his own holdings but also revolving exhibitions from elsewhere. When we were here, there were fabulous exhibits on Edgar Allen Poe, Italian drawings by Tiepolo and Guardi, a da Vinci traveling exhibit from Turin (drawings including a study for Madonna on the Rocks and the Vitruvian man), JD Salinger letters and the Booker Prize. I think this is one of the museums I could keep going back to, because even while the permanent collections are interesting and the library is just gorgeous, all of the artifacts of the permanent collection on view as well as the traveling exhibitions seem to change quite frequently. Each exhibition was of comfortable size so that I wasn't at all museumed out by any of them; it was a delightful Sunday morning spent there. This is now a must on my NYC visit list.

Hispanic Society of America -- way uptown on West 155th street. We took a cab, which was 20 minutes and about $30 each way, but were well rewarded by this visit. The claim to fame is the Sorolla "Visions of Spain" in the museum's largest room...a room of 360 degrees of murals by the Spanish Impressionist Sorolla from when he was commissioned to paint representations of his visions of Spain. They are breathtaking. Upstairs there are a few more Sorollas, some handsome Velazquez, Goya, Ribera and the crème de la crème, gorgeous El Grecos. The Holy Family of his that is there is exquisite. We were also surprised to find two by John Singer Sargent there, one a copy from when he was copying Spanish masters at the Prado, and another Spanish Dance which is similar to El Jaleo at the Gardner here in Boston.

Finally for breakfast we tried Norma's at Le Parker Meridien. I'd seen this covered on the Food Network flipping through the channels a few weeks ago and reserved a spot based on that. While the menu is diverse and extremely creative, it is very high priced. I'm fine paying $25 for my designer French toast or Eggs Benedict (which was quite excellent and overly filling) but not $9 for OJ or $15 for a small pot of coffee or tea. I'd probably go again to try another entrée, but I'd stick to water or split a pot of coffee with my travel companion instead to keep the bill under $100 (with tip) for two people.
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Nov 19th, 2013, 05:29 AM
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Thanks for the ideas on museums. I'll skip the breakfast
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Nov 19th, 2013, 04:15 PM
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Thanks for the quick report. I love the Morgan Library and had a very nice lunch there once. You have piqued my interest: Hispanic Society of America. I'll look it up to see how nearby the trains are.

I won't have breakfast at Norma's but I'm still looking for breakfast suggestions.

Thanks.
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Nov 19th, 2013, 04:55 PM
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Glad to see you made it to both places. Note to others, the Hispanic Society is an easy trip on the #1 train and nearby Trinity Cemetery is worth a visit. Ed Koch is far from the only person buried there.
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Nov 19th, 2013, 06:14 PM
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We love the Morgan and it has 2 lovely spots to eat - The Cafe and The Dining Room.
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Nov 19th, 2013, 07:20 PM
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I too loved the Morgan and would readily go there again someday. But I am mainly posting to bookmark about the Hispanic Society....I had no idea it was there. I love El Greco, Ribera....Sorella I need to find out about. Thanks, Amy for your TR!
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Nov 19th, 2013, 07:22 PM
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SueNYC: thanks for the train tip.

Deb: we ate in The Cafe but The Dining Room looked really lovely.
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Nov 19th, 2013, 08:04 PM
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Thank you for writing such great reports about those museums. I am adding them both to my list when we visit in April.
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Nov 20th, 2013, 06:56 AM
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Thanks! Hope these help others.

Sorolla is a Spanish Impressionist. I "discovered" him at an exhibition in either Madrid or Rome, I forget where, several years back. He is compared to Monet in some circles, but his painting are definitely more people and ocean/beach oriented than Monet was. He is also compared often with John Singer Sargent, and in fact the exhibition I saw was a joint Sargent/Sorolla affair. I don't often stumble upon Sorolla here in the US, so this was a particularly great find for me. His house museum in Madrid is unbelievable. I've never seen an artists home and private collection like it; definitely a must-see for art crazies!
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Nov 20th, 2013, 06:37 PM
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For those of you now planning way uptown tours, you might want to add the United Palace of Culture to your lists: http://thestarryeye.typepad.com/expl...asablanca.html
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Nov 21st, 2013, 04:51 AM
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Wow - I would go just to see the El Greco and
Goya paintings - and will read more about Sorolla. Thanks. I always try to pay homage to the Frick when I am in the Apple.
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