Last week, John and two others in our office had business in New York so the three wives went along for fun and a bit of sightseeing while the husbands were obligated to an all-day meeting.
Most of Tuesday was a travel day, and I was stunned that La Guardia airport looked pretty much like it did in 1986 when I was last there. There was a lot of construction in the vicinity, but 30 years of no visible significant improvements was a surprise.
Tuesday night there was a dinner at the Yacht Club. Now, when I hear the word yacht, I think large boats, water, piers, etc., but it was a place in downtown Manhattan. The dining room was grand, with a high ceiling featuring a back lit Tiffany-style stained glass inset, lots of ornately carved wood trim and scale model boats on the walls: very 1940s.
The strict rule against cell phone use inside the club was a welcome change of pace; how refreshing to converse with people who weren’t distracted by an inanimate object that too many people value as much as their own kidneys. We enjoyed visiting with a couple from Canada and several people from Denver.
The highlight of the trip was on Wednesday morning when we walked over to the Downton Abbey exhibit.
We were especially excited because the exhibit, scheduled to end April 1, had been extended, so we were able to get tickets for a 10:00 a.m. admission. After a leisurely breakfast at a bustling little cafe, it was only a 5-minute walk to the exhibit.
While the exhibit featured various rooms in the Crawley home like the dining room, Mrs. Patmore’s kitchen, Mr. Carson’s office, etc., I had been especially looking forward to seeing all the clothing and the exhibit did not disappoint; indeed, I have 150 pictures to go back through and study. I tried to get one good photo each of the entire outfit and then zoom in for a closeup or two of the fabrics, trims, beading, overlays, pleats, tucks, necklines, hemlines, collars, cuffs, buttons, buttonholes, belts, hats, gloves and shoes.
What a marvel the workmanship is on these beautiful bound buttonholes on this navy and black dress worn by Lady Mary.
It was all just wonderful, and I lingered at every one, trying to soak in every last detail. As I was admiring all the fashions, I thought of my mom and wished she had been there with me; she would have loved it.
In the afternoon, we walked to the Frick museum to see an amazing collection of paintings, Chinese porcelain, sculptures and furniture inside the former residence of American industrialist Henry Clay Frick, who made his fortune in steel.
Wednesday evening, there was another dinner, followed by, for guests who were interested, seats at the Imperial Theater for the Broadway show Carousel.
The theater was pretty inside, and while the seats were comfortable, there was less leg room than you would encounter in the coach section of an airplane, so at least two people in our group were feeling pretty cramped by the second act.
Still, a New York theater experience is quite special, and John and I were grateful for it.
It’s been nine or 10 years since John and I have taken a real vacation and after this trip, we both realized that we’d better start planning other getaways. We have some ideas….