I awoke to my last morning in New York frazzled about what little time was left and what to do with it. It then felt like I moved in slow motion as I began the packing process and readied myself for the day. At breakfast I had my map and guide book out, my brain flicking through ideas of what to do out of the great list of options and time kept ticking away. In the end I decided to go with my original plan from days earlier, to visit the art galleries in Chelsea and walk a bit of the High Line. I went by subway (Grand Central to Union Square and then across to 8th Avenue on the 14th Street L Line).
The High Line used to be a railway for trains transporting freight to and from Manhattan’s industrial centre but due to the increasing use of trucks for such matters, the High Line ceased being used in 1980. After much campaigning, it became a public open space, including gardens and scenic viewpoints (further history). What they have done here is superb. My photos do not do it justice. As my guide book recommended, I bought gelato at the market stalls but then had trouble juggling money and ice cream to buy a T-shirt.
Once I had walked from 14th Street to 23rd of the High Line I descended to the Chelsea art gallery district. Some of my favourites were:
- Yell-o exhibition at C24 Gallery, in particular Ekaterina Panikanova’s work (I wanted to buy this one) and Nick Gentry‘s use of small floppy-disks as a canvas and part of the portraits themselves.
- Banksy and Mr. Brainwash at the Taglialatella Gallery
- Beth Carter at Axelle Gallerie - I would buy Minotaur Reading if money wasn’t an issue
I became rather melancholic as I wandered through the galleries. I think it started with viewing Napalm by Banksy and then every piece of art that depicted sadness resonated with me. The sadness became more intense as I ran out of time, even after deciding a cab back to the hotel instead of the subway would buy me more time. I didn’t want to leave New York quite yet.
I checked out of the hotel with 5 minutes to spare and met Melissa for lunch at Pera, another gourmet delight, and soon after I headed to JFK as President Obama was arriving. The trip home was uneventful with QANTAS failing to live up to the standard it set on the trip over. I mean, someone occupied the seat next to me the whole way, the trip was mostly in darkness (but flying across Sydney early in the morning was good) and even the food wasn’t as palatable. I’m glad to be home but I hope to return to New York one day to finish what I started.