A Visit to the Whitney Museum

the iconic American Gothic

I’ve always loved visiting Austin and Kate in NY two to three times a year…to see them and take advantage of their proximity to Manhattan. Since baby Jude was born back in December I go visit them much more often to hug and spend time with them….and hopefully give A&K a night or two off from their parental duties. I’ve been pretty successful in going every two months since she was born (okay, I’ve been 4 times, but who’s counting?) and I hope I can continue as time goes on…I already have my July and October plans in the works. I’d be visiting them if they lived in the middle of nowhere…but they don’t…so I try to take advantage of all that NYC & Brooklyn have to offer by spending at least half a day going to a museum, play or just hanging out in my favorite city.

I happened to read in the NY Times that there was an exhibit of artist Grant Wood’s work at The Whitney Museum of American Art. You know him as the guy who did the iconic painting, American Gothic. I’ve also wanted to stop for coffee at The Laughing Man since seeing Hugh Jackman talk about it, and his foundation on the Sunday Morning Show. It’s just a tiny coffee shop in Tribeca with a little outdoor seating area (there’s another larger one on North End Ave), but I was going over that way, so thought I’d stop for a morning cup and a croissant. I had the turmeric latte and it was delish…and the weather was so gorgeous that I continued walking  up the west side to The Whitney.

It moved to this much more beautiful building, in my opinion, on the Hudson in May of 2015, from it’s older uglier building on 75th & Madison on the Upper East Side. This was my first visit!

I was so pleasantly surprised by the artwork of Grant Wood. American Gothic seems a bit serious, with somewhat muted colors, but I discovered that so much of his artwork is whimsical, with bright colors, polka dots and patterns. I loved it! Here’s a sample…

The detail, color and whimsy were so refreshing…and still so bright after all these years!

I was also fortunate enough to see some works by Edward Hopper, depictions of  scenes from his hometown, Nyack, NY & some Americana….

…and one of my favorites…a beautiful, colorful, piece by Henry Koerner called Mirror of Life. As you walk by, at first glance it looks kind of fun, colorful and silly, but looking more closely it is a depiction of his life. He was Jewish, born in Vienna, fled to Italy and then ultimately America, finding out later that his parents, who remained in Vienna during WWII perished in concentration camps.

I heard some people talking about these next “works of art” dismissing them, because…. REALLY??? Okay, anyone could probably do this, but, as a traveler, I loved what these two displays evoked…traveling, vintage luggage and a life of adventure….

I so want some of these pieces!!

Lastly, I have to mention that The Whitney’s location is great, at the base of the high-lineright on the Hudson with beautiful floor to ceiling windows on couple of the floors. I decided to have a quick bite for lunch before heading back to Brooklyn and opted for the 8th floor Studio Cafe  (a Danny Meyer restaurant)..with, again, beautiful view of the Hudson. I opted for the popcorn chicken with the herbed buttermilk…basically a really good ranch dressing…and it was soooo good. I happened to have tasted the, much hyped, fried chicken strips from David Chang’s place, FUKU the day before at EEEEEatsCon in LA and was not impressed at all. The popcorn chicken at The Whitney was so much better, crunchy, with the perfect amount of spice. I’m looking forward to going back some time at sunset, to enjoy a glass of wine, some of these delectable snacks and the beautiful view.

I still had about half an hour to walk along the high line, taking in the view, the ambiance and reading my book. I enjoyed the Whitney so much that I became a member and can go for free, avoiding the lines, whenever I’m in NY…with reciprocal benefits at a few other museums around the country. YAY!!! I’m looking forward to whatever their next exhibit might be!!

….and then I got to go back to Brooklyn and pick up this adorable little girl from daycare!!

…then pizza Monday on a Brooklyn rooftop with these awesome people…

….another great NY adventure with the people I love!

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

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