August 3, The Bean and I board an early morning train at Union Station, pick My Mommy up when we hit 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, and will be lunching at The Plaza (The Bean's request) by midday.
You see, I have 2 Elsas, and there's an Elsa The Bean needs to learn more about. In 2004, when the Shocking! exhibition was at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, My Mommy and I stood in lines to trapse through. It was pretty amazing to see the throngs for a woman who, at the time, I thought was essentially unknown to the average person.
George Hoyningen-Huené (Russian, 1900–1968), Portrait of Elsa Schiaparelli, 1932, Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hoyningen-Huené/Vogue; © Condé Nast
So now that the Met has Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations, which at its simplest juxtaposes the lives and works of Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, I consider it, quite frankly, my motherly and daughterly duty to take my 2 Elsas. (The Bean is named after My Mommy, and 2 more generations of Elsas.)
Surreal Gallery View, Impossible Conversations, Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I will make sure to explain to her the significance of the exhibition, the perspective of these two women. Others may scoff at me attempting this, but 20 bucks says a 5 year old has a more natural inclination to appreciate the surrealism that binds these two artists and businesswomen than most 35 year olds. Pardon me for getting on a soapbox, but there is always a way to describe something to a young person. There is always a way - we just have to find the words and let our brains and hearts relax for a minute to put ourselves in their shoes - to rephrase what we assume are complex concepts into terms that make more than perfect sense to a child.
Exotic Body Gallery View, Impossible Conversations, Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
On our first trip to NYC, I took The Bean to see the Daphne Guinness exhibit at the Museum at FIT. It was stunning. She sketched. We wandered the streets of Chelsea, traipsed down 5th Avenue, and lunched at The Plaza.
The Bean sketches everywhere. Even in the cab on the way to Daphne Guinness. That look like any island you know?
She was hooked.
I can't wait to see the exhibit and share the thoughtful beauty and creativity. It's important to me that we develop that in her. I can't wait to watch her sketch in her New York sketchbook. She has her own pink moleskine dedicated just to one city. We'll charge up her camera, make sure we have lots of room on all of our SD cards, and snap loads and loads of pictures of our excursions.
Our basic plan (which we will, as before, tweet - and now Instagram - all the way, with #BeanintheBigApple) is:
Friday, we'll arrive midday, drop our bags in our Chelsea hotel, then travel uptown to lunch at The Plaza. After lunch, we'll jump over to the Met for Impossible Conversations. And, I'm sure, spend too much money at the gift shop. Friday dinner is up in the air. Traveling with a 5 year old, allbeit one who travels happily, means that we need to stay flexible. She's also as happy with a sidewalk hot dog as she is with a Fancy Dinner, so we could use that to our advantage.
On Saturday it'll be hard not to go back to the Museum at FIT again, especially since we're staying right around the corner. But for Saturday, the only thing we'll have planned, I think, is that one of our meals will be at Lombardi's, one of those places billed as The Best Pizza in the World, and one that happens to be the oldest in New York. H and I discovered it (and adding dollops of creamy, fresh ricotta to our pizza) on our honeymoon. The Bean loves pizza.
Our possible BeanintheBigApple plan on Google Maps (love, love, love being able to customize the little pins!)
Maybe we'll take a look at a show. Maybe we'll have dinner with an Iron Chef. Maybe we'll head back uptown to the American Museum of Natural History. Dinosaurs are always a hit, after all.
Ice cream at Chelsea Market was a Huge Hit on our first BeanintheBigApple trip
Sunday we'll play by ear as well, maybe grabbing a brunchy breakfast at Chelsea Market (or get ice cream again?), maybe another museumy stop before we head home on the train. And then you can all comfort me as The Bean goes off on her first Overnight Trip, hopping off in Philadelphia with My Mommy to stay with Grandmom and Pop-Pop for a few nights. When you figure out how to stop little girls from growing up, will you please let me know?
For those who'd like to sneak in a trip to NYC for the exhibition, Impossible Conversations, it runs through August 19th. Even though I haven't seen it yet, I'll wager it's worth a day of playing hooky and the Amtrak or Bolt Bus fare from DC to NYC.