88. New York City (Day Eight)
A quick saunter through Central Park landed me at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met). It. Was. Massive. Like the Lourve, it was almost impossible to see it all in one visit. I spent three and a half hours there but only saw a small fraction of it. Of course the drawcard for me was the Impressionists. Three rooms dedicated solely to Monet: I was in heaven. Van Gogh, Degas, Hokusai, plus many more unknown modern artists - it was all fantastic. I love New York.
I grabbed a bagel for lunch and continued on my adventures around Central Park, exploring unseen areas. The park was like the Met - it kept going and going and going, with no end in sight. The row boats on the lake created a typically quaint, summer's day scene, which could have been taken straight out of an Impressionist's painting.
At night we headed to the Smoke Jazz Club, a renowned music venue on the Upper West Side. The nine-piece band filled the small stage, and their upbeat music filled the small room. The several solo performances had the audience clapping and cheering, everyone getting involved in the intimate environment. Overall it was an outstanding set, and it was another tick on our bucket list: jazz in New York.
For a late dinner we stopped in at a classic American diner. It was so stereotypical that I was expecting a TV cast to be filming inside. On the menu was cheesecake - I couldn't leave New York without trying a New York cheesecake. I wish I didn't order it. This rundown diner was probably not going to serve the best cheesecake going around, but I had an expectation of what it would be like in my head and that expectation was nowhere near met. The main issue was the base. I love the base, full of crumbly, biscuity goodness. This cheesecake had a sponge cake base. Never had I eaten a cheesecake with a sponge cake base, and never do I want to again. It didn't even taste like cheesecake. I ended up heading to a salad bar for dinner to remove the awfulness from my taste buds.
On our way to the hotel we were stopped in the street due to a movie being filmed. Three guys in balaclavas were running up and down the road, all action and no words. This was repeated over and over again, while we stood around waiting to move past. It was entertaining for a couple of minutes, but after that I became bored. Jazz, cheesecake, feeling more annoyed than awestruck by movie sets - I was turning into a proper New Yorker.