Yesterday morning I was a good little patient with an ulcer and dutifully took specimens to the lab.  I followed the directions to the letter in those specimen preparations and it was not fun.  Even the cats were disgusted.  It took a good half hour to do everything.  The technicians drew my blood and were fabulous…one stick even in my blubbery body.  However, the specimens were rejected, after all the work.  I will not elaborate.  It was not fun.  I then ran to the pharmacy only to find out the prescribed medicine, a “big gun” as my physician put it, was declined by the insurance company.  The pharmacist on duty never called me.  His stomach is not hurting him.  I am relatively sure the insurance company is feeling well.  All that in one hour.  The attitude I take to this is:  we got all the “bad” of the day out of the way right up front.  @#%&*! (I did cuss like a longshoreman in the privacy of my car. There can be no denying that.)

That said, we all met back at the homestead and went on our merry way to New York City.  About thirty minutes into the drive my husband gasped.  He left the etickets to the Statue of Liberty at home.  You can only imagine the deathglare he got from me.  Then he realized he had saved the email on his phone, and again all was well with the world.  Lucky for Gary.  😐  The day was beautiful.  The sun shone brightly.  The temperatures were in the high 60’s to low 70’s all day.  It was one of those inspiring Spring days we dream of all through the dreary Winter.  We arrived without further incident, found parking nearby (blessedly), and made it to the ferry with ease…fun, even.  Here is what it looks like when you arrive at the island and exit the ferry:

Arriving at the Statue of Liberty

We were three of only 240 people per day who permitted to climb to Lady Liberty’s crown.  We reported into the ranger station for our special yellow wristbands.  These are just magical.  Whenever we ran into a park ranger, we held up our wrists and they smiled, “Oh, yellow wristbands, you have a great day ahead of you!”  and we did!  When you do this climb to the crown (354 stairs one way UP) all your possessions must be parked in a locker.  The only way to get in and out of the locker is with the fingerprint of the person who opens the locker.  My husband liked that…he said we couldn’t ditch him that way.  Just imagine that concept!  Sheesh!  Here is where the climb begins:

You are only permitted past those barriers by the stairway with the special wristband.

And now we will exit narrative and continue in photoessay:

The white tent is where the lockers are located.

looking up inside the Statue

Here we are at the Crown overlooking the Harbour.

View of the harbour and coastline of the Island from the Crown...I love the gradations of color and texture from the water into the land.

another view from the Crown

one more family photo

detail view of Lady Liberty

pier at the island

lacework of branches

a great door photo for my friend, Lourdes!

in the museum after the hike

an image in the museum

another image in the museum

one of the former torches on display

a gift to Victor Hugo when he visited the Statue of Liberty before its dedication in 1886. He was quoted as saying: "Form to the sculptor is all and yet nothing. It is nothing without the spirit; with the idea it is everything."

The Tablet in Lady Liberty's hand.

My husband and son skipping, yes, really skipping, on to the next phase of the day's adventure...the Apple Store (all things Mac).

The Apple store we visited on 14th street, near Chelsea Market, was just crazy great.  It was pristine and full of people but not crowded in feeling.  Wonderfully, there were many people with their dogs, who were all incredibly well-behaved.  There of course, was one dog in particular who stole my heart.  He must have been a rescue, because he had healed scars on his hindquarters, but his heart was completely golden.  I am sure his owner thought I was another total nutcase…I don’t care.  Thankfully, after our little public lovefest, I had wipes in my purse because I had a strong Eau de Dog Saliva about my person.

The Apple Store?  Oh, it was awesome too.  Brian and I found new covers for our ipods and we all three dreamed our technodreams.  I especially loved the spiral glass staircase and the open architecture of the space.  From there we walked to dinner at Del Posto.

Mario Batali's restaurant: Del Posto

The chef here is Mark Ladner, and he is an exquisite genius, along with the spectacular staff.  We are fans of Food Network at home, especially all things “Iron Chef”, “Chopped”, and Alton Brown.  Of the iron chefs, I have to confess that Mario Batali is my favorite.  Whenever I have watched him create on Iron Chef, he does so with ease and complete enjoyment of the event.  He may perspire but there is never an appearance of stress.  That said, after dinner last night, my heart now belongs to Chef Mark Ladner.  I have meditated for the last twenty or so hours on how to describe the experience…and this is me with an intense ulcer.  I have not eaten anything besides yogurt and oatmeal for about three weeks now.  Thank the powers that be for two days of Nexium.  But I digress.

From the moment we approached the door and were greeted by a genteel doorman, it was a delight.  We checked our coats and were able to linger a few moments in the entranceway before the hostess greeted us.  There was a lot to take in.  The building takes up 24,000 square feet.  There are balconies upstairs for dining and a roomy atmosphere on the main floor.  We were a few minutes early, so we waited on comfy seats in the bar area…but just a quick rest.  The staff who took care of us…well, it was like having Alton Brown right there describing each ingredient with lush detail.  I never wanted to leave.  I wanted to stay there and eat myself silly.  But that would be a discredit to the meal that was to follow.  This was not eating to fill your stomach and get back to other things.  This meal had the same qualities as one of the Master’s great paintings, like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”.  If you are a musician, then consider anything by Mozart or one of Bach’s intricately interwoven fugues.  You are a knitter?  Think of the elegant architechture of Hanne Falkenberg’s sweaters or Eugen Beugler’s lace pattern.  Think of the work of Herbert Niebling.  The meal, and to use the word meal is understatement, was flawless…not just the food, the staff, the place, the whole evening.  My 12 year old son understood.  He tried things I would never expect a 12 year old to try.  He loved every minute of the evening.

When I got home later, I read the most recent review by the New York Times.  I am sure these reviews are very meaningful to some people.  I never like to thoughtload myself.  I have absolutely no idea why this restaurant was not given 5 stars.  They are magical in every way.  I will be looking for excuses to return at every opportunity.  Brian and I have given up eating lunch out so we can save money for our next trip to this Oasis from the Mundane.  Thank you Del Posto…you really are “the place”.

This is not my photo, but one I found on Flickr some time ago.  This is how I rode home last night…too tired to read or knit.  It was wonderful.  Take care and have a restful Sunday!  Spring is SO CLOSE…I heard birds singing outside my window this morning!  loads of love, light and laughter always,  Mary Ellen and Summit Yarn