Vivarium. Planetarium. Sneakerarium

We’ve learnt things about New York and I guess that carries over to the US. Important things, like the light switches work backwards – down is off and up is on; like the strange predilection Americans seem to have for toilet bowls filled to the brim with water, and; like 5¢ coins are larger than 10¢ ones. It’s all relative, I know, but for any readers intent upon coming down to Australia you can now not say that you weren’t warned, at least about light switches. We’ve learnt about the NY subway too, finally able to work out changes and stations without (too much) reference to apps. We subwayed our way to the American Museum of Natural History in the midday’s early light and took advantage of some comps that our kind host had left for us, courtesy of her role in the preparation of an exhibition.

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We couldn’t help but think of ‘that’ movie as we entered the dimly lit hall of North American mammals in their glass cases and immaculately presented dioramas and we spent time in a number of similarly dimly lit rooms filled with all manner of fascinatia (now there’s a word I’m claiming!). The history of mankind; the native Americans of the North East; the hall of minerals and meteorites, and so much more. We also visited the hot and steamy Butterfly Conservatory, with over 500 of the little flutterers flitting about, though ‘little’ is a bit insulting to some of the beefier inhabitants.

20131105-232331.jpg Aprés flutterbys we found our way to the Hayden Planetarium inside an awesome, spherical building for a program entitled, The Dark Universe, narrated by the equally awesomely named, Neil deGrasse Tyson, who Number Big Son reliably informs me has a YouTube channel and who the electronic interwebz reliably inform me is the Director of the Planetarium. Rows of seats in-the-round leaning backwards facing up to the huge domed screen provided a perfect opportunity to sleep, BUT, the show was entirely wonderful and sleep was never an option, despite the warm, dark room and the comfy recliners and the soothing music.

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We left the museum some 5 hours after we entered and made our way back down the island to Broadway and Prince for a quick breath of Dean and Deluca’s deli atmosphere and an early evening coffee, before Number Big Son collared another pair of sneakers and we a few items for Number Young Son. Pitch black by now and streets and subways crowded with commuters, we naturally chose this time to wrangle our parcels and tired limbs onto the J train and home to Marcy Ave. Sadly, our home-cooked dinner plans were ruined by Mr Piña’s lack of chicken (chicken shipment hadn’t arrived) and we reverted instead to the pasta back-up. Two days left in this town and so much to see and do…

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