These Bergdorf windows know how to get a city into the Charles James spirit. Seriously, you should see the masses of people who pool around the windows to gawk, take selfies and momentarily get lost into the glamorous world of Charles James… These windows, designed in honor of the Met exhibit, are nothing short of brilliant. Which brings me to the art of window design and the respect I have for those who conceptualize and execute on this level…
Side story: A super creative high school friend of mine (we’ll call her “Jen”) once designed windows for Saks in Boston. She was actually hired to be a Christmas Elf, but conned her way into doing windows. Somewhere laced into this story is a lesson on the benefits of excellent people skills and a good sense of humor. Before she knew it, she was hanging out in prop rooms that were FILLED with everything from gold reindeer to flamingos, creating 20 ft palm trees for tropical windows while a blizzard deliberately delivered the goods of winter outside. She was designing windows and dancing to “Groove Is In The Heart”. Only Jen could’ve pulled this off, and to fast forward the clock, her whimsical creativity extends to her hip house decor today. You’ve either got it or you don’t…
Back to THESE windows… they sealed the deal and sent me to the exhibit. I would imagine they sent thousands to the exhibit. It is a beautiful walk from Bergdorf Goodman, in the heart of Midtown, to the Met. I’m going to take you with me….
We have only just crossed the street, and here we are at the glorious fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel. The Sherry Netherland building is to the left and the GM building to the right.
Check out the citibikes in Manhattan! I’d rather walk on this beautiful day than play frogger with the cab drivers…
Seems like I am going slow because I have only just crossed the street again, to point out another wonderful thing about Midtown: Cipriani.
The route to the Met is a straight shot down 5th Avenue, along Central Park. The sea of yellow cabs is one of those “only in New York City” things that I love.
And the details of the architecture: the doors, the windows, the iron work – these side streets along the way to the museum are loaded with places I would love to live. I like to think I am “house hunting” as I walk through this neighborhood. I don’t ask for much… this one would do.
The gardens! Some of them are up high. This one is an incredible piece of real-estate, just up one of the side streets on the way to the Met.
always look up… the details are everywhere.
We have arrived to Art Mecca. The Met is on my short list of greatest museums ever. I was blessed to be given the type of education that mandated field trips to this very museum. Funny to think that “I HAD to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art” for Art History Class. Lucky me. Our elegant teacher, Alice Delana, was so forward thinking to work museum visits into the curriculum, and her tours truly brought the art to life. Anybody who took her legendary classes has her to thank for a life long appreciation of art. Her enthusiasm is so contagious that I went on to be an Art History major in college… quite useful for Interior Design.
The Met is a wealth of culture and history. On the way to any exhibit, one meanders through galleries like the one above. This one sends me into orbit, I could get sidetracked here for hours. I am currently reading a book about the rich and colorful history of this museum, wishing I had read it before the visit: Rogue’s Gallery by Michael Gross – I highly recommend it.
The good news: Here we are at the Charles James exhibit! The bad news: No photography allowed. Seriously. Sorry… the museum has an obligation to protect those glorious artifacts of fashion. The exhibit was very interesting… oddly, it was in two separate rooms in two separate areas of the museum. The technology was incredible; it created 3-D architectural simulations of the dress designs, right next to the stunning dresses. Anyone who knows how to sew would go crazy over technical cross sections and reconstructions of his complicated patterns. The patrons of Charles James were clearly the most well connected of society. My favorite dress was one commissioned by Dominique de Menil – who is my chic friend Claire’s great aunt. Every one of the dresses was a size teeny, all appear to have been made for petite beauties. I don’t see waistlines that diminutive present day… clearly Charles James worked in the pre-McDonalds and pre-fat-free era.
After an infusion of fashion comes a dose of decorative arts. This is living, let me tell you. It doesn’t get old. Here we are, transported back in time to France, en route to the height of “nowness”, up on the roof. What a gorgeous desk.
This is the Roof Garden Commission, on top of the Met. The panoramic views of Central Park and the NYC skyline will take your breath away. And, allow me to say the obvious: GRASS!!!!! Being up here seems more like a dream than reality.
This installation by Dan Graham (born 1942, Urbana, Illinois) is the second in a new series of site-specific commissions for the Museum’s Roof Garden. Comprising curves of steel and two-way mirrored glass set between ivy hedgerows, Graham’s structure is part garden maze, part modernist skyscraper facade. Viewers who enter the work are transformed into performers; in glimpsing their own reflections, they are also made acutely aware of the act of looking.
On the way out, a Thomas Crown moment in a few of my favorite galleries. The collection is truly awe inspiring.
One last beautiful walk down 5th Ave along the park,
And some more house hunting, as I again find myself thinking: “you know, I could do this. I could live in a place like this…”
All it takes is money.
Until next time, NYC…
The above photographs represent only a fraction of the images of NYC. Join me on instagram for more of NYC and other places travels take me…
Paul Anater (@Paul_Anater) says
Great post, as always. The Met’s very near the top of my list of favorite museums in the world and very definitely my favorite museum in New York. Next time you’re there, walk a couple of blocks east and stroll down Madison Avenue to get back to Midtown. The Upper East Side always makes me feel like Lisa Douglas from Green Acres.
Courtney Price says
Next time I am there I would like to go through the museum with YOU, and then have an “Ollllivaaahhh” walk down Madison!!
Rhonda Knoche says
Courtney, beautifully done. Thanks for a revisit of NY and the Met; it’s been a few years. Just got back from the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and it reminds me of that. What a wonderful exhibit of architecture, interiors and fashion history.
Courtney Price says
The V&A is another of my favorite museums, Rhonda. That was quite a trip you took, I enjoyed seeing all of the photos of you in fabulous places.
Albertina || Mimosa Lane says
Loved the photos and your entire post! It’s a walk I have done often. And of course Cipriani’s is one of my all time favorites. So classic. I didn’t realize they had grass up there in the Met! Looks beautiful. I also had an amazing art history teacher that was inspiring just like yours. What an amazing experience. Keep enjoying NYC!
Courtney Price says
Thanks Albertina!! A great Art History teacher is a true gift…
Donna Vining says
Thanks for taking me on a wonderful tour of Manhattan. I do love the city, and those window displays are stunning!
Courtney Price says
Thank you Donna! You would’ve been fun to be with! 😉
Susan Walden says
What a wonderful re-visit through Manhattan and the Met! So glad you were able to be there and share with us your perspective of the art, architecture and culture of such an interesting city!
Courtney Price says
Thank you, Susan, what a gorgeous city….