Cafe Wha? is in Greenwich Village on Macdougal St. in the very coolest part of NY. This cafe is legendary for the musicians that have played there. Bob Dylan played his first NY gig there. It has been a popular hangout for such artists as Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Springteen. Still a great place to hear good bands. When I go back to NY I am heading straight for Greenwich and Soho and going no place else! It is not as loud, there are great galleries, restaurants, bars with good music, there is less traffic and everyone seems to be enjoying life there. Many of the restaurants are open air with tables on the sidewalks and you can get any ethnic creation you want there. We met a kid Wesley's age from Nepal, Pimba Sherpa, at Land of Buddha (a very cool Himalayan shop), and Wesley is now emailing him. We are hoping to take her there when she graduates from High School and Pimba will be back in Nepal by then so we told him we would contact him for guide service when we go!
Because I live with these two musicians/photographers, I saw a lot of photography and musical landmarks in NY. We went to the International Center for Photography and saw their current exhibit of Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, and Lissette Model original prints. There was also a great exhibit of Japanese photographers, quite unusual. The Met's photo collection includes photos by Henri Cartier Bresson, Matthew Brady, Man Ray and many more early influential photographers. Gerry nearly drooled through the entire exhibit.
The Hard Rock in NY has some great memorabilia. Leather pants owned by Janis Joplin, guitars that belonged to Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Star's drum kit. One of the coolest things was sheets of paper with scribbled lyrics to LA Woman by Jim Morrison. Wesley's favorite was the Jimi Hendrix guitar below. If you don't want to eat there, they are fine with you just walking around and taking pictures. Just go early.
When I was in design school, my final paper was on Van Gogh and Henri Matisse. It had to be really good because I needed to pull my grade up, so I worked extremely hard on it and learned more than anyone ever needed to know about these artists. I can't even describe how emotional it was to stand in a room in the Metropolitan museum full of their paintings. I was so overwhelmed I completely forgot to take pictures of all of them, but I did manage these two. The first one by Matisse was my absolute favorite painting in the whole museum. The photo doesn't do the intensity of color justice unfortunately. There was such a crowd around Van Gogh's Wheat Fields that it was impossible to photograph it, but it was breathtaking.