The first official weekend of the summer arrived with puffy white clouds and lots of summer heat. New York City always has a plethora of options to enjoy and we took full advantage.
We leisurely walked down the west side to view the Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit at the Starrett Lehigh Gallery. This is not a sterile exhibit space with artwork hung tastefully on the walls. The gallery space is filled with his art and sketchbooks. They are displayed alongside replicas of his childhood dining room and living room. Another gallery is a layout of his studio workspace. It is easy to imagine his creative process with details including overflowing ashtrays and artwork on the floor. This is accompanied by a great soundtrack of the music he listened to. The painting commissioned by the Palladium is set in a less crowded and better lit bar scene conjuring the nightlife of the 1980s.
We left the gallery and continued south to Little Island, a wonderful park on the Hudson River at West 14th Street. Before entering, we spent a few minutes watching a ballerina making some sidewalk moves. The park is beautifully landscaped and offers amazing city views. Worth noting is the breeze off the river which was exceptionally refreshing on the very hot and sunny afternoon.
At the southern tip of Manhattan, we took the ferry to Governors Island. This former military base is now a year-round park. There are bike paths, a camp ground, places to play and amazing views of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and NY Harbor. We even saw some red tailed hawks.
Back on the mainland, Rockefeller Center turned the ice rink into a roller rink this summer.
We cooled off and watched the pride-filled lights grace the skyline. What a wonderful way to start the summer in the city.