life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mini trip report - it's a Marco Polo world

Another fun day in NYC!

Took the LIRR in to Penn. Took the subway to Times Square 'cause it was raining, then walked to the Discovery Center on 44th. This was the exhibit hall where we saw the King Tut artifacts. Well, now they have two smaller exhibits - a display of artifacts from Pompeii (the one we came to see) and a display of props and costumes from the Harry Potter movies (which we will see another time). For obvious reasons Pompeii was a lot less crowded.

The Pompeii exhibit is amazing. Obviously it's only a small portion of what was found at the site, but ... Well, so many aspects of everyday life in the first century were preserved - the gods and goddesses, the furniture, the art work...the grafitti on the walls, the dice and loaded dice, the ads for the local tavern and fast food joints, even the erotica in the bordello. It made Roman life come alive.

There was also a display of the body casts. When the ash from Vesuvius fell it buried the victims. When the bodies decayed they left hollows in the ash. Archaelogists poured plaster into the hollows. You can see how the bodies were posed when the victim died. So many of them had their hands over their mouths, trying to keep from choking on the dust and gas.

There isn't much in the souvenir shop about Pompeii, though I did buy a couple of refrigerator magnets. Then I went over to tbhe Harry Potter gift shop ....er, "shoppe". Over here you can find "Ollivander's" and "Florish and Blotts". I bought a couple of chocolate frogs for my daughters.

And did I mention the Ford Anglia sitting on the marquee of the Discovery Center? We must go back...

Then we walked through a very crowded Times Square and took the subway to Chinatown. By now it was raining harder, so we didn't really browse the shops on Canal or Mott, but headed straight to Wo Hop for dinner. The line wasn't too bad for a Saturday night. And the hot tea a soup were very welcome.

Had to wait out a thunderstorm before we could walk back to the subway. Right now I am on a train headed home.

Lesson of the day...avoid buying cheap umbrellas on a windy day. Mine wound up in a trash can that looked like an umbrella graveyard.
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