It's up to you...
New York, New York! Luise Müller sends a final letter from the city that never sleeps.
Feb 25, 2016
This is my final letter as a New York correspondent, even though I will be staying here until June. I need to accomplish quite a bit during the coming months: my main goal is to finish writing my dissertation, if at all possible. And I would still like to get to know New York a little better. Besides that, I would like to take a trip to at least one more city – which makes it very convenient that a colleague just invited me to Miami... First of all I would like to tell about a visit to Beacon, a meal in Chinatown, and cocktails in a speakeasy.
Beacon is a small sleepy town north of Manhattan that is known mainly because it is home to one of the most famous contemporary art galleries – the Dia:Beacon.
To celebrate a friend's birthday, three of us started out by train one cold Sunday morning. Our starting point was the beautiful Grand Central Station. The train followed the Hudson River moving north. In Beacon we got out with a horde of young New York art lovers. The gallery is housed in a former factory building of a large cookie manufacturer, the National Biscuit Company, and accordingly has a lot of space. The objects on display – according to my two companions, who are very well versed in art – are to be understood as part of a concept, and when I look at the art works, I am partly impressed and partly at a loss for words.
Immersion into American Culture
We concluded our trip with a visit to the brewery in Beacon and a beer tasting, which meant that we all napped on the return trip. Afterwards I was meeting other friends for a Super Bowl TV evening. With junk food and beer we all watched the Denver Broncos win the championship in American football. Lady Gaga sang the American national anthem, and Beyoncé thrilled the masses during the half-time show – complete immersion into American culture.
Bars by Hearsay
Last week I finally managed to go to Chinatown and eat there. My flat mate has been raving for some time about the authentic soup dumplings, Chinese filled pasta. After that we went to a speakeasy cocktail bar. During the Prohibition, speakeasies were secret bars where illegal liquor was sold. Although Prohibition has been over since 1933 in New York, the name "speakeasy" has remained. Today it is used for bars that are located in back rooms and not directly visible from the street. They are only known by hearsay, and sometimes you need to say a password to get in. Our bar was hidden behind a normal apartment door on the second floor of a multistory residential building on the Lower East Side. Whatever you might think of all the secrecy, the cocktails were very good, and the atmosphere was very pleasant!