A trip to the Museum of the City of New York and Grounded Cafe

Museum of the City of New York

I recently went uptown to the Museum of the City of New York to see the exhibit, “The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011,” which celebrates the 200th anniversary of Manhattan’s grid system.  The exhibit features antique maps, photographs, and prints that show the commissioner’s original grid plan and its development.  The exhibit was interesting, though very text-heavy.  I particularly loved seeing old maps and photos of my neighborhood!   The show is on until July 15, 2012.

C. Bachman, New York, view looking south from Union Square, 1849.

Flatiron

Looking south on 5th Avenue from 25th Street, ca. 1904

After the Grid exhibit, I saw the show “Cecil Beaton: The New York Years,” which highlights the work of British photographer and designer Cecil Beaton.  The exhibit is comprised of Cecil’s beautiful celebrity portraits, fashion photos, and colorful stage costumes from the 1920’s to the 1960’s.  I learned that Beaton was quite the man about town and a master self-promoter.  During his time in NYC he stayed in a series of luxury hotel suites, which he decorated, used as settings for photo shoots, and stayed in at discounted rates.   The suites were marketed as Cecil Beaton-designed and rented out when he was away, so both the hotels and Beaton benefited.  I was disappointed to learn that Beaton was anti-Semitic, although not surprised based on the time period and his social circle (anyone who hung out with Wallis Simpson loses points in my book).  The exhibit is on until April 22, 2012.

The Museum of the City of New York always has great wall coverings that coordinate with each show.

Hall leading to the Cecil Beaton exhibit

Stage costumes by Cecil Beaton

Beaton's costumes for La Traviata, photographed by him for Vogue, 1966

Beaton, Self-portrait, ca. 1929 (Is this not the coolest self-portrait ever?!)

Back downtown I went to Grounded, which is a cute café in the West Village, located at 28 Jane Street.  I ordered an iced black tea rose latte because I love the flavor rose and it’s unusual to see it on a menu.  The drink was good, though not the best rose incarnation I’ve tried (rose macaroons are better!).  I really liked the cheery yellow walls, abundance of plants, and laid-back atmosphere.  If it was closer to where I live, I could see Grounded being my go to coffee shop.  As is, it’s a nice weekend walk and makes for a pleasant change of scenery.

Grounded specials

Iced black tea rose latte

Grounded Cafe (it's brighter in person)

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