Now this is why Manhattan is Manhattan: a perfect Spring afternoon in a museum of private art collection and Central Park.

We went to the Frick Collection for a special exhibition on Goya’s last works. Turned out there’re lots of goodies housed in the mansion of Henry Clay Frick. The museum entree fee is $15, but with J’s Goldman ID we got in free. Corporate America is good!

The Goya exhibition only takes up 3 small rooms (2 underground) with around maybe 40 compositions in painting, drawing, lithograph, and miniature painting on ivory chips. The breadth and scale is no comparison to what we saw in Madrid’s Prado Museum, but its focus is quite significant: the last 4 years of Goya’s life (1824-1828) when he self-exiled to Bordeaux. The pieces are from all over the world, mostly Prado.

The permanent collection is very impressive, with pieces from Renaissance, Flemish, to pre-Impressionism masters like Titian and Rembrandt. I like the English collection of Constable and Turner in particular, since I’ve never seen them in galleries. I hate the many French Rococo paintings by court painters like Boucher, though.


Coming out of the museum, we bought some quick food and sat down in Central Park for lunch. Then we strolled around Central Park mostly to practice photography for our upcoming European trip in just a week. Little did we expect that we’d run into one of the most celebrated Manhattan residents: a red-tail hawk called Pale Male. It started to make a 5th Av window top his nest in early 90’s, had 3 mates (first died in the Catskills, second died on Met’s roof from eating a poisoned pigeon), and several broods. Today a new brood is expected to be hatched, so there’re many cameras and telescopes pointing toward the nest waiting for the new chicks to appear.

The moral of Pale Male’s story is anything can happen in Manhattan, and anyone can survive…

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