USA Page 9

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That night saw me dine at the third in my trifecta of delightful restaurants - Daniel. After getting over the initial distraction of my waitress's thick French accent (among many other distractions, like the decor of the room... of course) I decided that their 6-course tasting menu wasn't quite what I was after and I asked if they could "add" two more courses which I was able to specify from the A la carte menu. They agreed... and here is one of them - Lentil Soup with Truffle, Quail and Crispy Shallots...mmmm

This appetiser was probably the stand-out dish of the night - "Peeky Toe Crab" salad... who in the world comes up with the names of these things?

This was one of the other courses which I requested to be added... notice the caviar... I've decided (to the dismay of my parents, I'm sure) that I really like caviar.

It was especially nice to recieve a menu with my name on it. After the meal, I was treated to a tour of the kitchen where an army of 15 chefs work manically to prepare the food for the people in the restaurant. I also had a twenty-minute conversation with one of the waiters about the food scene in Hong Kong and how all the big name French chefs are starting to open up shop there.

After emerging from the restaurant, I had a brief chat with a limousine driver to whom I explained that I was walking back to my hotel. Taking pity on me (and sensing a business opportunity) he offered me a ride at a considerably reduced rate (which, in the end, I calculated to be only slightly more than a taxi would've cost, but considerably more than it would have cost to walk). In the end, we got talking and he took it upon himself to take me on a tour of New York city. It turns out that he believes that the September 11th 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre Towers were partly organised and bankrolled by the US government. Interesting.

This turn of events did, however, allow me to go to some places I wouldn't have had time to otherwise, like Brooklyn via the famous Brooklyn Bridge, so that I could take a photo of the New York City skyline by night.

At the end of the day, after a long discussion about international affairs and politics, he didn't charge me any more for the little detour that we took. It ended up taking about twice as long as my helicopter ride and costing about half as much (I like to keep you guys guessing).

For my final day in New York... The Met. A work of art in itself.

The Met had a very impressive Egyptian collection... and they weren't afraid to show it. This is a section from the famous excavation at El-Armana, the ancient lost city. Akhenaten, a slightly wacko Pharoah decided to abandon the polytheistic order and adopt a monotheistic one. He renamed everything and built a whole new city. When he died, he was succeeded by the famous Tutankaten, later renamed to Tutankamun. The city was abandoned, which makes it a treasure trove for archaeologists because it is so well-preserved.

The collection was extensive... very extensive.

Their collection of American art, showcased the vast wealth (at least of the few very wealthy people) of America, even in the very early stages of its development.

Let us raise our glasses in a toast to --- wait a sec, maybe we shouldn't, it would take too long.

I told you! We are being overrun by little green men.

Now THAT'S a card table! The reproduction of entire rooms in period finishings is reminicent of the Louvre in Paris.

What's the time? Time to clean the ridiculously ornate clock methinks.

The J.P. Morgan wing, which houses the "Arms and Armour" exhibits.

I wonder how much time the staff here spend polishing their helmets...

A tachi blade... what collection of arms and armour would be complete without a tachi blade?

During the enlightenment period in Europe, Asian art was very popular and influenced European art of the period as well.

This hall reminded me of the Musei Vaticani in the Vatican

The museum had a small section on modern art as well. These three are interesting in that they are essentially paintings of the same thing but from different perspectives.


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