Returned from New York where all seemed to go very well. The last time I was there was some thirty years ago when my entire family left for Washington. I remember New York as a dirty, dingy, dark, and dangerous city. The people were cold and distant when they weren't downright rude. This may still be true in part, but it wasn't my experience. Our host very kindly treated us to an evening of theatre (I know you're dying of curiosity--The Producers. Our first choice was Wicked, but the seats were all poor. For the show we saw right front Orchestra aisle, two rows back--spectacular.) After the show we walked back to our hotel--thirteen short blocks away, one of them through Times Square, and I never felt so much as mildly menaced--not true for the time I left--for documentation see Midnight Cowboy. I'm sure there are parts of the city for which this would not hold true, again, not my experience.
Everyone I encountered in my trip was at least pleasant and polite, most were openly friendly and helpful. I can't even begin to say how far this has gone to remove some pernicious misconceptions.
While there, I wad able to take in The Metropolitan Museum of Art and AMNH--as it is known among professionals in the field. I saw two fantastic Vermeers, one of which--"The Allegory of Faith" I spent some time with. There was a nice, if somewhat high-strung and overwrought El Greco exhibit. But the highlight for me was room after room after room of Egyptian antiquities, including, of course, an entire ancient Egyptian Temple. I could probably live in this wing of the museum.
All in all, a very exhausting, exciting, and rewarding trip.