Agnes Krup, a literary agent, had a not-so-wonderful Christmas in 2004. This year, she is embarking upon a travel adventure in New York City, where she lives. Notes from New York will be posted throughout the week.

So much for making plans for a week of vacation alone at home. My daughter is back with me for two days during the holiday break she is mostly spending with her dad — which is wonderful, of course, but it’s also eating into the first me-first program. No, I am not sacrificing my museum schedule for her, just modifying it a bit.

Earlier this year, friends from Amsterdam brought my daughter one of these cubes you find in museum gift shops that open in different directions to display pictures of paintings or objects. The one Iva received happened to be from the Van Gogh Museum; she was delighted by its content and by its mechanics alike. I explained that he was considered to be one of the greatest artists ever. To which my 7-year-old, undaunted, replied that while he might well be a big artist, she was a little artist and it was only a matter of time until she, too, would be big.

So off we went today to see Starry Night. We talked about what we saw: the moon, the stars, the town — no, was it a town? Just a few houses and the church the tallest building — if much smaller than most of the buildings we could see outside the new MoMa‘s ample windows — so it had to be a village, some its windows still lit. There is the spooky hill to the left (was it a hill or a volcano? a monster? a black fire?), and when I asked Iva if she saw anything else, she said, "The wind." And with that we left it.

lI have enjoyed going to museums and art exhibitions by myself for as long as I can remember. I like to set my own pace, not worry about what somebody else wants to look at. I don’t like to fret about how I should behave: Should I be mindful of the speed and focus with which the friend travels through the galleries? Would it be rude if I simply suggested meeting up in the museum’s café at an agreed time?

With my daughter things are easier. She decides where she wants to linger, and I go with the flow. We were out in an hour, due in part — you guessed it — to the overwhelming crowds, and in part to a promised visit to Ollie‘s. So far, my culinary choices this week have not been up to my own taste, but my notoriously restaurant-resistant child ("all you do is sit and wait and eat and wait again") has lately taken to what is best described as a huge Chinese diner off Times Square, where the portions of steamed broccoli and rice easily feed a family of four.

On our walk over there, we turned the city into our museum. There is the plaza at 1221 Avenue of the Americas, divided by water running down a stone wall, and you get to walk right under it through a covered bridge. There is the New York Woodwind & Brass Music Corp., a tiny storefront on 48th Street, where we spent endless minutes peering at the shiny horns in the window. (Iva lobbied me hard for a trumpet until I reminded her that she had yet to master the beautiful pearwood recorder I had bought her — second-hand — at that very store a couple of years earlier.)

After lunch, we took the subway to Kam Man on Canal Street, a Chinese grocery cum department store where we stocked up on oolong and white tea in the basement and lingered over the abundant display of dried salted scallops, sea cucumber and fish of all sizes and shapes right next to sesame candy, Lindt pralines and whole roasted ducks.

At Ollie’s, Iva’s fortune cookie had read: "Sing and rejoice, fortune is smiling on you." She looked puzzled — didn’t she sing already, in the school chorus, and wasn’t she rejoicing all week anyway, being on vacation and having received lots of gifts? Weren’t those cookies supposed to predict what the future held rather than describe the present? I agreed that it was a silly prediction and felt fortune smile on me more than I had allowed in years.

Agnes Krup is a literary agent and chair of the PTA fundraising committee at her daughter’s public school in Brooklyn Heights. She grew up in Hamburg, Germany and has lived in New York City since 1994.

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