Saturday, July 23, 2005

NYC - The Met

Just as soon as we got to our hotel we were off again to find the 4,5 & 6 train. (New Yorker's don't call them subways, they call them trains.) Destination: The Metropolitan Museum of Art on 86th.

The woman in the token booth mumbled something and returned a card for my $20. What? What happened to NYC tokens?

I didn't realize until later that she put my entire $20 on a single card. Now I have to wand the card for each of us as we go through the turn styles. When I asked her how the other three people that were standing there with me were going to get through the turn styles, she grabbed her internal microphone and said from the other side of the glass: "Well you said you wanted one card." Yeah, sure, now you use that voice enhancer thingy.

We walked for about three blocks after getting off on 86th. We found a hot dog vendor and bought hot dogs for twice what they cost in front of the Met. But they were great. Which reminds me of an old stupid joke: What did the Zen Buddhist say to the NYC hot dog vendor? "Make me one with everything."

The Met exterior is under construction and was draped with curtains, that's right, curtains, long flowing material that covered the ugly scaffolding. You see, here at the Met the scaffolding has to be covered in some artistic way. But inside it was just as I had remembered. Of course, there were guys at the entrance checking our back packs, the result of 911 I'm sure. In fact, before we rode up to the Met, we walked through St. Patrick's Cathedral and they were making the same checks. I guess we are going to see that pattern. I just walked up to the long eight foot folding table, zipped open the backpack, they took a gander, and I was done.

Suggested contribution at the Met is $15 per person, but you can give anything you want.

My favorite part of the Met, if I could have one, is the European sculpture. You can walk right up to these life-sized figures, cast in bronze or marble, and look them right in the eye.

It was great to have Eric along this time through the Met because of his Art studies. He knew most of the artists, and why they sculpted or painted as they did. It was like having our own private Met guide. (I did over hear one of the group guides tell about a guy who gave his entire collection of baseball cards to the Met. One is valued over 1.3 million!)

It's unbelievable to me that we are looking at the actual paint that came from Rembrandt's brush and applied to the canvas. His self-portrait of about 1660 is awesome.

There are several cafes in the Met. One of them near the American Art is in a courtyard of fountains, sculptures and stained glass. Sure the Costco muffin is $3, but hey, this ain't Costco!

I don't know what I was thinking but I only brought a single pair of shoes for this trip. My feet are killing me. The pain would be so much less if they'd just sever my feet at the ankles. Please, please, put me out of my misery. I brought these flat things that have absolutely no support. It's like walking on concrete in bare feet. I need to sit down in this cafe. I need to find another pair of shoes. Where can I find a cheap pair of shoes?

The weather was outstanding. It was in the mid-80s and there was a slight breeze coming up the south of Manhattan. We decided to walk to the Hotel, well actually, Ruth decided "it's a great day to walk, I love to walk" she said. Well, I do to but not 40 New York City blocks worth! But I was overridden. Off we go blithely down the Central Park trail, not a care in the world, except it turns out, my feet. Ouch!

Central Park was great. There were artists everywhere.

For $20 you can have a great charcoal, pencil, or pastel picture drawn up. One old guy even had some flair. He'd had his pinky extended on his sketching hand and would quickly lift the charcoal from the paper with each stroke.

There were jugglers, face painters, radio controlled boats, and musicians everywhere. What looked like a teacher and her students were playing a Bach concerto near the pond where you can rent radio controlled boats.

We stopped by an Italian pizza place and wolfed some slices and sodas.

We crashed at 10:00.

Girl: " do you actually eat Lucky Charms in Ireland?" -Overheard at Wall & Broad