The next evening, another message arrived.
This morning we are on our own for breakfast. Apparently they give the sisters Sundays off. Then we head as a herd for a walk through Central Park. I’ve got a museum or two in mind but we will see.
The trains are a bit under repair so the ride to Central Park fell under the category of ‘adventure’. Still we managed to get off before we were out of Manhattan. We headed north from Columbus circle to the Dakota and Strawberry Fields and then headed across the park. The wind was up so our heads were mostly down.
After a pleasant walk we hit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the group fractured. We decided to head south and take in the Frick Museum with Ron and a few others. So that’s when the wind decides to come up. We only had 14 blocks to go but it was against the wind and we were pretty chilled by the time we arrived.
Then it turns out that the museums are ‘free’ because it’s a long weekend (tomorrow is Presidents Day) and the line up was around the block. Exacerbating that little fact was that they were only letting people in 20 at a time, every 20 minutes; that spelled out a 40-50 minute wait outside in the wind. So we bailed.
Leslie and I headed over to Madison Avenue to head back uptown. We had just missed the bus at the first stop so we walked two stops north and jumped the next one as it caught up. 5 minutes later we disembarked and walked west to the Met. It and I had a few things to finish up… like most of the museum.
We had visited it 5 years ago on our first trip and barely got through a quarter of it in our one allotted day. This time we were there to crush and win.
Well, to skip ahead of myself so as not to leave you in suspense, we sit here now with our heads hung low and our cultural spirits once again defeated by this monstrosity of an art museum. I would estimate we have definitely seen two-thirds of it now, but it won–we lost. Again.
Anyway as soon as we arrived we grabbed a dog and a pretzel and headed into the welcoming warmth of the Met. A quick orientation and we decided to hit the Arms and Armor section first, since that is what I had most missed last time. Next we planned in the musical instruments and then off to Asian art.
Now I blame this next bit on Leslie, because it sounds way more like her than me. Since we had a plan, we proceeded to ignore it and stop at the Byzantine era and thoroughly lose ourselves in premedieval European art. Eventually, after freeing ourselves from the Coptic texts under the unfinished granite of the main staircase, we put on the blinkers, scooted through Renaissance decor and arrived in the Arms area. Lots of swords, pikes, suits of armor and an extensive Japanese section. Very cool.
We took a brief break in the gallery outside the American sections and then decided to scoot back out for a drink and another snack.
Once back inside it was medieval with a side trip to Bauhaus textiles and on to the renaissance decor. Again, very cool. Another side trip took us through the Robert Lehmann collection of paintings, mostly European from 15-18 century. I saw a few I’d like to own. Rembrandt, El Greco… you know.
Back out into renaissance and suddenly men and women in suit jackets were herding us to the door trying to convince us of the preposterous notion that the museum was closed. Bah. Still we were outnumbered and apparently underdressed so we vamoosed like good little sheepies.
As you can see, not only did we not finish the museum, we didn’t even finish the wish list.
Outside we hopped on the M3 heading downtown and got off on 50th street. That apparently was 3 blocks too far so we hiked back to 54rd and headed underground. A short subway ride and we were back in Chelsea and a half a block from home.
We decided on pizza and I had a few beer before we head to the room for a rest. Sausage and mushroom.
At 8:30 we met Jamie et al. in the lobby and it’s off for the 10 pm show of a bassist he’s enthused about. A short walk over to the orange line and we headed to the 55 Bar for some virtuoso bass’n. it’s a small basement bar with a 2 drink minimum per set and a sardine-like seating plan. The chaos of take a chair and claim a spot worked for Jamie and Lyle as they claimed a table on the edge if the stage. Leslie and I shuffled up the wall so we could see and Lyle’s dad stayed in the back and chatted up the UK couple whose sight lines we had originally been cluttering.
This band has a girl front man whose warmup was her singing through a funkified echo box and a whole lot of feedback.
Two beers, a set of some pretty spunky jazz and an Imogen Heap number by the aforementioned girl and we decided to call it a night. We bid Jamie and friends adieu and caught the train home. My direction sense left me
As we exited the subway and I headed east not west. Half a block later we reversed direction and were back on track, this time going against the wind.
Home again and nighty night.