“Meet me at the steps,” those are the words I told my friend who I was meeting at the Metropolitan Museum. I sent her the message at 12:30. There was something wrong with the train and at 2:00 P.M., my colleague and I were still walking to the Met, praying we were heading towards the right direction.
The Met is just north of The Park Lane Hotel where we were staying and was just one straight direction along Central Park. But my colleague and I were feeling a little adventurous we opted to take the train instead. The train took us to Lexington Ave., and I, the ever reliable map reader, took my colleague further to the wrong direction. Good thing, my colleague was not yet complaining so we took that lost moment as a moment of walking along Park Avenue.
Another bad thing, when we arrived at The Met, the steps were covered with a huge tent and tarpaulin because they were setting it up for the Met Gala, which was to be held on the day of our conference, May 7. So I did not have that Blair Waldorf moment. Good thing because I did not have yogurt with me. Wi-fi signal was weak at the Met and it was huge but thankfully, we were still able to meet my friend and off we went inside. Unlike the Modern of Modern Art, I would have to say that my $25 entrance fee at the Met was worth it (The Met is no longer a donation-basis museum. It has a fixed $25 entrance fee but it is still free for New Yorkers).
We started at, and almost didn’t get out of, the Egyptian Art part of the museum. I loved the jewelry displays the most but the tombs creeped me out. I also found it funny that I was seeing pieces of Egyptian culture in the United States. They really seemed out of place especially the Temple of Dendur — and the modern-day writings on the wall. It looked funny. I was wondering how many pieces of Egyptian art and artifacts in many museums around the world were looted from where they belonged and are actually being held illegally by peoples/organizations.
Anyway, enough of that. We proceeded to almost all of the other rooms but because of the vast number of displays of “over 5,000 years of art from every corner of the world,” my mind couldn’t process everything. After the Egyptian Art gallery, nothing impressed upon me so much (except for the Pete Mondrian painting) because I was having sensory overload. What I loved about the Met though is that nothing is a replica of anything. A gate from a church in Spain, the balcony of an Italian villa, the staircase of a Chicago building are the real thing and you can walk in them. They are the real thing, except you are not in the place where they were supposed to be located.
So, if you want to maximize your $25 and your time for museums this big, it’s best to research ahead, go to the galleries where you are most interested in, and focus there. In sum, have a game plan. I didn’t but I still enjoyed time with my friend and colleague.