I got to the Metropolitan Museum of Art late and surveyed most of what I'd not seen the day before in little over an hour before closing (quite rewarding). It's amazing how much I can see in an hour at a museum! I saw the impressive large collection of ancient Greek artifacts . . . I could see why the period from the 8th to the 4th centuries B.C. might have been called a "flowering." Next I saw African art (my favorite probably continuing to be that of Benin), the art of Oceania, including New Guinea, Irian Java, et. al., then early art of the Americas, including Peruvian, Columbian, & Mayan. I breezed through European paintings with nary a glance but took a closer look in the European sculpture hall (for some inexplicable reason, my picture of another European sculpture hall from above came out with a large dark blob spread across the center). I quickly took a close look at the photographs of Walker Evans (a special exhibit), then finished my tour with the art of India and Southeast Asia, cut short on time before getting to Chinese or Japanese art. Nonetheless, I experienced a massive amount of art appreciation in a short period of time. I found myself wondering (without time to really work it out) which art, periods, styles, had informed others. To what extent did artistic flowerings arise independently, as opposed to being based on what had come before. I wasn't able to take many pictures as I was breezing through, but, I did get a few (although most of these I took the day before):
|Main entrance night closing||Crowd on entrance steps
watching street performers
|Stained glass on display||Artwork, artist unknown (to me)|
|Armored procession horseback||Facade display|
|Temple of Dendur
|Egyptian artifact||Arch above main entrance (interior)|
After the Met, I walked down 5th Avenue all the way to 42nd street (pictures below). I was seeing NYC differently than I had the first time 15 years ago. The buildings didn't seem so tall. The 'gulf' between me and the 'wealthy' living on 5th Avenue didn't seem so great. [Central Park was not such a wonder, the Public Library and Grand Central Station were not such great spaces/architecture, and Times Square was tame, plebeian glitz.]
I enjoyed the walk down 5th Avenue, taking pictures of the trees in the Park, all the branches silhouetted against the low, light clouds (these mostly didn't come out . . . I need to check whether my digital camera can do better on another light setting . . . also, I wonder whether I'd have gotten much more of the detail with my 35mm camera on a tripod and a long exposure). At 59th I stopped in the Plaza Hotel and was not impressed. Along 5th Avenue, south of 59th, I noticed the big-name, upscale retail icons and was not impressed . . . they were nothing I hadn't seen before in other places (such as Honolulu, Hong Kong, London, or even some in DC) . . . I'm no longer over-awed or insecure in these areas . . . give me art (not retail) as the highest achievement of mankind.
5th Avenue was curiously deserted . . . all the stores were closed. I stopped at the Rockefeller Center skating rink & environs and got a few pictures, including one I especially like that shows a backdrop of the surrounding buildings in light pastel with a hint of cloud at the top. From 5th Ave & 42nd, I headed over to Times Square and pizza at Sbarro's before heading back to my hotel (on the infrequently running subway) for a welcome warm shower to remove the chill.
|Trees night Central Park
silhouetted against clouds
|Rockefeller Center ice skating|
|Rockefeller Center skate night||Rockefeller Center statuary|
|Subway||Penn Station newsstand|
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