Saturday, June 20, 2015

Art and History.

Wednesday (6/17)was Cleopatra's Needle and MET day.  It was also Mark Day, because he joined us (yay!)

The Child and I spent the night at LGL's apartment in the Lincoln Center district.  We were pretty worn out from the previous day, and LGL was so quiet that I only think I heard the door close as he went off to work.  After a few text messages with Mark, The Child and I went to have breakfast and then stroll through the paths of Central Park on the way to the Needle.  

We entered Central Park at Strawberry Fields.  The walk was nice, and mostly shaded by the trees, but even by 9 AM I could feel it already beginning to get warm.  When we stumbled across it, The Child really wanted his pictures taken with the Alice In Wonderland bronze sculpture; he even managed to take a few without his typical Calvin Picture Face.  I'm trying to discourage the Arthur Fonzarelli thumbs up pose that's threatening to enter his picture repertoire.

We took a route that meandered so much I got a little turned around--we mostly followed the waterways--but the next thing we knew, we saw Mark.  The three of us found the Needle and took a few pictures.  One side of the Needle is fairly worn and we circled it reading the translation and seeing how the hieroglyphics changed.  By this time it was warm, and the best place to be was in the obelisk's shadow.

We had to go around to the front of the museum; along the way we saw a host of soccer camps.  We had fun playing with Alexander Hamilton's statue.

And then we were at The MET.  We slowly wended our way through galleries filled with medieval art.  Mark pointed out the things he liked.   And then we were in the Hall of Arms and Armor.  The Child loved it the way I love the Egyptian Wing.  I'll have to admit, the Hall interested me as a research resource for fantasy stories more than anything else; but every case--the guns especially--drew gasps of wonder and avarice from The Child, followed by "look at this!"  Having just written a story with crossbows, I examined and photographed 17th century hunting crossbows.  And dragon helmets.  
There was a side trip to look at American Portraits, which is Mark's thing.  I enjoyed the Singer Sargents.  And we also saw "Washington Crossing the Delaware." Which I had never known was billboard sized.  At some point looking for bathrooms we wound up in a study room were we saw The Bunny Fondue Pot and two very odd objects which it turns out were jagging wheels for trimming and shaping pie crusts  (they looked like modern art, but are actually 19th century scrimshaw, or carved whale bone).  Then it was back for more weapons!

We managed to avoid the lunch crowd and snacked in The Sculpture Garden.  I tried to point out The Angel of Death Staying the You g Artist's Hand, but it was lost on The Child... Whom I think was probably more drawn to martial statues or nubile archers.  Then it was off to The Temple of Dendur.  

This time around, I was aware of how the temple's entrances line up with the mortuary shrine within.  And The Child was fascinated by the 18th Century graffiti.  We spent the remainder of our stay trying to translate various hieroglyphs and then The Child got a little freaked out by the mummy display.  He said he was tired, and so we went back to LGL's apartment.

It was here that I had A Hair Moment; a New York Lady of a Certain Age pointed at me from her bench in front of the apartment complex and said, "You look like Kris Kristopherson.  In his better days.  You can Google him."  Imagine Danny Devito playing the voice of Nicky from "Avenue Q" when he says "You look like David Hasselhoff."

LGL wanted to have a dinner with Mark, so we stayed in The City a little later and went to an interesting (and loud) Mexican food place with jeweled crowns for light shades. The Child managed to put together a wardrobe that impressed our waiter/actor.

After a short discussion, I bade The Child and Mark goodbye and spent one more night at LGL's apartment because it would be easier to catch a plane back home from New York City than from Suffern.

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