We slept in this morning. Got home late last night. Dan and I walked East across 8th St to East Village where we met Julian and Natalie at a small cafe for breakfast. We caught the subway North toward Central Park and walked the last few blocks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
I’d been following the Met on Facebook and wanted to catch both the Cubism exhibition, the private collection of the Emeritus Estee Lauder guy, funnily enough named Lauder, as well as a historic middle East collection. The place is huge, like the Louvre, with way too many things for one day. We set off in completely the wrong direction, without a map, in Egyptian area. Julian asked an employee for directions and she turned us around, straight back through the Greek & Roman sculptures (and eye level foreskin covered penises) where we were meant to catch a lift up to the second level. Instead we turned right into the Cubism special exhibit.
I liked the interpretation accompanying the works for the Lauder collection. I had no idea that Picasso and Braque were buddies, worked collaboratively, criticising each other’s work and sharing the process of making their work. I didn’t know Cubism had a subtype called Analytic Cubism. I read the explanation of differences in painting techniques between the two painters: Picasso painted his colours with greater contrast and Braque made them look more see-through. I wondered why Instagram hadn’t made filters after these differences.
Upstairs we found the Aysrria to Iberia exhibit, where I marvelled at a chunk of ivory delicately sculpted probably 2800 years ago by another human, yet somehow it’s survived mostly intact for so long, to end up – for now – in a transparent box so people can stare at it while wandering around. Halfway through the exhibition I realised that we’d seen bits of it last year at the Royal Ontario Museum’s “Mesopotamia” exhibition, as the items had been on loan. We made quick work of the rooms.
We wandered all the way across and down Central Park, looking for a bridge but not finding it. We did find a climbable metal sculpture of Alice in Wonderland characters, which of course we climbed. It was cold but sunny. The snow from a few days ago had melted as it hit the ground and nothing has collected except fallen leaves. We searched for a cafe but didn’t find anything, other than a boathouse that was crowded.
We walked down 5th Ave looking for a cafe called Serendipity, which is a movie I’ve never seen. There was a queue so we sat, with very sore calves, in a coffee shop that had free wifi. Their almond croissants were surprisingly moist and tasty. The streets weren’t crawling with Black Friday crowds, like we’d seen in Chicago two years ago. Perhaps we were on the wrong streets.
We decided to catch the subway back to Aaron’s apartment and nap. Natalie said goodbye, having to leave us which made Julian sad. It’s been a good two days and we’ve done more than I’d expected even though there is still much more we could do. Today we pounded the pavement. No cake though.