03 Jun Art Girl Meets Science Guy on 72nd Street
While our stomachs were satisfied by amazing meals, D and I were able to feed our minds as well by visiting a couple of museums during our long weekend in NYC. I love art museums and miss them terribly since I moved out of the New York area. It’s strange how when something is so accessible you take it for granted, but now that I’m 6 hours away I miss my afternoon visits to The Met, MOMA, The Whitney, the Guggenheim, The Frick and so many more. Since we had limited time for museum visits, D and I decided to divide and conquer. While he’s a great admirer and art appreciator, let’s say that when given the choice between an art museum and a history museum, D will choose the latter. No problem for me! Have you ever strolled the galleries of a museum by yourself? It’s luxurious. There’s no schedule, no waiting for someone to finishing viewing a gallery before you move on, and no following along someone else. You simply decide to linger or skip over artworks of your choosing. For me my favorite spot in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is a little, actually tiny, gallery on the second floor that displays the Degas pastel drawings of ladies bathing. The lighting is dimmed to protect the art, so it feels even more intimate. The drawings are just breath taking! I have long been a fan of pastels. I love the texture each stroke creates and the layering of colors. I have even created a few works myself using this medium, but Degas just takes it to another level. The layering of the colors to create the shading on the skin is beautiful. When you look closely you see blues and bright greens! I lingered again and again over these half a dozen pieces of art. I hated to say good-bye, but perhaps someday I will have a print of one of these bathers in my own house.
While I was visiting Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, and Cezanne on the upper eastside, D was visiting the inner workings of the brain and learning about the celestial skies on the upper Westside at the Natural History Museum. After a couple of hours, I walked through Central Park to meet him on the west side. Don’t laugh, but after 7 years of living in NYC, I never got to see the tribute to John Lennon. Happily I stumbled upon it over the weekend. I wonder if the rose is always placed above the type? We shared our museum adventures in the East Village at our favorite Jewish diner on 2nd Ave. I had my standard of homemade lentil soup and a grilled cheese sandwich—made with challah bread of course! Little bit of heaven right there.
The following day D and I stayed downtown in Manhattan. We started the morning with breakfast in Battery Park and then made our way over to the Smithsonian Native American Museum. There’s a museum here in NYC and another in Washington DC. This museum is housed in the original custom’s house. It’s a gorgeous building with a large central room topped by an oval ceiling covered in murals. The exhibition galleries surround this central room. One of the exhibits we saw was about the significance of “the horse” within several of the Native American tribes. The show was interesting and had a wide variety of artifacts, but for me the best part was the icon of a horse developed specifically to promote the show. The stylization came from actually Native American drawings on blankets and on stone. The horse logo is wonderfully simple and expressive. Even from this icon you begin to feel the energy and power of the horse within Native American culture.
All in all, it was a truly marvelous visit to New York. D and I are already looking forward to our next trip down.