During my latest trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (aka. The Met), I learned a valuable lesson. When coming from the Cloisters, get off at the Museum of Natural History (81st St) and then walk through the park, but make sure you have plenty of water or if it is 98 degrees outside, you might start to develop heat stroke. Also make sure you have eaten or will eat shortly after to counteract this effect. I opted for the latter. This was due to me wanting to stop by Cleopatra’s Needle which is conveniently located behind the museum in Central Park.
If you do not go out back to see it, the only other good view is from the Roof Garden Cafe. The perk to that option is, hey, cocktails on a roof with the latest sculpture piece and a great view of the park.
After that, it’s a quick walk around the museum and you get a first glimpse of what kind of crowd you will be exploring the museum through.
A quick note about visiting the museum with bags. While you can carry a small bag with you (ie: a camera bag), having a backpack will be a hassle and, unless you want to wear it on your front, you will be checking it. Bag and coat check is free, they say don’t tip, but people still do and the checkers are kind about it. Try to time it when there isn’t a massive line and make sure you have anything you think you will need with you out of the bag and in pockets.
In my latest rush to get there, I needed food in my system as mentioned above from the heat, so I kinda plowed through the lobby and raced to the food court, passing through (opportunely, and tying into the earlier trip to the Cloisters) the religious/church art area:
This latest trip was to explore areas I hadn’t been in in a while, but as usual, everyone hits their favorite spots, and during some of my wanderings I stopped into the Temple of Dendur area.
I actually hadn’t spent much time in the Greek and Roman section, so I headed there as well.
I always enjoy the Asian art styles and check in to see if there is anything new or interesting there, also to retake some pics I was unhappy with the last time I was there (either due to lack of camera knowledge or angle, lighting, etc.).
There are numerous Sculpture areas. This one caught my eye with it’s style and dynamics.
As a fight choreographer for stage and screen, I am always fascinated by the armory section. I also picked up a book on Samurai that I have had my eye on for awhile now that explores the different designs on swords and the craftsmanship involved. However, rather than show you all the blades behind glass that I am not allowed to play with/test out, here’s some knights in armor:
Finally, on my last trip there I had stumbled upon the newly renovated American wing. Having been to the museum numerous times, including school trips while growing up, finding something new here was amazing to me, especially something new that wasn’t part of a special exhibit. The renovations were finished January 16, 2012.
I could seriously spend all day here walking around and showing off the paintings and sculptures, but pictures are a poor substitute for actually being there and seeing the actual pieces. It is well worth the money, just try and time it for smaller crowds so you can enjoy the art without excess noise and poor views.
Next week: Some highlights from Central Park, specifically around the Ramble, along with playing with sunlight.