Friday, November 02, 2012

All Arted Out

We made a sluggish start for the Met, leaving later than we meant but still arriving soon after opening time. Overwhelmed and intimidated by the size of the place, we made our way to the 19th and early 20th century painting.

Compared to Moma however, the Met was calm a peaceful. We didn't have to struggle through any crowds as we went through room after room, starting with painters we didn't know, though there were a few old friends and familiar scenes.

Eventually we started hitting the familiar names: Picasso, Degas, Tanguay, Dali, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Modigliani, etc. I started my own series of modern art: "Tech Support with the Great Masters"

We broke away for a quick breakfast/lunch on the rooftop, where we got a gorgeous view of Manhattan. Going over the map we realized if we wanted a chance to see everything we were interested in we'd need to move faster and have a better game plan.

Inside we started skipping artists whose paintings didn't interest us. We went from 19th and early 20th century European painting to Modern and Contemporary Art. Having just been to Moma we saw familiar artists and paintings that were related to one another. From then we moved on to the European Paintings section, which cover paintings from the 13th to 19th century.

In the medieval section we learned about the habit people made of hiring artists to depict them in biblical scenes -- which struck me as a definite precursor to photoshopping yourself in with celebrities. There was also a painting that could also be considered a thumbnail gallery.

I thought I'd need all day at the Met, but by about 2pm, when we hit the American Wing, I found myself on overload. Most of the paintings of people or landscapes I walked by, not too interested, and only paused for Mary Cassat and Whister (both who did most of their painting in Europe anyway) and a funny painting where the artist deliberately obscured everyone's faces that I really liked.

We finished off some of the sections downstairs, catching the last of the Modern and Contemporary Art.

Even though we were at risk of being art-ed out, we then went down the street to the Frick Collection. It reminded me a lot of the Getty Museum, in that it was someone's big mansion turned into an art Gallery. The collection there was a lot smaller, we spent maybe an hour there, but they were all quality paintings worth seeing. There were more of our old friends, Degas, Turner, Goya, Tanguay and Whistler. Frick liked Rococo more than me, but I understand his desire to live with paintings that weren't too dark.

No pictures in the Frick, so I was not able to continue my series featuring Tech Support.

The Frick was like a chaser to the Met's massive meal and feeling good, we went to a nearby yarn store where I picked up another skein of souvenir yarn.

After that we headed over to Lena's work, where we played games with her friends (and I met the woman Lena claims is my doppelganger) for about 45 minutes before going to our next stop, a not-so-secret bar. This one involves through into a hotdog restaurant and into a phone booth where you make a call to get inside. Lena had made reservations so we only had to stand for a short while before going through the phone booth and into the bar itself.

Thanks to their strict policies the bar is nice and not too crowded, and we enjoyed a round of drinks together in the speak-easy atmosphere.

After that we went to a restaurant that had been recommended to all of us multiple times and gorged ourselves on Venezuelan food. We then headed up the street to hang out at Lena and Daniel's cute New York apartment for a little while before it got late and we headed back to our hotel.

No comments: