Filling in the blanks

Just a little final travel note before I close the book on another vacation. This didn’t really fit into the last post but I wanted to get it in:

I’m writing things from Pearson International Airport in Toronto, where we have a three-hour stopover. For those keeping score: Ottawa and Pearson have free wi-fi (and better wi-fi than our hotel did). LaGuardia in NYC does not. Canadian airports are winning, 2-0.

We spent out final day of vacation checking off one final item from the New York Tourist Checklist:

  • Metropolitan Museum Of Art

This was something I had wanted to do, but it didn’t really fit well into our schedule, and Pamela didn’t seem that interested, so I didn’t push it. But then we had nothing scheduled for this morning, and she suggested we visit, so off we went.

We actually took a cab a few blocks farther north than we needed to, because I wanted to see the Guggenheim Museum. I didn’t want to go in, I just wanted to see it, because it’s a somewhat famous and unique building. So I guess we actually checked two items off the New York Tourist Checklist:

  • Metropolitan Museum Of Art
  • The Guggenheim

The Met, as it’s known, was amazing. It really is an art museum, not an art gallery…and it’s enormous and maze-like. The first thing we saw was a huge exhibit of Egyptian art. But they interpret “art” quite broadly. So there are paintings and sculptures…but also an entire room from an Egyptian temple (I think) transported and installed in a large gallery. There are sarcophigi and canopy jars and jewelry boxes and make-up applicators (really) and all sorts of other things. The galleries are beatiful, and, in many cases, built or modified specifically to fit particular collections.

Besides the Egyptian art collection, we saw Italian Renaissance art, a bunch of Victorian-era art including several entire rooms recreated with all the original furniture etc. (I told you they interpreted “art” broadly), a sculpture garden full of beautiful marble sculptures from around the 17th century, a collection of medieval European and Japanese arms and armor, a gallery of Greek and Roman art (including coins), and a gallery of modern art. This last gallery was the only one that really resembled what I expected: it was mostly paintings on walls. The rest of it really straddled that line between “art gallery” and “museum”.

We didn’t see it all, in that in our three hours there, we didn’t see every gallery. But there was so much stuff in a single gallery that you could spend a day in each and not really “see it all”. Definitely recommended. Allow at least three hours. Be warned that there are surprisingly few places to sit…we saw more chairs and furniture that we weren’t allowed to sit on (because they were exhibits) than we were.

That was the end of our New York trip. From the Met, we took a cab to the hotel to grab our bags and then straight to LaGuardia. It was a nice way to end the trip. And in a couple hours, we should be home!

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Posted on September 11, 2010, in travel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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