Flashback to Friday last week – to my first foray into the Megatron of Art Galleries – the Metropolitan Museum of Art or as it’s affectionately known, the Met.
Mum – Megatron is a really, really big Transformer. He’s kind of bad, which the Met clearly isn’t. But he has the ability to shift into different things depending on what universe he’s in – kind of like the Met, which is so big and diverse you could easily have a different experience of it every time you go there. But more on that later.
I was implored by a dear friend to venture out after having spent the week in bed and I suspect, after complaining profusely of boredom (I know, how can you be bored in NYC? Well, spend a week after week within the same four walls and you can be bored anywhere, bay-bee!). It happened to be the one day that a very disturbed man let loose on his ex-boss at the Empire State Building so of course Midtown was completely shut down as they assessed the situation.
My guide-to-getting-everywhere, the iPhone app HopStop suggested I take 3 buses to get there. I begged to differ, chose to wait a half hour instead and the subways opened up again. Hey presto!
My first glimpse of the gallery was like a vision at the end of a long residential street. Spectacular.
This was probably the second time I experienced the giddy feeling I got when I first got to New York. The girly, excited, ants in your pants “I can’t believe I’m really here” kind of feeling that lets you know instantly you are exactly where you are meant to be. I was so glad to have been ordered out of the house, even though I didn’t feel quite 100% it didn’t matter anymore.
The building itself is sensational – built in the 19th century – it is a work of art in itself. I took these in a stairwell – so this is just one tiny corner of the fabulousness that is ALL OVER the damn place.
If you’re visiting New York you definitely need a day (or two if you can) to get around to all of the exhibits that comprehensively span the continents, centuries, ideologies in a seemingly endless corridor, room after room. I’m planning on visiting regularly to take it all in. As it was I let my mood dictate the exhibits I visited. I think I saw about 15% of what was there in 4 hours.
You definitely need refreshment stops. And bring your camera. Possibly the most surprising part of my visit was that you are ALLOWED to take pictures of the artwork and exhibits. Obviously not with flash (though I saw lots of people do it anyway). I thought it was nice of the Met to allow it, but in another way I wondered how much you could really enjoy an artwork if all you did was point and shoot at it then go on to the next one and do the same (saw so many people doing this!). You could have just picked up a book!?
Here are some of my favourite visions from the day:
The last picture, the painting, is of Joan of Arc. I found myself drawn to several representations of her scattered throughout the gallery, different styles, times and places, and when it occurred to me, I thought it was a lovely coincidence and reminder of the strength I have.
It’s not so much that I feel I’ve forgotten my strength but that I haven’t been living in it. Using it to create change. In the last week, SO MUCH has already changed. So I like to think maybe Joan’s little wink at me made all the difference.
Now I’m paying it forward: remember your strength today. If you feel like you’ve forgotten where it is be sure to keep your eyes open so you don’t miss the wink I’m sending your way.