I’d gotten a much needed 7 hours sleep, the most on this trip I think. I got the blog up around 9:30 and started making my way over to the only thing I had on the agenda for the day: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
AKA “The Met”, it is the largest museum in the US and 3rd largest in the world. (First is Louvre; 2nd is National Museum of China). It’s in Central Park on the Upper East Side. I haven’t been that far up Manhattan since I was here in 2011.
One of the things about staying in Jersey City that I’d rethink for a next time is how much longer it takes to get anywhere. From here, The Met is 5.3 miles per Google, yet takes over an hour to get there using public transportation. And the majority of the buses I’ve caught from Jersey City have been late. So I started rethinking some of this on this day, spurned, I’m sure, by how tired I am!
First world problems for sure.
The bus from Jersey City stopped of course at the Port Authority Bus Terminal near Times Square. I picked up the E line and got off at Madison Ave around 53rd to catch another bus up to the museum. The museum is on 5th Ave but that runs one way south, Madison is its north running counterpart.
From the corner of 5th Ave and 81st St.
Deciding what to photograph and then what to include here is always the challenge. I tried to be pretty selective. What do I either really like, or what is different given how many museums I’ve written about? With that in mind, let’s get started. I’ll likely let the captions speak for themselves.
I first made my way to 19th century European paintings because I knew my favorite stuff would be there.
I can honestly say I’d never seen anything like this. Probably because most of my museums have been in Europe; although this is a French painter, go figure.
I loved the use of lighting here.
Thought I’d throw this in from my trip last year for comparison. You can see more of my photos from Giverny here.
Believe it or not, that was restraint.
From here I wandered into the modern art section – yes, I know – but there was a special exhibit called Camp that I wanted to see. Unknown to me, camp as a style has been around for hundreds of years. “In the nineteenth century, the word ‘camp’ acquired distinctive homosexual connotations.” Camp was defined in many ways throughout the exhibit, but the simplest is probably an over-the-top, intentionally exaggerated style – could apply to art, fashion, language. It was a fun exhibit.
By the time I was done with Camp I’d been in the museum well over an hour. I typically get full pretty quickly – 2 hours is a good stay for me in any museum.
Another one, about twice the size of the first.
When I went to the Louvre the first time in 2014, one of the first areas we got to was Egyptian Antiquities. Dan says “let’s take a quick look.” It went on forever and we couldn’t find our way out of it when we were ready. Having seen much more than I ever intended then (all sarcophagi look the same to me now) , my reaction since whenever I encounter Egyptian anything is to run in the opposite direction. Here, it was on my way out and couldn’t easily be avoided. And I discovered something I hadn’t seen before: The Temple of Dendur.
The Temple of Dendur was built around 15 BC by a Roman governor. This exhibit was a gift from Egypt to the US for its contributions to the UNESCO campaign to save Egyptian monuments.
You were allowed to enter the temple if you wanted. See the line of people going into very small spaces in the center? No, thank you.
By the time I exited I’d spent more than 2 hours and I was done on so many levels. I’d only eaten a street vendor hotdog before I went into the museum and decided it was time for real food. But I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather and walk through Central Park, so I crossed it to get to the Upper West Side.
From here I looked at my options for getting home and decided to do something different. I hadn’t experienced PATH yet and wanted to: Port Authority Trans Hudson, trains that run between NYC to NJ. I’d kept wondering why Google never gave me that option, but it just has to do with my specific location in Jersey City. So I mapped directly to the PATH station in Jersey City and would figure it out from there.
I took the 1 train down to Pennsylvania Station / Madison Square Garden, 32nd St at 7th Ave. I’d never been in this area before; completely forgot about photos probably because I was so overwhelmed by people. Penn Station is the 2nd busiest train station in the country (Grand Central being #1) and it showed here for sure. The PATH trains were a block east on 6th so I made my way over. From there, it was no different than any other subway ride.
The Journal Square PATH station where I got out has subway and bus connections inside, but I didn’t know that at first. Long story short: I skipped the bus and took a Lyft back to the house. That was mostly a function of how tired I was. And I wanted to do laundry and make sure I had time for that. I rested a bit, put a load into each of the 2 washers that are here (for free, one of the reasons I picked this place), and went out again in search of dinner.
This is a Colombian place about 5 blocks from the house. Somehow I’d never noticed it before but am super glad I stopped.
This was an appetizer. I took half of this and probably more than half of the next dish home, easily another meal. The round pieces are fried chorizo – crisp on the outside, a ton of flavor on the inside, not greasy at all, which was a nice surprise. The other meat is chicharrones – pork cracklings, or pork rinds. The meat part was crispy, the fatty part juicy, pretty amazing. The triangles are essentially fried corn meal. Tortilla chip or fried corn tortilla doesn’t quite cut it, this was somehow different than that – thicker than either of those, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.
This was not quite as good as the first dish, although the chicken with the avocado and onion in one bite was terrific.
After that I went back and finished laundry while working on the blog. I went to bed before 11pm, only one other night has been earlier.
The Met ticket is good for 3 days, and includes 2 other museums. We’ll see if I decide to take advantage of that today.