45 minutes at the Met

My trip to NYC last week for the NYS English Conference didn’t include much down time, but I did have a couple hours free Friday morning before I had catch my train back to Albany.  I have a weakness for art museums of all kinds, and if you’ve been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you know it’s kind of the great grandmother of them all.  Friday morning, I was in desperate need of some exercise so I made deal with myself.  Go ahead and go to the Met, but you have to walk the 36 blocks to get there.

I left my pod at the Pod Hotel early so I could be there for the 9:30 opening. This is my pod…the whole entire thing. 

There’s none of the room that you can’t see, and I could stand in the middle and touch both walls.  Thus, this isn’t a great place for the claustrophobic, but it was clean, kind of hip, and very cheap by NYC standards, especially on a night when the Marriott’s conference rate was sold out and the best I could get there was $499/night.

With 45 minutes at the Met, I had a strategic game plan.  I wanted to see the Vermeer paintings that were part of the Rembrandt exhibit (sorry, no pictures allowed), and that took up most of my time.  I’ve had a fascination with Vermeer ever since I read Girl with a Pearl Earring, Girl in Hyacinth Blue, and Chasing Vermeer, and I had never seen a real Vermeer painting until now.  They are as enchanting and magical and light-filled as I had hoped. 

After the Dutch exhibit, I took a walk through the new Greek and Roman gallery that opened recently.

And then wandered through the Modern Art section on behalf of a Gianna, a character in my MG contemporary novel who LOVES Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock. 

Okay…the truth is that I love them, too, which is probably one reason Gianna loves them.  We’re both mesmerized by the energy in the Pollock paintings.

And then I saw this on my way out…

When I stepped back, it looked like this…

Okay…who knew right away it was going to be a Chuck Close piece? This one is called Lucas.

I was almost late for my train because I decided to walk/jog back to the hotel to get my stuff and also had to stop to take a picture of this turkey in a storefront on 5th Avenue.

It is made entirely of forks, spoons, and knives.  How’s that for a Thanksgiving centerpiece?!  Happily, there was no line at checkout, and I made it to Penn Station on time, set up a nice writing spot on the train, and was able to bang out two more chapters of my WIP before pulling into Albany. 

13 Replies on “45 minutes at the Met

  1. I’m soooooo jealous. I’ve always wanted to go to the Met.
    Thanks for the awesome pictures. Looks like you had a good time (and got some good work done, too)

  2. I spent time at the MET and MOMA a few weekes ago with my daughter’s hs art class — one never tires of seeing those glorious paintings! Did you see the paintings Georgia O’Keefe did in Lake George? They were near that Picasso. 🙂

  3. The turkey made of silverware may be my favorite picture in this post!

    I can’t hear “Pablo Picasso” without thinking of an old punk song which featured the line “Pablo Picasso was never called an a**hole”. Which, I’m pretty sure, is false.

    I saw his Guernica when I was in Madrid more than 15 years ago, and back then, it was in its old building, with 2 Uzi-toting guards and behind bullet-proof glass. Behold the power of art.

  4. Yes – I love Georgia O’Keefe, too. When I was in Vancouver a few years ago, the art museum there had an exhibit that featured her, Emily Carr, and Frieda Kahlo with an emphasis on the sense of place in their paintings. It was incredible!

  5. Yep, the silverware turkey rivaled the Picasso, for sure. So did the director’s chair on the street corner with the sign that said, “Do not steal this chair. It belongs to a cranky old man.” My camera battery died before I could get a picture, though.

  6. I was in Albany for approximately 12 minutes at 6:50 on Thursday morning and another 4 minutes on Friday afternoon (and I spent two of those using the bathroom and getting a cup of coffee for the drive home…) Had I known you’d be free during those 12 minutes, I would have called for sure.