This past summer, I was determined to familiarize my youngest with the NJ Transit. Of course that means we had to go into the city. One of our destinations was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was an experience worth having. First, from where we live, it is not easy to take public transportation to get there. It is a long bus ride, a subway train ride, and a few miles walk across the Central Park. The walk would have been nice, except that day the weather decided to be hot and humid. That is exactly what we signed up for.
***Please note that all the photos in the museum were taken for personal use and without a flash.***
The Museum is lovely. It always is. It is crowded on any day of the week. There have never been a time where I would visit and there would hardly be anyone there. There were tourists from every country. I lost count of how many different languages we heard. There were camp groups, summer school groups, grandparents with grand kids. So many people! It didn’t matter though, the museum is large enough to welcome everyone into it comfortably.
One thing that I forgot is that the pay as you wish admission to the museum is for NYC residents only. I am no longer a NYC resident, and there is now discount if you are from Jersey. Oops. The good thing is that kids 12 and under are free.
We had no plan, we rarely do. We just started walking through many wings, without a real destination, and walked until we got tired. It was a lot to absorb. Finally, it was time to break for lunch in the cafe. After the lunch the walking got more intentional. The kids came there for the music display, and the Egyptian artifacts, so we had to make a point to see those. I came there for the impressionists. So we had to meander our way there.
Throughout the museum we met lots and lots of docents. Some were fantastic, making the kids laugh, telling them stories about the paintings. Some of them were your regular run of the mill shushing docents. We did spend some time barking at the kids: “no running”, “don’t come to close”, “no touching”, “keep your hands in your pockets”. At the end all was well. While our kids are not strangers to being in an art museum, I think this one overwhelmed them. Just the sheer amount of visual information and the noise. They did great despite that.
We probably spent the most time looking at the music wing. There was a violin that my 11 year old wanted to see for wings in person, and I am glad he got the opportunity to do so.
After our lunch I spotted one of my favorite Tiffany stained glass windows. I was beyond excited to see it in real life.
The Byzantine fashion display was.. ummm.. interesting. There was something very unsettling about it, maybe it was the music. Maybe that all the manikins had their eyes closed. Maybe the incense smell I thought was present through the room. Creepy, and I liked it.
Nothing ever beats seeing the ancient artifacts up close. Just a note, it is so easy to lose the kids in the museum. Not that we did, but it is super easy.
Finally, we made it to see the impressionists and post-impressionists. They are always incredible to see. For me, anyway. At the end of the day, even my non-artsy 11 year old was inspired to paint by one of Monet’s winter scenes that he saw in the museum.
We went out for our walk back through the hot and humid Central Park, and out for ice cream before getting back on the subway.
By the time we got on the bus home, everyone was exhausted. It was a good day out.