Thursday, February 12, 2009


1133 days ago

Everything about New York seems to be big. I didn't mind that about the Metropolitan Museum ("Met"). Started off with the Greek and Roman Antiquity, but didn't stay there for long. I lingered in nostalgia over the Precolumbian art, the Mayans, the Aztecs, the Inca, and other less known people. Also saw an interesting exhibition about the Pacific Marquese Islands and took my time looking at African Art. The Egyptian section was huge, covering all periods. I got all existential looking at statues from 4500 years ago, the catscan (radiography) of a mummy 2700 y old, the monumental statues of the beautiful queen Hatshepsut (dressed up like a man, as she was a pharaoh) the next pharaoh wanted them destroyed as he consider a woman king was a blasphemy...a chair, boat models, animals, all made thousands of years before we started counting time, miniatural or monumental. So why worrying and striving, and getting new cell phones, and new computers? Everything will be just objects. All passes, all flows.

The Arms and Armor also captured me, for whatever reason I like blades. Their cold steel beauty, especially the Oriental ones, Arab, Turkish, Japanese, Indian. Daggers and cimitars, the smaller and the sharper - the better. Dangerous jewels.

The Middle Age is also one of my favorite periods, crossing by the Byzantine art I was missing home. I like the pre-Renaissance kind of stiffness and purity, all gothic Virgins and Saints, the miniatural work. The whole section was dominated by a huge Christmas tree, decorated from top to bottom and surrounded by colourful Neapolitan figurines of the Virgin, St. Joseph, the Child, Shepherds and the Three Kings, on elephants and camels. The Naples area is well knows for its beautiful Nativity scenes. Church songs were playing and the whole ambiance was one of a magnificent splendid solemn Christmas.

I wandered around the European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, lots of French rooms - all furnished and decorated, a Swiss one, an Italian cabinet, a Venetian room, a real palace. I find neo classical and baroque rather tedious though, tiring. I was really impressed by a whole Spanish yard though, it even had a couple of trees next to the statues. A couple of statues by Bernini, Canova, more French artists, chinaware by Josiah Wedgwood (beautiful cameo style, on black, blue and green). I was absolutely charmed by the items left from the fire that destroyed the house of Tiffany, the most exquisite lamps and decorative objects designer, as good as Émile Gallé or René Lalique, one of my idols. Two full walls, a stair, a few columns, all in Art Nouveau style.

I ended up all dizzy, going for coffee with B., a nice Hindu writer I met in the Egyptian section, next to the Metternich stella - we started talking about it and decided to have a chat later on. We went to a nice Italian coffee shop he knew on the West side of Central Park.

Then I walked towards the theatre area on Broadway and Times Square, all in huge screens and light ads, looking like Japanese movies. I guess Broadway is more interesting inside.

Walked back home across the Queensboro bridge, with a group of youngsters, talking to Diana, half Jordanian, half Philippino - nice person. Went to pick my cousin up at work and got a lift from a couple of clients (I needed one reeeeeeeeally badly!). They told us they live in the same building as a famous Romanian poet - Nina Cassian.

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