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Saturday was the big day I’d been waiting for. That morning we went to New York City to see the MET. Same as with our trip last fall, we drove up to Princeton Junction where we took the train into Penn Station. From there we walked the 3 miles up to the Met. It was nice to see more of the city, as I had yet to venture north of Times Square. Central Park is so freakin’ huge. Ye Gods.

Anyway, this was my first time at the MET and I was totally overwhelmed by the sheer size of the building and volume of the collections. Imagine combining the all the Smithsonian buildings and the National Gallery under a single roof. Just incredible. I was totally not prepared for this; I want to read and absorb everything but have neither the capacity nor enough time to do so.

That said, we first hit all the collections I’d earmarked as must-see, starting with the 19th century European paintings on the south side of the second floor. I love stuffy academic solon works, so this was an absolute dream. Sadly, in order to reach the older European paintings, located on the west side of the floor, in a timely fashion, we had a race through all the 16th century drawings and prints. I really enjoyed the European galleries, though unfortunately one section was closed for renovation (opening back up May 2013). Also, as much as I adore those intimate 14th century Italian works, we felt so pressed for time that I couldn’t really stop to take them as I did the Kress Collection at the National Gallery. Shame. Need I mention we also missed the entire Robert Lehman Collection, located on the west side of the first floor.

The good news is that I got to see the entire American Wing, which was recently completed this past January. Last November when we visited New York I actually held off going to the MET because these galleries were not yet complete, which was no problem because it gave me the perfect opportunity to see the Brooklyn Museum. Anyway, the American Wing was fabulous and I got to see all the paintings I’d obsessively earmarked in preparation. In order to be appreciated, some works just have to be seen in person; there are so many details that elude the eye in reproduction prints.

And of course we checked out the Luce Conservation Center. As I’ve said before, I love the concept of having works out on visible display instead of completely closed off from the public.

By this time we’d already spent a good five hours at the museum, and we’d only scratched the surface of their European sculptures and decorative arts section. I was up for more, but we had a train to catch. Seriously, I could spend a solid week in this museum and never get bored.

Again, the MET blew me away. I totally underestimated its size. And to think I was initially considering trying to visit both the New York Historical Society AND the MET in the same day. That would not have worked out well.

Afterward we took a stroll down through Central Park and Time Square, eventually stopping for a bite to eat and then to Penn Station for our train back to Princeton Junction.

Upon reaching home I topped off the evening with a bottle of Weyerbacher’s Simcoe Double IPA. Very … hoppy. Yeah, I never have much to say about this particular style. This was more so about trying yet another Weyerbacher ale than wanting a solid Double IPA. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

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againstathorn

December 2016

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