Wednesday, May 23, 2012 A
"My Adventure Begins"

My adventure begins! After a shaky start, I am waiting in the airport after having gone through the security check.

I am feeling better than I feared. It was nice learning the no-show co-worker was really sick (and not suffering from 'party-osis'). Proof came with the first waves of nausea and coughing Monday. Tuesday was rough, my fever raged in the morning. But I absolutely flooded myself with fluids and my fever broke later in the day.

Except for a little bit of coughing and nausea, I don't feel too bad today. So I have hopes of giving the Metropolitan Museum a decent visit or two. I anticipate seeing the big statue of Amenemhat II they have on extended loan, and two special exhibits, "The Dawn of Egyptian Art" and "The Steins Collect". There are many Matisse paintings in the second exhibit. There's lots others I hope to see and things I hope to do and people I hope to meet. May the gods be with me (and with the pilots!)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 B
"Safely Arrived"
8:38pm (New York Time)

I've safely made it to my tiny room. No sink, but it's on the ground floor, which is convenient. After calling Julia, I went out for some food. The nearby deli I'd remembered was closed, so I walked down towards Union Square. I didn't want a fancy restaurant. I wanted some Kefir yogurt. A juice bar offered a tuna dish for fourteen dollars. No, I wasn't in the mood for that. So I found a food wagon at Union Square and opted for a "chicken" hot dog. All of its toppings were messy and I got myself well splattered with them. But it sure was tasty.

Now I have the tiny TV set to PBS. The New York station is running the same "Nature" special as is the Phoenix station we receive via cable, all about the plight of the salmon. They are trying to undo the damages the dams have done, so salmon can have healthier populations.

Wednesday, May 24, 2012
"First Day"

As I hear the sound of rain pouring down, I'm glad I headed back to the hotel when I did.

The morning began very muggy. I was disappointed to find I'd forgotten a toothbrush. Fortunately, there's a nearby drugstore, and my forgetfulness was remedied.

I was able to catch a cab to the Met museum, and I was glad I did. For no sooner than I got in the cab, the rain started pouring down. It thundered, even. Because of the rain, more people opted for cabs, rather than for a stormy walk to the subway. Consequently, the traffic was terrible. A trip I remember costing $15 in 2009 cost $25 on account of the delays.

Just as I entered the Met museum, I heard one very loud thunder crack. Perhaps Set was having a loud proclamatory comment!

Colossal Statue of a Pharaoh
Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, reign of Amenemhat II (ca. 1919-1885 BCE)
Granodiorite, from Tanis (eastern Nile Delta)
Lent by the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus collection of Berlin

After photographing the huge Amenemhat II statue, and becoming a member (cheaper in the long run), I made a beeline for the "Dawn of Egyptian Art".

Statue of a Jackal,
Naqada III (ca. 3300-3100 BCE)
El Ahaiwah; Tomo A226
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, #6-19071

I happily photographed the beautiful greywacke jackal, and was snapping up depictions of hippos, when the young but authoritative man said, "No photos!".

I did sneak in a photo of a piece from the Ashmolean said to be Set. It's his snout, all right. However, the ears and tail had been attached separately and only the three holes gave clue to where they had once had been.

Model standard in the likely shape of the Set-animal
Pink limestone, length 4.3cm
Naqada IIc (ca. 3450 BCE), Naqada, grave 721, from Petrie's excavations
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, #AN 1895.138

Other than that, I took no more furtive photos of the exhibit. (I did intend to buy its catalogue.).

After lunch of baked tilapia, black beans, a tiny bit of rice and carrot juice, I felt revived.

I headed over to the regular Egyptian galleries, but, alas, they weren't so regular. Some construction causing harmful vibrations was going on below the exhibit area. Hence many fragile pieces had been removed and some areas were closed off.

Just the same, I got many good photos of pieces whose previous photographic attempts had been bungled. Also, I got different views of some pieces. And I caught some new ones, too.

Recumbent Lion
Egyptian, Old Kingdom, Dynasty 4, ca. 2575-2465 BCE
Granite, muzzle reconstructed, from Ihnasya el-Medina (Herakleopolis Magna)
Purchase, Anonymous Gift, in honor of Annette de la Renta, MMA 2000.485

On the large, vertical block of relief, Niankhwadjet inhales the scent of a lily (aka 'lotus').
Elements from the False Door in the Chapel of Mery's Mastaba
First half of Dynasty 4 (2575-2520 B.C.)
From Saqqara, Limestone

By this time, it was 3:00pm, and I was tired. I went back to the cafeteria for more of that tilapia and beans, in hopes it would revive me to see more.

But after my hunger was satisfied, and I headed to the upper floor, a little voice inside my head (yes, the Ba voice, with wings), whispered, "You really ought to visist the Met store, and get that exhibition catalog, and head home!"

I listened. I was able to save 20%, so it was worthwhile.

I hoped to get a cab home, but every cabbie said they were done for the day. The morning rains had no doubt made their day long and tiring, (although profitable). Glad I'd taken notes on subway return, I trudged the long way to 86th St. and three blocks over. After missing one possible train, I caught the next one going to Union Square. I was so glad to emerge within walking distance of the comfy room.

After taking time for another protein filled, relatively lo-carb snack, not much longer after I was in and safely dry, the rains began again.

All the lovely Matisse pieces in "The Steins Collect" will wait for tomorrow.

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