I went museum-hopping today, even though I should have stayed home and properly recovered from New Year’s (especially in light of my minor complaining of having worked on the day after New Year’s – especially when it was a Friday). Nonetheless, consider the following:
American Museum of Natural History has a fascinating exhibit on “Petra: Lost City of Stone”. Petra is most recognizable as the weird city in the stone that Indiana Jones and his dad went to get the Holy Grail in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Petra is real, not a George Lucas-made-up-facade, having once been a trade center in ancient Jordan. It was such a trade center of far reaches that even literature of China during the BCE era may have referred to Petra. It’s still open until July.
Meanwhile, my siblings and I managed to catch the El Greco exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, before it closes on Jan. 11, 2004. Incredible stuff – El Greco is the 16th-century painter named Domenikos Theotokopoulos – but will forever be “El Greco” because he was the Greek painter in the royal courts of Spain. His exaggerated, intensely psychological style made him seem ahead of his times, and inspired Picasso and others. I admired El Greco’s colors; the intense colors are not exactly traditionally synonymous with “Renaissance” – which made the art work even more remarkable.
The crowds were heavy – probably the one complaint I had about museum-hopping. NYC tourism is evidentally back in business, at least with popular exhibits. Popular exhibits open for a limited time are always sure to get crowds, but meanwhile, the permanent exhibits don’t attract the same numbers at all, considering how the Asian art galleries of the Met were otherwise empty. I had chills walking through the Central Asian stuff – Buddhist statues from Afghanistan were haunting reminders of the Buddha statues that the Taliban destroyed a few years ago.
NFL playoffs – stuff to make my other brother stay home and watch tv. Otherwise, bring on the new stuff on tv; I can’t take that much longer with the reruns.