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A Day at the Museum

My turn to sleep late this morning so Brian and I didn't set off until after noon. This time we went to the Metropolitan Museum, diverting to look at some sidewalk stalls. There was once that had lovely oriental paintings that I succumbed to. After a bit of bargaining, I got two for $50; one Chinese ink painting of a horse, and a picture of red tree blossom and magpies.

Inside the museum, we started in the Egyptian section which had a very fine display. As well as the usual safcophagi, potteries, jewellery and statues, there were some very fine papyri and a temple, complete with Napoleonic grafitti. The temple was been rescued from the flooding of the Aswan dam and given to the Americans in gratitude for their help. It was set up with water channels around it to recreate the waterfont of its original setting.

From there, we went into the American galleries. There were several rereated 19th centuryt rooms. They had been acquired largely intact from houses - furniture, fireplaces, lamps, ornaments - the lot. After that, we saw some fabolous Tiffany wares. There were some of his stained glass windows, which are even more beautiful seen in real life than in pictures; you can really see the different textures used in the glass. Further on, there were dozens of paintings. Some fell into the 'gloomy oils;' catagory to be found in any museum but there were some worth lingering over. I relished the John Singer Sargent portraits, and the classic Remington cavalry painting. I've seen it reproduced dozens of times and it was delightful to see the original.

By the time we'd done this, my feet were aching and we were ready for a break. We wandered around the back of the museum into Central Park and bought ice cream. We only saw a little bit of the park, but still saw plenty of joggers and cyclists. Also saw New York's Cleopatra's Needle. I've already seen the London one, so I guess that completes the set.

On the bus back I said that the NY buses didn't seem very friendly so wheelchairs or baby buggies. Although the buses kneel, you still have to climb three steps up and the side exit has three steep steps down. Brian explained that the side steps turn into an lift for wheelchair users, and at the next stop I got to see it in action. The driver had to leave her seat, head halfway back along the bus, unlock the control box, wait for the steps unfold and wait for the wheelchair user to board, wait for the steps to fold, lock the box and she then fsatened the wheels of the chair with straps before returning to get the bus underway again. All of which palaver doesn't seem to apply to baby buggies, which still hvae to be lugged up steps, and there aren't the convenient bays for them. People with sticks still have to make their way up and down the steps, though there are handles. There doesn't really seem to be anything in the way of bus lanes or priorities either. I like Sheffield buses and trams better. 

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August 2018


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