Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I missed the train. And since I had an appointment with a dermatologist at 11:30, waiting for the next train was not an option. That was how, after a few minutes bitching and berating myself for not loking up the train schedule the night before-something I normally do, I found myself heading toward the Big Apple in the car.
It's not that I don't know how to get there. In this age of GPS and smartphones, you can always find your way. It was more the terror of throwing myself into that crazy mix of taxis, busses, police cars, and nutty drivers all vying for the same road real estate as me. Yes, they are all crazy!
Luckily, it was MLK day and the streets were almost tranquil. There was even street parking available, if I could decipher what exactly the parking rules were. Signs abound, but what they actually tell you leaves a lot to the imagination.
The first lot I pulled into quoted an obscene price for a parking space, so after twenty rotations around 5th and Madison-look! It's the Met and now, Jonathan Adler's boutique, the Met, there's the Dr.'s office, Jonathan Adler, Met- I settled on parking in the museum lot. Go figure, it was cheaper. Bonus. I stil had 45 minutes to kill before the earliest I was willing to show up for my appointment. Around the blocks again, texting and walking, hood up because I forgot a hat, wondering if anybody was noticing me passing the same windows twenty times.
My appointment was uneventful, if you call having a chunk of shin removed for biopsy, even though I was assured, "Don't lose sleep over this. I am almost 100% positive it's nothing." But being a Melanoma survivor, it's always good to be paranoid.
I strolled out of the office with two tiny stitches, a pressure bandage, a numb shin, freedom from worry, and a day in NY awaiting. What to do?
Hey, there's the Met!
It was the first time I could meander through the galleries without worrying about anything but myself. I said hello to "Little Archer" (I do believe it is a Michaelangelo, but have no concrete reason why), wandered through the Greek and Roman displays, and found myself in the Polynesian galleries. Oh, this is new.
I didn't examine anything closely, rather I let myself absorb the massive entirety of the museum. The variety was what I took in, this immense history of art. It resonated in a deep and vital piece of my consciousness; this evidence of a consistent need within the human psyche to create beauty and document our tenuous existences.
It was what I needed. Did it fuel the fires of creativity? Did I come home with new ideas, plug into my laptop and while away hourse in a frenzy of productivity? No.
I left the Met and walked eight blocks to the nearest Shake Shack, where I pigged down a burger, cheese fries and a root beer float. Awesome. In my defense, I did observe some of NY's finest characters and filed them away for future reference.
I went back to the car, paid my parking fee, and got myself out of the city with little trouble. My shin was beginning to throb, and guilt from my food orgy set in, but it was a wonderful experience. The city, with it's art, culture, and plethora of personalities and eaves-dropping opportunities, seems closer than ever.