Lyla Campbell
I'm writing this post on the plane back to Houston. And, I have to say, it was quite the vacation. Overall we spent five days in the city and two in central PA. It was also the best vacation yet, even with the for hour snow delay in H-town. Once in NYC, trying to find free wifi was an adventure. The hotel we stayed at charged $10 a day for internet access, so I passed on that. Then, the first place we tried that advertised free wireless didn't even know the password. When free wifi was finally procured, my battery lasted about as long as a snowball in hell. So, I'm left to post all my vacation shmutz after it's all over.

This was my fourth trip to NYC and I finally made it to the metropolitan Museum of Art. If your planning on going to the city, this is a must see. I was very excited about this visit for two reasons. First, this museum is EPIC. I mean really and truly EPIC. Sure, I know there are museums out there that are epic-er like the Louver or the Hermitage. But, right now traveling to see that level of grandeur is above my tax bracket. Second, when I was in the 5th grade or so, one of the books that we were required to read was "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" by E. L. Koingsburg. The long and short of the story is a young girl runs away from home with her little brother and holes up in the Met for a while. (If you have kids around the 5th grader age, I highly recommend this read. I enjoyed despite the fact I read it back at an age when one inherently dislikes any required reading. And, I'd read it again today if I could get my hands on a copy. Also, It won the Newbery Award back in 1968.) So, I was very excited about getting to see something 'epic' and a piece of my childhood memories all in one day.

Even if you're not that much of a much of a museum person, there is so much here to see, it's not possible to be disappointed. And, if you're a writer (like me) or an artist, or even someone who enjoys a nice latch-hook rug project every now and then, you are sure to find inspiration within it's walls.

Oh, and I should mention, it's an all day event. We only saw about half of the exhibits and we were there for almost five hours. Here's a little sampling of our day there:

Before you make it into any of the exhibit halls, the museum lobby itself is extremely impressive. The architecture in the lobby alone is massive and jaw dropping. The picture to the left is of the arches that loom over the lobby.

As if wandering through the galleries and seeing some of the most famous works of art wasn't impressive enough, there were entire rooms from Parisian hotels that had been transported and reassembled for display. Unfortunately, this was one of the wings where no photography was allowed. But in the American wing, where the facade of a 19th century Wall St. bank building along with various pieces of NYC landmarks had been put on display was not off limits. The marble floor under the glass roof in this wing was littered with art students and others who fancied themselves artistic sketching all aspects of this exhibit.

The icing on the cake was the Greek and Roman Hall. Here you could go nose to nose in a staring contest with both the Young Hercules and the Bearded Hercules. Or if you preferred a more demure opponent, Aphrodite was there as well. There were almost too many from the ancient pantheon of gods to choose from.

Aside from the museum, there were the obligatory tourist stops we had to make that had not been checked off the list during previous visits. 1. Magnolia Bakery: where, yes the cupcakes were all that was raved about. And 2. Caffe Reggio: the oldest coffee shop in Greenwich Village and the oldest cappuccino in the city. I do admit, it was the most fabulous caffeinated beverage I've ever downed. But, I must warn you that it's a block from NYU and there were a plethora of pretentious collegiates regurgitating what had been spoon fed to them in their last lecture. So, if you decided to check this out should you ever find yourself in New York, caffeinate at your own risk.

Yes, I know, that was a rather short list. But, to be completely honest, most of our time was spent eating, or looking for the place we would have our next meal. If you are a foodie this is unequivocally the town for you. I had the best steak of my life and the downtown local of Les Halles (Anthony Bourdain's restaurant). I had a truly proper creme brule at a place call Thalia. It was wonderful, not some knock-off flan like piece that so many chains try to pass off as dessert. And to top it all off, our last meal in the city was at Cafeteria with (and I swear I'm not exaggerating here) the absolute best mac 'n' cheese on the planet.

Now, after stuffing myself silly for a week with both food and eye candy, it's back to the grind in Houston and...editing.

Next up: A post on re-routing my NaNoWriMo plot and the muse that inspired it. It should be up late tomorrow so check back soon!
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