Beginning this year, several of my ESL students will be attending universities in the U.S. One of my students from China will be attending Pratt Institute in NYC. She is a talented young artist. With further training her hope is to develop her artistic abilities.
We had an opportunity to meet up in Manhattan for lunch, a quick tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a few other stops. For a student interested in art, I thought the MET would be a great choice for introducing our guest to New York’s number one art museum. I wrote about another visit to the MET here. And readers of this blog know well my attraction to the MET. In fact, it is one of the largest museums in the world! Truth be told, I have been eager to take my new camera (Pentax K30) to the sculpture gallery at the MET. The various galleries of sculpture and decorative art boast an impressive 50,000 objects. There are a number of exceptional sculpture pieces that depict mythological characters or represent scenes from historical events. Orpheus playing his violin, Perseus Holding the head of Medusa and The Reclining Naiad come to mind directly .
Follow this link to the gallery for more pictures from the MET.
When meeting someone who is not familiar with NYC, a popular landmark for rendezvous is “the information booth at GRAND CENTRAL STATION”. It is centrally located in midtown Manhattan, easy to find and offers a view of the entire main concourse at a busy train hub. There are also plenty of restaurants to eat at and shops to browse.
Momo invited her classmate and friend from China, Linbo to join Diane and I for this visit to Manhattan. After meeting them at Grand Central Station, we walked directly over to Madison Ave. and caught the M1 bus uptown to 79th St., walked a block north and then a block west to the entrance of the MET.
We set a plan to meet back at the front lobby by 2:30 if we got separated or if we chose to explore different areas of the museum. As it turned out, Momo and Linbo wanted to see the Asian Arts on the 2nd floor and I was set on photographing mostly sculpture downstairs. This plan worked well and we departed for a late lunch at a cool place in midtown that is not expensive, tasty and helped to diminish some of the homesickness the girls must be experiencing! Xi’an Famous Foods is a great little spot (only about a dozen seats) for a quick lunch, though I found the loud Hip-Hop annoying. It is a noodle house that offers freshly pulled, wide-noodle dishes and soups in varying degrees of spiciness with chicken, lamb, beef or offal — foods that are commonly used in Western China. Unfortunately, we were all so hungry we forgot to snap a pic of the food….maybe next time.
Next, we went to the Sony Wonder Tech Lab. This is a fun and interactive experience for all ages. I am unceasingly amazed at the wonders of technology. The Sony Lab is a terrific space to learn and understand more about the increasingly specialized and advanced tools of the day.
Both Momo and Linbo asked about places to buy winter clothing. I warned them that Manhattan is an expensive place to buy clothes and the Times Sq. District is known for outrageous prices. It is what we call a tourist trap. You will pay a lot of money for that T-shirt or sweatshirt that says,”I LOVE NEW YORK”. Never the less, they wanted to look at some shops. After spending some time looking, they came out and agreed that things were too expensive. However, Momo did get a cute little M&M’s bracelet, seen in the picture below.
At about 6:30 the girls had decided they needed to get back to the campus before too late. Diane and I had a plan to finish the day by taking the express ticket to the observation deck of the Empire State Building. I will write in greater detail and add pictures to another article about that adventure. For now, here is a picture to invite you back for more reading next week;