Friday, July 22, 2011

Going up, Coming down: Manhattan Museum Experiences

I began this entry standing in line at the Natural History Museum and thought it would be appropriate to share some thoughts about the museums I've seen here. I am continuing it now, sitting in the hall of primates, because it's a...errr...compound fiasco...of a design and there are WAY too many children here (don't get me wrong...I love kids. But it's summer. I don't wanna see those little snot-nosed faces for another month).

So anyways. I say it's a...Charlie Foxtrot...because it's a totally confusing design. Museums shouldn't have dead-ends. As helpful as museum maps are, I much prefer to be able to wander my way through. That doesn't work here. I actually had to download an app for my iPod so I could find my way. And I'm kinda over it. The Museum of Sex, on the other hand, was a different experience: you go up. You come down. (I wonder if that's a metaphor for something...)

I didn't realize there WAS a museum of sex here til I started looking at my Manhattan pop-up map (another coincidence?). When I found it, I knew I had to come. After all, I visited the Musee d'Erotisme in Paris - it would be interesting to compare the French with the Americans. For a subject that you'd think would have a limited number of ways to approach it, the two were surprisingly different. MOSex seemed to focus on sex in the media (porn, mainstream, and even in the comics) and had an exhibit on animals and the variety of behaviors that we think of as abnormalities that occus quite naturally in the animal kingdom.

For example, the fact that dolphins will, uhm, make use of each other's blowholes - the ones on top of their heads - or the first recorded instance of homosexual necrophilia in mallard ducks, which won the discoverer an Ig Nobel Prize (if you want to read the story, try here.) It even talked about elephants, although the ones pictured were in the Natural History Museum). The Musee d'Erotisme, on the other hand, was much more multicultural, much more artistically focused, and far less graphic. Those romantic Frenchies.

However, as you may know if you know me at all, the best museums, in my humble opinion, are art museums. I made it to two this trip: the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Thursday morning I decided to hit the MOMA, since Babysis went while I was stuck in DC (another story - I'll cover it later...maybe), and went via Central Park and Tiffany's. Well, Central Park and Tiffany's aren't really between Times Square, where I was staying with Babysis, and the MOMA, but they were the way I was walking. The problem? It was really hot. In fact, it was

THIS HOT. That's a Claes Oldenburg soft sculpture, in case you were wondering, but it is a very good demonstration of how hot it was in New York.

All jokes, aside, the MOMA is a great museum, as is the Met, where I was happy to introduce Babysis to a number of beautiful Louis Comfort Tiffany pieces, including some jewelry she'd never seen before. And as for me, well, I'd seen it before, but a night at the art museum is never complete without naked men......

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