Photo by myself at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street.
World reknown for its permanent as well as visiting exhibits, The Met needs no introduction. You can find everything here including paintings, sculpture, mummies, designer clothing, furniture and musical instruments.
I did something today that I haven't done in years. I went to the Upper East Side.
Ahem. Pardon me, Upper East Siders. Though I now live in Brooklyn, I lived on the Upper West Side for ten years. I am a diehard West Sider. Fairway, Broadway, the 1/9 train, these landmarks are my blood. Madison Avenue, the Museum Mile and the 6 train are foreign to me.
For those who don't know these divisions, the East Side is known for 'old money', housed in stately limestone buildings along Fifth and Park Avenues. Madison Avenue is the Beverly Hills of New York, lined with boutiques and flagship stores that few can afford. Many of the established museums are located along Fifth Avenue (the Met, the Guggenheim, the Cooper Hewitt).
The West Side, on the other hand, is considerably smaller in size. Historically, musicians and artists lived on there. Where the East Side is known for grand limestone facades and the large modern high rises of the 80's, the West Side is known for brownstones along the sidestreets and beautiful brick apartment buildings along West End Avenue.
No divide is so simple, however, and I'm generalizing in a massive way. (I am also completely neglecting the entire downtown area, but never mind).
The rivalry between East and West is generally good-hearted. Kramer joked about the East Side on Seinfeld all the time. The real Jerry Seinfeld supposedly lived for a time on West 81st Street.
Anyhow, yes. I went to the Met today. I walked around the outside and the insides and my visit was mind boggling. My mind was simply boggled. I could return next week and the following weeks and not tire of the place.
The painted gallery spaces, the tremendous front lobby, the fashion exhibit downstairs. I have to ask myself, why have I stayed away so long? Can I blame it all on the East Side?
No, I cannot. It is my own sad laziness.
For more on the Upper East Side, click here.
For more on the Upper West Side, click here.