Over 10 years ago, on one of my first days of college, I was walking through the Michigan Union with friends and we stumbled upon an art sale. As we flipped through print after print, my eye caught a pretty blue painting. There must have been stars in my eyes, because another friend came over and said, “Oh, Starry Night?” Uhhhhh?… sure. Yup, I was that girl who had never seen Starry Night. Only days after I used that blue tacky stuff to stick it on my dorm room wall, I realized that I was the ten-billionth college girl to have the famous painting adorning her walls.
Fast forward to last Sunday, as I pushed a stroller with precious cargo (fast asleep!) through MoMA in NYC. A bit more grown-up (perhaps?) but still just as art-illiterate. Having no idea that MoMA has had The Starry Night in it’s permanent collection since 1941, I did a double-, no a triple-take when I turned a corner and saw it staring back at me! I’m no art aficionado (I guess we’ve already established that?), but one thing I love about art museums is seeing the rich texture of paintings. Starry Night has unbelievable texture. I can’t even find the words to describe it.
And then there was Magritte. The friends we had met in NYC, Jeff & Mariko, had wanted to visit MoMA to see the Rene Magritte exhibit. We dutifully followed along, with only a vague sense of who the guy even was. Walking through wall after wall of his works felt like being on an emotion roller-coaster. Magritte can make you feel disgusted, curious, mesmerized, and uncomfortable all in the blink of an eye.
Speaking of roller-coasters, that’s a great way to describe our whole weekend in NYC. Luckily our ride had far more ups than downs. Or maybe it should be “more downs than ups” — the huge drops on roller coasters are way more fun, right?. Most of what we did involved eating. The crack pie from Momofuku might have been my favorite. Williamsburg (where we stayed at an AirBnB place, was the perfect place for eating. We didn’t mind sticking out like a sore thumb among all the hipsters.
We also managed to keep a six-month-old, on the verge of breakdown, fairly happy during a cold, one-hour line at the 9/11 memorial. A huge thanks goes to our dear friends Kevin (Moneyball!), Mariko, & Jeff–I’m not sure we would have made it through the most doped-up, chaotic security at 9/11 without Benjamin’s “sherpas” helping us keep our shit together. We sailed through crowded subways, restaurants, streets, and museums with well-choreographed ease.
Moral of the story: I do NOT recommend trying NYC with an infant without your very own set of sherpas. It would probably be harder than climbing Everest itself.
Oh yea, and we left the city with our first Christmas present for Benjamin, an awesome board book (from MoMA!) of Magritte’s imaginative paintings: