Last weekend I took my camera and headed to the Natural History Museum, where Max took me to the museum for the first time. In true Leila style, I couldn't help thinking of the Museum of Natural History in Chicago, which I think is a pretty world class museum. However, the New York version had a grand sense of history, and certain rooms I entered (specifically the Woodland Creature Drawing Room - the Audabon room) had a very classic vibe.
We went on a Saturday so it was a bit of a madhouse, and I learned two very important things. The first is that its BY DONATION ONLY. This is crucial. It doesn't say anywhere that its donation only, and it saves you, say, 20 million dollars. As I figure, wealthy donors go to absurd soirees so the Museum can afford air conditioning and to buff the backside of the cave men in the dioramas. The struggling editorial assistant is going to enrich her life, two bucks is enough for her.
The second thing I learned is that the special exhibitions are INSANELY overpriced. We wanted to see Horses, but the line was long and the ticket inside was not by donation only, and was certainly not worth looking at a genealogical retrospective of the equine. Bodies wasn't worth it. The Komodo Dragon exhibit wasn't worth it. Rarely are special exhibits worth it.
Another pleasant aspect of the Museum was the gradual decrease in light throughout our journey. Vaguely chronological (dinos at top, cave people and civilization at the bottom), we started top-to-bottom, in a bright room filled with bizarre bones and hypothetical creatures. And then we passed to weird monkeys and evolution, and we got this very strange glowing green light. The diorama glass boxes section (the funniest/funnest part of the museum) was bathed in kind of a fluorescence that may have attributed to the crushing headache I had that afternoon, but we traveled down to see the different eco-systems. While Chicago has that giant T-Rex that is so terrifying, New York had its fair share of dioramas. I mean, most of the museum was composed of scenes frozen in time.
Then Max and I visited the Gem Room, which looks like a bad movie set from the 70s or at least a very rich washed-up rockers living room. Max says he gets "Golden Years" by David Bowie stuck in his head every time he enters. Last we hit the large whale room which was gorgeous and made us feel very small, and it was this huge, indigo room with a giant whale. But I didn't take any pictures because, by this time, I was exhausted.
Anyway, I wanted to take this time to introduce my Flickr account which has now gone PRO, an investment I strongly recommend for anyone. I usually put some pretty good images up there, so check it out and be my friend.
POSTED AT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/leilaclaire/