I had always wondered just what kind of adventures and thrills I could experience in the city that never sleeps. I finally had the opportunity to find out, during the summer that lead up to my freshman year of high school. After a couple of days of driving ( which to me seemed like several years ) we entered New York City, the epitome of urban jungles. I looked onward in shock and awe at the cityscape, wondering just what the scale of this modern metropolis truly was. After we located the hotel we had reserved rooms in, we parked the car, and with that I took my first step into the hustle and bustle known as an urban city.
After getting everything at the hotel in order, we set out to take a tour of New York City. However, there was a problem we would have to deal with before we could go on a tour. We had to get bus passes. It took a little while to find a place that issues bus passes, but there was still several hours left until the sun would go down (not that it would really matter, since we were in New York, a city with an energetic night life.) So, with our new bus passes and a map of the city showing where the tour busses picked up and dropped off tourists, headed to the nearest stop.
As we started to get on the bus, I found myself thinking, " I hope we don't end up with a tour guide who's overly enthusiastic and peppy. I can't stand to hear people like that go on and on." Unfortunately for me, Lady Luck was not on my side.
" Hello ladies and gentleman," the incredibly bright and cheerful tour guide exclaimed,
" How is everybody doing on this fine, albeit very hot day?! "
" Oh god . . . I had a feeling this was gonna happen, but listening to my iPod would be rude," Sighing, I thought to myself, " Let's hope he can put all that energy into long winded explanations of any areas of interest, that would make it much more bearable."
To be honest, the fact he gave us such vivid details of almost everything he pointed out along with numerous stories about the sites, I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would.
The next thing on the to do list was to visit the Museum of Natural History. I've always loved history, but I do prefer to learn about human history. Don't get me wrong, I've always wanted to see a complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, always! So I knew that I would still have a blast. I remember reading the sign describing a small species of carnivorous dinosaurs, a young boy and his mother were doing the same. Hilarity ensued, as the species was described as being cannibalistic, along with a few pieces of evidence.
" Hey Mom," the boy asked, " What's a cannibal?"
" Er. . . well a cannibal is," explained the boy's mother, " is. . . an animal that eats animals that are the same type of animal." It was obviously going to get very awkward.
" Why would they do that, though?" asked the boy.
" Well . . . I . . . um . . . I don't quite know . . ." the mother said, her voice in a tone that proved just how awkward the situation was for her.
I had really, really hard time not laughing out loud, and an even harder time not saying the cliche , " Awkward." one would expect to hear if this was on just about any T.V. program imaginable. So, I opted not to take the risk of looking inconsiderate for laughing about the situation, and I quickly moved on to the next exhibit.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. No sooner than we had arrived our stay in New York was coming to it's conclusion. However, there was still one more stop to make. But first we had to pack our bags, and load everything into the car. To be honest, the only reason I was willing to help load our bags was because we were going to visit THAT museum. I had only dreamed of visiting a museum with so many wondrous masterpieces, created by only the most talented people throughout history ( and I mean from ancient to modern times, especially since the modern stuff doesn't appeal to me as much! )
So if you haven't figured out what museum I'm referring to, it is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Finally, beautiful, handmade items, ranging from paintings to sculptures, modern to ancient, are in my sight. As I said before, modern art really doesn't like me, and I REALLY don't like it, it's mainly ancient art and crafts that inspire my own art. There were multiple displays that put me in a state of intoxication. From ancient Egyptian sarcophagi, to the beautifully detailed Greek vases, as well as many other incredible pieces. However, there were SOME exhibits I was glad we didn't take a peek at. By SOME, I mean the Gallery consisting of the works of Pablo Picasso, I really can't find any reason that would allow me to appreciate his art. He's the king of abstract art, I simply loathe almost every piece of abstract art, the exception being the frequently abstract art of bygone eras. But I'm ranting, so I'll move on, I wouldn't want anyone dying of boredom. First up, a wondrous room devoted to ancient Egypt. Upon entering the exhibit, I noticed what looked like a portion of an Egyptian temple across the room, which was defined by a BIG pool full of pennies. I hastily walked to the temple. Upon entering the temple, I was fairly perturbed. This was due to the numerous names written by blasted sightseers from around the 1800's, which is actually a fair estimate, as many people in the Victorian Era would desecrate such monuments by chiseling their names into the walls and other available spaces. Regardless, I was still enthralled by the rooms magnificence. But, the best was still to come!
After an almost painful amount of walking, I would have sat down and taken a break, if I hadn't seen a specific exhibits name. I read name aloud, " Arms and Armor Exhibit," my tone of voice alerting anyone nearby that I was a state of euphoria, " this is going to be . . . AWSOME! Hey dad, if you need me, I'll be checking out the Arms and Armor Exhibit!" With that being said I nearly bolted into the display room, that is until I remembered we WERE in a museum, so I calmed myself and walked swiftly towards the exhibit.
By now it must be glaringly obvious that I am a bit of a hypocrite, as I have mentioned I greatly dislike overly enthusiastic people. The explanation for this is really quite simple, as even I have things which excite me. Some such things can turn me into a hyperactive enthusiast of whatever it was that caused the feeling of exhilaration, much to my own chagrin.
" OH MAN!" I blurted, having a very hard time maintaining my self-control, " This place has EVERYTHING, oh, is that a . . . " I cut myself off mid sentence, as I stared at a beautifully crafted suit of medieval European armor, propped on top of an intricately detailed horse sculpture.
" It's glorious, just look at it, I'll probably never see such a grand display again . . ." I lamented, " it's a pity I don't have my sketchbook and pencil. And even if I did, the amount of time I would have would barely be enough to put in all the detail." Fortunately, we had brought a camera, and I made sure we took at least one of the magnificent display.
By far the Arms and Armor exhibit was the most enjoyable gallery, my two favorite pieces being the aforementioned suit of armor, and a group composed of what I believe were three Sengoku Era suits of samurai armor ( Sengoku Era means warring states era, a feudal era in Japanese history, defined by almost constant civil wars.)
Before I knew it our vacation in New York had ended, destined to become nothing more than a faded memory. It's hard to recall a large amount of smaller, less thrilling events. As always, the most prominent memories of a wonderful excursion for me are the ones that were the most enjoyable. But, I think that applies to most of us, even if we don't realize it.