I am completely exhausted. I am beyond exhausted. I am utterly spent.
Today I saw the Statue of Liberty (after a two hour wait in line to catch the ferry over), Ellis Island, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That last is what did me in.
For one thing, the two hour wait for the ferry threw off my schedule, so my meal time was squeezed away, and I ended up subsisting on a Milky Way bar and a 20 oz Diet Coke until after 5pm, when I finally grabbed a terrible hamburger at the museum (the cafeteria at the Louvre was SO much better). So much for all the wonderful food I’d planned on enjoying today! But I found a European bakery with a pizzeria in the back just down the street from my hotel on my way home, so now I’ve got a slice of pizza with pepperoni and sausage cooling over there, and some delightful looking tiny cookies next to it, just waiting for the moment when I’m no longer too exhausted to chew.
In addition to the physical exhaustion, my brain is… absolutely full. Part of me wants to go back and spend all day in the art museum tomorrow, because my camera battery died in the hall of musical instruments. Another part of me is still just so overwhelmed by the epic scope of the art on display. Grand halls designed as courtyards to display Italian marble architectural elements. An entire medieval choir screen, from floor to vaulted ceiling, surrounded by medieval art including carved boxwood rosary beads that seem to take the question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin as a challenge. A vast room, with one sloping wall entirely of glass and fronted with a reflecting pool, containing, among other relics, several small rooms that were part of an Egyptian temple, which you could actually walk partway into. Suits of armor for four equestrian knights, mounted on four mannequin horses, also in plate mail, with every facet covered with intaglio, and that was just the centerpiece of a network of galleries devoted to armor and arms from at least a half a dozen cultures.
The three hours I spent there weren’t nearly enough, but I’m not sure I wouldn’t need three weeks. I was awed, overwhelmed, and finally almost browbeaten by the magnificence of it all, and I think the only way I could see it adequately and maintain my sanity would be to see one exhibit at a time, and only spend four hours at a time, for as long as it took at that rate. Imagine a Faberge egg the size of the Superdome, but with the level of intricacy and detail multiplied, not just enlarged, permeating the whole. Now imagine trying to see it all. I feel almost literally stupefied, and I may leave the remainder unseen on this trip and go only to the Natural History Museum tomorrow as planned, purely out of self defense.
It’s amazing, though, how much repair work can be done by consuming the necessary calories. I didn’t really feel hungry, but after the first bite just now, I consumed that pizza pretty much involuntarily, and now I think I’ll go soak my poor feets and completely unwind. No matter what I do tomorrow, it will be another long, full day.
Note: Two photo albums are up at http://leberwick.smugmug.com/Travel/New-York-New-York-2010. Got pics from my travels and wanderings around town, and from the Statue of Liberty.