One advantage of flying to Europe from New York is the majority of flights leave in the evening and arrive the next morning. While the flight times are not conducive to getting a decent amount of sleep on the plane, it does let you spend a day in Manhattan, sightseeing before your flight.
We were staying at JFK Airport’s TWA Hotel. Getting from the hotel to Manhattan took about 1 hour in each direction. We wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to get our stuff from the hotel, so we only ended up having about 3 to 4 hours to spend at the museum. If you know the Met, that’s not much time at all.
So, does it make sense to stop in for a quick trip?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is located at 1000 5th Ave on the east side of Central Park. While this is called an art museum, it’s not just rooms full of paintings.
Sure, they have plenty of those, but there are any number of other exhibits. Any item that was created is a form of art, and the Met takes that theory to the max. There’s architecture, furniture, musical instruments, sculpture and glasswork. Suits of armor, textiles, and weapons can all be works of art. They also have a huge collection of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and medieval artifacts.
How can someone possibly think they can see it all in a few hours? You can’t, obviously. Since we’ve been before, we have our favorites. It was also the holiday season and there are some exhibits only put out for that time of year.
Temple of Dendur
The temple has been a part of the Met’s collection since the 1970s. Sharon remembers going to see it on a school trip and we make a point to make sure it’s still there every time we visit the museum.
Frank Lloyd Wright
There’s just something about the style of Frank Lloyd Wright that I really appreciate. I love going to look at the living room of the Little house. I just want to move in and live there.
Tiffany’s Autumn Landscape
One of Sharon’s favorite things at the Met is the stained glass window by Tiffany Studios called Autumn Landscape. The colors in this piece are captivating. The changing leaves, blazing sky, and waterfall are all melded together.
Christmas Tree and Neapolitan Baroque Crèche
One of the reasons we wanted to go over the holidays was to see the Christmas tree and 18th-century nativity scene.
After getting to all of the things we really wanted to see, we decided to go and explore areas of the museum we typically don’t visit, the painting exhibits.
We headed towards the back and I noticed works that I recognized as we went. First was Monet’s Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies
Our destination was towards the back of the galleries.
Washington Crossing the Delaware
I couldn’t believe I’ve been to the museum many times before and never even bothered to wander around enough to find this. How could I miss it, it’s gigantic.
That was all the time we had. Well, we did leave enough time to check out the massive gift shop but we needed to head back to JFK and get ready to check-in for our flight.
Was it worth the time and effort (and money)? I think it was. While you can spend all day (or two or three) at the Met, it’s OK to go for just a few hours. If it’s your first visit, I’d recommend trying to have some more time to look around. However, if you only have a few hours or if you’ve been before, it’s acceptable to go right to the greatest hits.
It’s not a cheap way to spend an afternoon, as admission costs $25 per adult (unless you live in New York or are a student in NJ, NY or CT and then you can just pay what you want). You do get what you pay for as I can’t think of many other museums in the world that have a collection that’s as diverse as what you’ll find at the Met.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary