Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mom and The Met

There was a story on CBS This Morning about the restoration of a statue at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 

That brought back memories. I have already written a post about how my Mom would take me to New York City when I was five and six years old. We would ride the bus from New Jersey to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and then almost always head to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in Central Park. That was my favorite place and I could spend days there but sometimes Mom wanted to visit other museums. 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

It just so happens that the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) is right across Central Park from AMNH. You never have to leave the park. Now I know that many people can't even take their six year old children to McDonalds without them making a scene and a mess. I also don't know how my Mom instilled in me that there were places you had to behave. Museums and nice restaurants were a couple of those places. It turns out that The Met is a pretty cool place even for a kid. She also took me to the Guggenheim Museum. It is just a couple of blocks from the Met but you do have to leave Central Park and cross 5th Avenue. I'll be honest, the biggest attraction for me at the Guggenheim was the big ramp that spiralled up the round building. It looked like a tea cup to me from the outside. There was art on the walls of the ramp. I don't remember any of the art, but the building and ramp were very cool.
Guggenheim Museum
Guggenheim Interior
 Another adult place we went was Tavern On The Green Restaurant. It too is in Central Park about ten blocks from AMNH and 15 blocks from MMA. I don't remember much about the restaurant visits with Mom, but a few years later my Aunt Anne took me there for lunch. I guess I was old enough by then that they decided I needed a tie to meet the dress code. Of course they had loaners on hand. It made me feel grown up. Little kids didn't need a tie, but I did. I don't remember why my aunt and I were in NYC that day. Surely we didn't go just for lunch. I don't ever remember embarrassing my Mom on those trips to New York, but it could have happened. She's not around to contradict me now so that's my story and I'm sticking with it. Aunt Anne is still with us. Maybe you can check with her.
Being raised that way, it never dawned on me that you couldn't take kids to nice places. I always went by that philosophy and though there were a couple of occasions when I was proved wrong, it mostly worked out. If you are willing to be embarrassed occasionally, be firm when they misbehave and be willing to leave the venue or restaurant, it's good for everyone involved. The kids learn manners and proper decorum early in life. The adults get to go to more adult venues and eat at places a little nicer than the drive-thru window.

I'd give anything for one more trip to the museums around Central Park with Mom. No fancy restaurant needed, a hotdog from a street cart would be just fine.

Take your kids someplace special. If you're lucky they will have fond memories their whole life. I know I do and those trips with Mom were a very long time ago.


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