The Central Park is the center of the compass of New York! East side, West side are exactly separated from it. Thus instead of taking the subway I have the usual coffee in the kiosk, then I head in the direction of Museum Mile, so named because there are the Guggeinhm, the National Historic Landmark, and my destination, the MET, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the largest and most important museums in the world.
I want to enjoy every single room, no rushing, but before I arrive at the other side of New York, I get emotionally moved by the park; it looks so familiar. It seems as if I have already been there, and it has come back as my childhood memories.
I recognize that bridge where Kevin, the Home Alone protagonist met the pigeon lady. A little further on, near the Children’s Zoo, among the slate rocks there is the bronze statue of Balto. I still remember when I watched the movie. I was 10 years old. Often the cartoon Balto was repeated on television during the Christmas time. In the very beginning of the story the grandmother tells in a melancholy manner, to her granddaughter, the heroic feat of the half wolf and half dog. The statue is located west of East Drive and 67th Street, I still remember the story, and it is written just under the statue: “In 1925, Nome, Alaska was hit by an epidemic of horrible diphtheria. The available antitoxin was insufficient to cure all the sick children and so teams of mushers and sled dogs, faced a dangerous journey, fighting a blinding snowstorm and traveled 674 miles to deliver the drug, from Nenana the nearest railway station to Nome in Alaska. I look admiringly at the statue, just like that lovely old woman looked at him in the movie.
I step near the bridge where among the bright flowers, Meg Ryan waits for her Tom Hanks in ‘You’ve Got Mail,’ and even if it is in the fall, I am reminded of the walks of Winona Rider and Richard Gere in ‘Autumn in New Yor’k, or Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman in ‘Kate and Leopold.’
And why not think of the enchanting fairy tale of Walt Disney’s “Enchanted”, where the prince run over by cyclists, or the backstage of the photo shoots of the ‘Devil Wears Prada.’ Walking with coffee I seem like ‘ Friends with Benefits,’ with Justin Timberlake, until you get to the corner where Grace of Will & Grace television sitcom, met her future husband. No, Central Park is not at all unknown to me, I know even better, Central Park than Villa Borghese in Rome.
I left the park and I end up on the popular fifth avenue, flooded with the bright yellow taxis and tempted by the smell of donuts and hot dogs. Right in
front of me, I’m on 89th street where is located the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; it is the museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, founded in 1937.
The architect Frank Lloyd Wright, opened it in 1943, and it became one of the most important buildings of the twentieth century. Actually it was the last work of Wright, and it immediately caught the attention of architectural critics, and it’s still recognized worldwide, as one of the masterpieces of contemporary architecture. On the other side of the street, the building resembles a white tape which is wound around a cylinder wider at the top than at the base. Its appearance is in sharp contrast to the skyscrapers of Manhattan that surround it. Not to mention the blinding white that seems to stand out from the taxis, whizzing through the streets. I decide to enter, as usual showing my business card as a journalist. I enter and I see a big spiral that goes from the ground floor up to the top of the building. The paintings are displayed along the walls of the spiral and in some rooms that are located along the way.
The spiral was named by the architect Taruggiz, in fact it is very similar to an inverted ziggurat. Actually, Wright wanted to represent it as a Tower of Babel upside down, which was just a ziggurat. It was designed to show the bringing together, the people of different cultures. Another symbolic meaning is tied to the system of spiral stairs, that mean you can always look back on the path taken.
To tell the truth I can’t wait to visit the Met, but I am fascinated by some of the authors of contemporary painting such as Georges Braque, Paul Cezanne, Marc Chagall, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Vasily Kandinsky, Edouard Manet, Joan Miro, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Amedeo Modigliani.
After this starter I prepare for the main course: the Metropolitan!