Friday, February 25, 2005

Special Guest Blogger...Mrs. Pratt!

Mrs. Pratt went to see Christo's The Gates last weekend. So without further ado here she is guest blogging her experiences:

Visiting The Gates in Central Park with my lighthousing friend Shirin was a great adventure.

First, I picked Shirin up at Grand Central Station…not an easy feat when you get there 10 minutes early and have to keep circling the block. Then it was onward and upward to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Cruising up Madison Avenue with the taxis is so relaxing.

At the Museum, we followed the herds up to the rooftop garden, open especially for the Gates since it’s usually too cold this time of year. Depending on the part of the roof, the view was either great or nothing but trees.

From the rooftop...

Then it was off for the short tour of the museum. We could have spent days there if we had wanted to see everything. We mainly looked at the 19th and 20th century galleries…Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, etc. We even found Edward Hopper’s painting of a lighthouse (Cape Elizabeth). In some of the galleries, the Gates kept teasing us from behind the curtains, so soon we were off to the park.

It took us about 15 minutes to go through the first couple of gates because we just kept stopping and taking pictures. We went from the museum to the castle, down the West Drive by the lake, through the Sheep Meadow, over to Strawberry Fields, and then back to the museum. All that walking and we only covered about ¼ of the Park. Were my legs sore the next day! Fortunately, no frost bite for me because for once I made like a Boy Scout and wore lots of layers, and remembered my hat and gloves.

The most interesting part was, of course, the people. This is an excuse to pull out any piece of clothing that is any color vaguely related to saffron. Those orange pants that you would be embarrassed to wear on Halloween would look perfectly normal. I even saw a woman in a full-length orange hairy coat that I swear was made from Snuffalupagus fur. We also came upon a guy holding clergy vestments standing next to a lot of flowers laid out on the ground. At first we thought it was some kind of protest, then we found out that someone was going to have the most colorful wedding photos ever.

We also overheard many comments about the exhibit. “Why is it orange?” “Why aren’t there any gates here? (Because there are trees, dummy!)” “I’m going to take one and use it as a shower curtain.” “I only took a couple of pictures because they all look the same.”

We were most dismayed that the Alice in Wonderland sculpture was covered in toddlers. Parents, please teach your children the difference between sculpture and a jungle gym. I wanted a picture of the March Hare.

After several tries, we found a volunteer that had some fabric swatches left. It was pretty clear that she had forgotten about them until we asked because she was obviously taking the mellow yellow thing a little too far.

So, after walking around outside for 3 hours and taking several hundred photos between the two of us, we went home…actually, I drove Shirin back to Grand Central Station which took forever down Park Avenue. I even got yelled at by a police officer for not moving even though all the cars in front of me were stopped. It’s that kind of friendly atmosphere (and the $30 parking) that reminds me why it was 5 years since my last visit to NYC.

You can see all of Mrs. Pratt's photos of The Gates here

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