Waking up in New York City to warm October rain, it felt like the perfect day to visit a museum.
Like The Met.
I think this was my favorite display.
The ancient little vases, from the 1st through the 11th centuries, were also divine.
And this, Vincent van Gogh 1887 Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat, was pretty cool, too.
Yet How Does One Navigate The Metropolitan Museum of Art?
I thought this museum would be like most. But it's like no other.
It's stunningly large. Detailed interior directional signs are rarely found. And the hard copy maps can't help but be limited in detail, because there is just too much information to contain within.
In fact, there is so much art, there's no way to see it all (or even come close to seeing it all) in one visit.
So losing oneself can happen quickly—long before one can even figure out which exhibits to view, let alone how to find them.
Knowing this, how does one possibly navigate The Met?
Study The Met's Website Before Visiting The Met
Though not while standing in line (there's not enough time).
And definitely not while walking around inside The Met (cell reception might not exist).
We discovered (after our visit), that The Met's website offers phenomenal detail. So next time, before attending, I'll use the website's search tool to determine all I want to see. Then I'll map out/notate, on the hardcopy map, the exact locations of those exhibits, so I'll actually be able to find each one.
There are also several dining options inside The Met, located far apart. Researching them online and mapping them out ahead of time will help ensure one finds the dining experience desired.
I just can't imagine any other way.
Unless this app does it for you.
Visit on Non-Peak Days or During Non-Peak Hours
This might seem obvious, but we neglected to accurately assess this. We went to The Met on a rainy Sunday, around lunchtime.
Standing outside, just as the rain poured its heaviest, the line seemed miles long. Yet it moved much more quickly than I imagined possible. Inside, we were shoulder-to-shoulder in places.
So if one prefers a little more breathing room, visit on non-peak days or during non-peak hours (which are listed on The Met's website).
This will also allow one to take photos (flash-free, of course) without being in the way of others or without having to wait for crowds to disperse, so one can capture those images.
Listen to the Body
A body feels many things while at a museum (in addition to hunger).
Each art exhibit can make us feel differently.
For instance, I forced myself to view an exhibit of paintings that looked haunting to me. I thought if I read their stories, I'd feel an understanding...some relief. But those stories were even more disturbing (I can't even discuss them here). I actually felt ill, realizing what I was witnessing.
To counter the impact, I sought out art that appeared positive, which brought relief.
What a powerful reminder of just how much we're impacted by what we witness.
And Knowing This, We Get to Decide...
What do we want to witness during our precious life?