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the city: the steps of the met {part 1}

5 August 2009

I fell in love with New York City when I was but (give or take) five years old. I had long been enamored with the rows of beautiful boutiques nestled quaintly between glamorous, large-scale department stores (a wonderful balance), the outline of the skyline and silhouette of the Empire State Building quite distinct at dusk; the image would never leave my mind after numerous encounters with it in illustrated children’s books. But it wasn’t until I picked up Eloise when I fell head over heels for the city. Its cover had be drawn in, wide-eyed and eager pore over delectable illustrations and text; where else could one possibly find a book constructed entirely of the colors black, white, pink, and golden yellow? Surely, in the eyes of a little girl those four shades epitomized glamour in a simple manner.

My infatuation with Eloise, one that lasts still to this day, is a story for another day. But the City’s appeal had seeded itself since. Perhaps it was the magic of “the city that never sleeps” that drew me in – at that time I associated it with The Nutcracker ballet, Christmastime, and all things girly and beautiful. But even now, driving past – or into – the skyline never fails to excite me. My eyes gaze longingly, my heart palpitates in excitement – all as if each sight was the first. And I am hardly exaggerating.

So begins Part I: The Steps of the Met of “The City” series.

2 August 2009

For quite some time, I have been dying to visit the “Model As Muse” Exhibit at the Metropolitan (actually, I have been wanting to visit the Met for quite some time now; deprived? I know.). And there is no one better to drag along on a rather dense fashion trip than my fabulously talented soul sister (and fellow dancer), M. (An aside: Keep her in mind, darlings, I guarantee she will be quite the big handbag designer in the future). A match made in heaven, if you will, for she is the one who understands my insatiable thirst for anything and everything fashion-related. And we both gasped driving into the city – yes, I do believe M. is the one and only comprehends me. We think on the same brain waves, without a doubt. There is proof of that; upon meeting we were clad in the same color scheme: gray/cream on our blouses, little shorts, black shoes, and a black bag.

Surely you must think me to be entirely insane for wanting to go to NYC when there are high chances of rain and a thunderstorm. But I must disagree: I find the city to be most entrancing when it is pouring – the trees are greener, the decadent apartments and shops mysterious, the streets glistening. ‘Tis a pain to have my feet soaked in flooded areas, but the sight of the city in noble grays, taupes, and bits of green really is a sight to see.

Entirely crazy? Perhaps.

Anyhoo. Walking up the steps did make me feel a bit more important; I was inevitably sucked into the grandeur of the decadent and renowned museum, whose entrance was covered with adorable European tourists with fancy cameras snapping away. My note to self as M. & I walked in? This is the ultimate spot for meeting lovely European boys (eye candy alongside the wondrous exhibits) or some intellectual but adorable boy of some sort. We scanned the crowd a bit and wandered in as I deliberated where to clip my petit turquoise button/clip; there was nowhere to clip it on my person save the lace camisole peeking from beneath my blouse: right at the cleavage. I swear it was not done with the intention of drawing eyes to the bust!

I must admit that the “Model As Muse” exhibit was slightly disappointing; I did my fair share of oohs and ahhs at a particular vintage Vogue cover and Verushka’s renowned shot in a Yves Saint Laurent safari-inspired lace-up tunic, but the exhibit was a bit short and a tad boring. I do feel as if the lighting hadn’t exhibited the gowns to the best of their potential, and the procession of time periods was a bit choppy. However, the concept of each area within the exhibit was well done, theme wise. And I did learn quite a lot. The glamorous 1940s & 50’s was the era in which supermodels began their reign in the fashion world.

The rest of the museum (to be exact, the exhibits we did see: Modern, Greek, Afghanistan, tribal) were quite spectacular. Beware of a picture overload, for here are my favorite snaps that I found to be entirely inspirational (specific posts to come soon!):

My two favorite paintings are by Georgia O’Keefe – the colors, the shapes – simply everything about the two are unbelievably perfect.

nyc with mich 001

nyc with mich 002

The infamous number five. Really the most beautiful of numbers; the straight edges, the curves, the swirl – there is a reason why this particular number is often drawn or used as an insignia of sorts.

nyc with mich 003

Muriel Kallis Steinberg. The bold colors against the gold frames were brilliant.

nyc with mich 006

Manierre Dawson’s The Meeting (The Three Graces). Simply beautiful.

nyc with mich 008

Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul. My favorite exhibit by far, for I have long been enamored and fascinated by the mysteriousness of the Middle East; not to mention, the exquisiteness of the history. Delicate gold filaments in the most beautiful of patterns juxtaposed with the earthiness of turquoise truly is the perfect contrast.

nyc with mich 012

nyc with mich 013

nyc with mich 014

nyc with mich 015

nyc with mich 019

From the tribal exhibit (?):

nyc with mich 026

nyc with mich 027

And I leave you with my favorite quote presented at the end of the Afghanistan exhibit, which I so dutifully jotted down in my (new, patent & croc-embossed) journal:

“A nation stays alive when its culture stays alive.”

bisous,

La C.

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43 Comments leave one →
  1. 5 August 2009 2:48 pm

    Oh, I so loved Part 1 of The Steps of the Met of “The City” series. It was as if I was traipsing the halls of the illustrious Museum, drinking up each exhibit, right alongside you. Simply marvelous! 🙂

    Coincidentally, in the ninth grade I had to do a report for an art class, and I profiled Georgia O’Keefe’s work. What a talent she is! 🙂

  2. 5 August 2009 3:04 pm

    Hey sweetie, great to see a new posting today! How are you??
    Thanks for sharing photos of those beautiful paintings. I would love to own them all, the first Georgia O’Keefe and the third, Number 5, of course the incredible gorgeous Muriel Kallis Steinberg and Manierre Dawson’s The Meeting is beyond spectacular! I would invest so much into art and paintings……
    Hope all is well, dear!
    much love, sofie

  3. 5 August 2009 3:06 pm

    there’s nothing like taking an afternoon to go an view some great art….very carrie bradshaw 🙂

  4. 5 August 2009 4:10 pm

    Thank you for sharing the pics..

  5. 5 August 2009 4:14 pm

    One of the places I was most excited to visit when I went to New York was the MET! I couldn’t check out the Costume Institute exhibit because it wasn’t open to the public yet(it was April).

    I’m such a museum geek and the MET is has so much to see! I spent the entire day there and couldn’t walk around the entire place , my favorite part was Egypt, without a doubt.

    If I lived in NYC I’d probably go there all the time, there’s no way you could get bored of it!

    xx

  6. 5 August 2009 4:41 pm

    Great post- I love the Met and also went last month to see the Model as a Muse show. I enjoyed, but I agree, it didn’t live up the the *hype*. Can’t wait for Part 2 🙂

  7. 5 August 2009 4:44 pm

    I´m checking out you blog quite often, lady! What a great job you are doing!
    Especially this post was interesting to me. Well, I haven´t been in New York yet, but it´s my dream destination, MUST experience in my list. 🙂
    One of the reasons why I do want to visit New York and maybe to stay there for a while (that would be lovely) is actually the cultural life of the city. I´m a photographer, so you imagine that New Yourk is en important city for me.
    Thank you for sharing the photos and experiences from New York City!

    Here you can check out some of my artworks, if interested:
    http://viktoryian.redbubble.com/

    Will be glad to hear opinion!

  8. 5 August 2009 5:13 pm

    I could say I’m not jealous of your trip, but then it’d be a total lie. I’m excited for you, though! Those paintings are beautiful and that second picture is trippy…

    I, also, adore Eloise 😉 and think the city is at it’s best when you look at it through raindrops.

    xoxo Mo

  9. 5 August 2009 5:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing these. All the art in this pictures is spectacular!
    I’m specially infatuated with that first afganistan piece. beautiful.

  10. 5 August 2009 6:47 pm

    I’m so happy you had a great time in the city! I didn’t know you loved art though, but then again fashion is art ^^ I really liked the tribal and the number 5 painting!

    I bought the first pair of shoes but when I get my study loan the last pair shall also be mine xD I have a feeling that loan will mostly be spent on stuff that has nothing to do with actual studying!

  11. 5 August 2009 6:52 pm

    AMAZING pics! LOVE the MET & NYC!
    xx

  12. 5 August 2009 7:32 pm

    i have yet to see that exhibit!
    i love the met though

  13. 5 August 2009 7:47 pm

    oh thank you for taking us with you!!!

  14. 5 August 2009 10:15 pm

    honey, we are quite the match made in heaven. I await for many more city trips, since there is so much more to explore! I’ll scope them out for us as much as i can, this semester :]

    My favorite tourists are the european boys. LE SIGH.

    Oh, you have inspired me to make eye contact and smile at every attractive boy I see in the city, let’s hope none of them are psychopaths or serial stalkers. hahaha.

    p.s. your camera was being very nice! I’ll have my pictures up soon, most likely tonight! ❤

    can't wait for part 2! (hopefully more and more parts for our future too)

  15. 5 August 2009 10:16 pm

    p.p.s let’s just say i may just have to rely on you if i ever want to become a huge handbag designer someday. ;p

  16. thebaglady permalink
    5 August 2009 10:22 pm

    Did you take those photographs?! Silly me, I know you did. They are AMAZING! Especially #1 & 3 of the Afghanistan exhibit!! They look so professional!

    And I loved reading this entry; it was like insight into your diary/mind – I really do adore your writing. Period.

  17. 5 August 2009 10:23 pm

    Hello La C. This was an incredible post. I could so imagine everything from reading your words. I also enjoyed seeing all the wonderful photos. Those are some really amazing pieces there. Fantastic post. Cheers!

  18. 5 August 2009 10:30 pm

    That Afghanistan exhibits looks extraordinary!

  19. 5 August 2009 11:01 pm

    hey hun! OMG so sorry you didn’t like the exhibit that much 😦 are you still here in the city??

    iyam
    http://www.styleandbeyond.blogspot.com

  20. 5 August 2009 11:02 pm

    Hello there La C,

    You really painted a picture in my mind of NYC.

    The Number 5 painting is one of my faves as well.

    Have a good night, & congrats another well done post 🙂

    -Christine

  21. 5 August 2009 11:34 pm

    I almost saw myself walking up the stairs with you =)
    great post LC!

  22. 6 August 2009 1:31 am

    I love museums also.

    juliet xxx

  23. 6 August 2009 2:24 am

    Thank you for such a lovely post of Beautiful objects and words ! ! !
    bisous,
    Gerri

  24. 6 August 2009 4:07 am

    Happy sunny thursday to you!!!

    I immediately felt in love with the delicate gold filament … is it a necklace?
    BEAUTIFUL!!!!

    Enjoy your day!!!
    ♡ Martina

  25. 6 August 2009 4:17 am

    Thanks for your nice comment! 🙂 And the pictures are awesome!

  26. 6 August 2009 4:33 am

    ‘Entirely crazy? Perhaps.’ haha, I had to laugh when I was reading that part. But I have to agree with you, when it’s raining, it usually makes a place more beautiful.. don’t know if it’s the same in a big city like NYC, but here, I love it. Especially the smell of the air after a downpour in the summer.

    And those photos are beautiful :)!

  27. 6 August 2009 5:45 am

    Awesome! Thank U for sharing…

    X♥X♥

  28. 6 August 2009 5:53 am

    This is such a wonderful post! I fell in love with the city as a little girl too, hopefully I shall move there in the next few years. Sadly I never got to see the Model as Muse exhibition but from how you described it, it doesn’t sound as if I missed much!

    xxx

  29. 6 August 2009 6:53 am

    Thanks for sharing the pics! I’ve been to NYC a couple of times, but have sadly never made it to the Met! I’ve been wanting to go sooo badly. You’ve inspired me to do it already!

  30. 6 August 2009 7:04 am

    soo interesting to see these art works! x

  31. 6 August 2009 7:48 am

    P.S.
    I’m at a new blog now
    http://www.adaisychaindream.blogspot.com

  32. 6 August 2009 9:01 am

    Anyone who says Georgia O’Keefe wasn’t painting women is a fool.
    I love the treasures at the end.

    Sorry I’ve dropped out of sight for a while, but I don’t think I’m the only one. It seems like a lot of bloggers are MIA these days. xo

  33. Yvonne permalink
    6 August 2009 9:28 am

    Brava bella! Well said. Your description of infatuation for the city is the reason why so many of us here are willing to pay such outrageous rent for tiny cramped apartments. It’s the love of all things beautiful that the city has to offer.

  34. 6 August 2009 9:38 am

    Love the pictures La C and glad you had a wonderful time at NY! I loooove museums~ Sorry I missed the anniversary! o.o;;;

    E> An

  35. 6 August 2009 11:31 am

    I loved Eloise too. I had like 5 copies because my dad worked at the Palm Court at the Plaza when I was little. So I felt like Eloise running through all the back staircases and folding napkins for huge banquets.

  36. 6 August 2009 12:37 pm

    I love exploring the city and what is more classic New York than the Met?? Great post 🙂

  37. 6 August 2009 1:43 pm

    O’Keefe’s work is so stunning, I would fly across the pond just to see those in person! And wow, the Afghanistan Hidden Treasures exhibition sounds so utterly amazing, that clay work is beautiful 🙂 Glad you said you enjoy rainy days in the city, I always feel that everything looks more *real* in the rain. The colours are deeper and the city really does come alive. Hope you’re having a beautiful day dear 🙂

  38. 6 August 2009 3:45 pm

    great post. nyc is the city i would move to tomorrow if i could!

  39. 6 August 2009 3:46 pm

    You’re killing me !
    I miss that city so much.
    I miss the MoMA SO much.
    It was so fun arriving in one room and ta-dam, by surprise, there was my favorite painting ever ( by Malevic ) ….

    New-York I love you – and you’re bringing me down… but just because I miss you like hell !!

    Beautiful writing as usual ma chère !

  40. 6 August 2009 9:43 pm

    Oh, your day in the city sounds fabulous! You’re making me quite envious. My favorite of your pictures was the second Georgia O’Keefe; the colors were spectacular! Beautiful writing as always, La C.

    And thank you for the comment :]

    – laur @ neonmango

  41. 6 August 2009 11:34 pm

    I love art! 🙂

  42. 8 August 2009 5:42 pm

    Lovely pictures! Really dig the Not So Cool Kids haha and love origami myself.

  43. 10 August 2009 12:18 pm

    Love the pics!!!

    I love the 10 things about you 🙂

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