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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brooklyn Museum

Since I hadn't been to the Brooklyn Museum in over 20 years, I thought it would be nice to go again and show my daughter Brooklyn does indeed have more to offer than food and shopping. The worst part about the museum is the location, which is nowhere near Bensonhurst or Bay Ridge, but on the other side of Brooklyn, closer to Manhattan.

Since I'm the official New York City driver, (my husband does the interstates) I had to drive through some pretty shady neighborhoods to get there. Once we got close I then had to drive kamikaze-like around Grand Army Plaza (Rome's got nothing on this 8 lane circle) which Roanokers might think of as a "roundabout on steroids." Even my husband was closing his eyes as I "maneuvered" through the traffic. "Let the Virginia rube through!" I wouldn't dare park on the street as the car probably wouldn't be there upon our return. The museum's not exactly in a "good" neighborhood although my cousin says it's "up and coming." It seems most sections of New York that were/are ghettos are now being referred to as "up and coming" not only because of their close proximity to Manhattan, but because those are the only areas folks can almost afford the rent. I think they like to delude themselves into thinking they're getting in on the ground level of an "up and coming" neighborhood. $1,500 for a studio or tiny one bedroom is not unheard of. I don't know...any neighborhood that has a sniper on the roof shooting down at teens coming home from school is not one I want to live in. Yes, that actually happened the day we were there. We wondered why helicopters were hovering above us.

Nobody knew what was going on, but we thought it odd that there were two NYPD copters so low and standing still. When we saw the news copters we figured something was up but since no one was running or anything we felt we were "safe." I found out the next morning reading the paper about the sniper via a little blurb about it buried on page 8. In Roanoke, and probably most of the rest of the world, that would have made the front page, but not in Brooklyn. Oh well, I digress...back to the museum. This is not the front of the museum, which is grand, but the back where we parked.

It was a freaky hot day, 92 degrees, and we just wanted to get into the air conditioning. Unfortunately the air conditioning didn't seem to be on so we were sort of dragging by the time we hit the fifth floor.

The main reason I wanted to go was not just for the displays,

or architecture,

or art,

or paintings,

or sculptures,

or odd pieces...

Wait a second that head wasn't even in the museum but in my cousin's bathroom where I said he put it to scare the shit out of people! The main reason I wanted to go was the museum always had a great permanent Egyptian display. In addition they were running "To Live Forever: Art and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt." Who doesn't love a mummy?

It was a wonderful exhibit and is running through May 2. Unfortunately I couldn't use my flash so didn't get many clear pictures. Another display, "The Mummy Chamber" opens May 5th. "Andy Warhol: The Last Decade" is running June 18 - September 12. To get a full schedule and more information on the Brooklyn Museum click here.

The museum has some really interesting permanent displays. I especially found this one intriguing...

Remember when there were payphones? That must be the last working one in Brooklyn!


  1. Thanks for the museum tour! I need to do more of the real thing.

  2. Cheryl, it really is a wonderful museum and worth the trip. I wish we had spent more time in it but we had to head over to the Botanical Gardens so I didn't get to see everything I would have liked to. Maybe next time...

  3. Are you available for hire to drive in NYC? haha.

    The Mrs. parked her car after a trip there a few weeks ago and told the attendant: "You really should not let people from (insert our home state) drive in your city."

  4. Haha! Slam, as soon as we hit Brooklyn I go into NYC driver mode. My husband hands me the keys and I take first driving lesson was on Wall Street so I feel very comfortable driving there. I always pretend to be "the helpless female rube from VA" which couldn't be further from the truth, but hey it works! It takes me a couple of days to wind down from my kamikaze driving when we get back home and thankfully the family reminds me, "Mom, slow down! You're not in New York any more!"

  5. Although I agree that the circle at Grand Army Plaza is daunting to drive around, your characterization of the neighborhood is a bit off. Apartments that sell in the millions (as those across the street and down the block from the museum do) are not generally what make a neighborhood up and coming, but already arrived.

  6. Sally, was the sniper standing on the roof of one of those million dollar apartments?

  7. My cousin and his wife live on the upper east side. Their apt. is tiny and I never will understand why they paid what they paid for that thing. i mean, don't get me wrong it's real nice for two bedrooms and a kitchen smaller than my closet, but I still don't get it.

  8. Amy, I think NY real estate is over-inflated. I could only imagine what your cousin paid for the upper east side if Crown Heights apartments are going for "millions." I guess to each their own. Heck, according to the realtors my house in Brooklyn is worth well over a half-million. And I don't even have a carport or garage! It's crazy.

  9. I enjoyed this post. Loved the art, especially that last one! What a bit of nostalgia.

  10. Dew, that payphone was in the bathroom of the museum and people thought I was odd for taking it. However, I thought it was more odd that someone was in the bathroom trying on clothes from the giftshop, and not even behind a closed stall door. I didn't take her picture ;)