[Night|Day] at the Museum


Dan and a Titanosaurus

Yesterday, we started the day at Father Knows Best again. After coffee, we took the L-train into Manhattan. Frequently, we’ve seen musicians performing on the subway station platforms. They play for tips and are all uniformly quite good. One guy was even playing a theremin. I guess that any music major can find employment in their field here, just not always what their parents had hoped for, at least not for all of them. On this train ride, a Mariachi band boarded our car, played a couple of songs, solicited tips and then got off at the next stop. Dan says that there is a Brooklyn dance troupe that likes to perform under the East River, because that gives them the longest uninterrupted period between stops. Talk about a captive audience.

Our destination for the day was the American Museum of Natural History. Founded by Teddy Roosevelt, probably just to house all the animals that he had shot, it commemorates him well. First, there is his statue on horseback out in front, then there is his YUGE rotunda, when you first enter the museum. The walls there are engraved with his quotes. Finally, there are the galleries full of dioramas that show off many of his kills. Dan was quite taken by these displays, but not so much for the animals themselves, but rather for the scenery that surrounds them. It is just the kind of artwork that he would like to make. I must say that it was a real joy touring the museum with him. After the mammals, we did the dinosaurs. IMHO, the AMNH has the best collection of old fossils around and I was glad to do my part to add a few more old bones to their kitchen midden collection, if only for an afternoon. We ended up closing the place.

After the Museum, we walked across Central Park into the setting sunlight. Looking south from the Oak Bridge across The Lake (Yes, that’s it real name!), you could see the sunlit spires of Midtown in the distance. Beneath the bridge was where all the action was though. A gang of bandit-masked raccoons were working over the tourist crowd, successfully, I might add. Dan took me by Belvedere Castle, a 1919 ‘folly’ (A building constructed for decoration, but appearing to be so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments.) It is now home to the Central Park meteorological station. Finally, we caught a couple of crowded rush hour trains back to Dan’s place and called it a night.

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