Tour Guide

by M. Lizabeth Currain

I think I am shaping up to be a pretty excellent NYC tour guide. I do have prior experience: the summer after I graduated high school I was a tour guide back home. It was whack. People who visit Alaska ask some pretty idiotic questions. For example: “We have these back home and we call them cottonwood trees. What do you call them here”? Um…we call them cottonwood trees. “Oh, really”? Yes. Really. It was one of my more painful jobs. Although it was only like one day a week that we would get a cruise ship in, so really now that I think about it, it was one of my better jobs.

Anyways, I took my bestie to The Metropolitan Museum of Art today. Thank goodness it was open until 9pm. We didn’t really end up leaving my apartment until very, very late in the afternoon. She got the NYC Subway experience of transferring to multiple trains, drunk Yankees fans, a homeless person panhandling, a man singing country music. Really, I couldn’t have planned it better.

I haven’t been to The Met in a while (uh…years?) so it was good to go again. The main reason I took her there is that the admission fee is suggested. So basically you pay what you want. Unlike the Museum of Modern Art where it’s like $20 and it’s not a suggestion. Well, to be fair it’s only $12 for a student. But my school ID still has the Fall 2010 sticker on it, so they’ll think I’m trying to put one past them.

I actually really like The Met. There is a lot to see and I feel like you could go a million times and always see something different. It was also fun going with someone who has never been before–you get to pretend like you’ve never been there before too. It gives you license to take pictures and be excited about what you are seeing. Very unlike the jaded New Yorker you appear to be. The one thing I do not like about The Met or really any museum is when the security people shout at you from across the room that no photography is allowed in certain exhibits. It always happens after I’ve managed to already take like three photos. Once in the Frick Collection, I set off an alarm by getting to close to a painting. I was like, “where is that sound coming from”? And the security guard was like, “You’re too close to the painting. Back away”. I felt like a total lamewad.

We had a lot of fun taking pictures in the Sackler Wing. Pretty much a lot of glamour shots. They had really good lighting in there.

Me and the Sphinx.


This is one of my favorite pieces at The Met:


Venus and Adonis by Peter Paul Ruebens


Secret: Even though I appear to be a glass is just half, cynical kind of person…I am a romantic at heart. This painting gets to me every time. It’s just so captivating. I can’t explain it. I’m a sucker for romance.

Also, this painting became and instant favorite:


Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga by Goya. Three guess as to why I love it!


Have you had your three guesses yet? Okay, one more. Fine, I’ll just show you!


You have no idea how hard I laughed at this.


I thought the security guard was going to kick me out for laughing. I mean come on! Obese cats are pretty much a favorite thing of mine. And this one is looking at that bird like it is dinner. This painting was tailor made for my tastes.

This is me and my best friend since I was eight years old hangin’ out in front of a fountain outside of The Met:


Some things you just can’t be negative about.


After The Met, we took a brief stroll in Central Park. Then we went to Lombardi’s and had pizza. I am the world’s greatest tour guide. Book your tours now and save 10%.

Also, on the subway ride back, some dude noticed the little Met pin and was like, “How was The Met”? I don’t really know how to respond to that question, because for me, The Met is The Met. So that’s what I said. He tried to be like, “For me it’s a little different”. Who gives a shit? Did I ask? He was with a group of moderately attractive guys. His one very attractive friend got up from his seat and looked at me and asked if I wanted to sit down. I declined and then another guy in this gaggle was like, “We’re getting off at the next stop anyway”. Way to sound like a jackal. Basically, you should have just said: “The only reason he’s offering you the seat is because we’re all getting off at the next stop, otherwise he’d just let your ass stand for the rest of the subway ride”. Just let your friend offer the seat! Don’t give an explanation. Jeeze.

Well, as we are pulling up to their stop, the very attractive friend touches my shoulder and says, “You have very beautiful eyes. It’s hard not to look at them”. I said, “Uh…thanks”. I like how if an ugly guy is creepin’ on me, I’m pretty much totally grossed out, but if he’s attractive it’s suddenly okay. I realize that this is sort of a double standard. But there are plenty of double standards that don’t work in my favor and this one totally does. Let me have this! A girl likes a compliment from a hot, seemingly normal guy sometimes…I’ll hand in my feminism membership card on Monday.

I’ll leave you with this. Because I’m super mature:


What’s Gonzo doing hangin’ upside down in this knight’s pants?

::images of paintings are from the Collection Database portion of the Met’s website::