Mary's 2014 Trip to NYC travel blog

Plaster mask of a man from a coffin Roman Period late 2nd...

Painted Gesso Portrait of Lady Tjepu New Kingdom Dynasty 18 reign of...

Limestone sarcophagus lid of Pa-di-Inpu Ptolemaic Period 305-30 BCE

Head of a Roman noble possibly Marc Antony lover of the Cleopatra...

Head of a man with tightly curled hair Ptolemaic Period 100 BCE...

Encaustic mummy portrait of a man Roman period reign of Hadrian 120-130...

Brightly colored shabty funerary figurine New Kingdom Dynasty 18 1323-1295 BCE

Touching sculpture of a mother cat with kittens Bronze from Saqara 664-30...

Beautiful Minoan jug decorated with marine life made in Crete but found...

I had another filling breakfast at the hotel then logged in to check the opening time for the Brooklyn Museum and discovered it didn't open until 11 a.m. so I caught up my e-mail before catching the subway to today's venue.

I arrived just minutes before it opened so had a little time to walk around and photograph the Auguste Rodin sculptures in the courtyard. Then checked my coat and headed upstairs to the Egyptian galleries. On the way I saw they did have a few exhibits in the Near Eastern Art gallery even though most of it was closed for renovation. So I took some images there then headed into the Egyptian galleries.

I read that the Brooklyn Museum has one of the largest Egyptian collections in the U.S. Many of the pieces on display were fragments of wall reliefs which are not my favorite subjects unless the relief depicts a complete activity or particularly interesting details. But they did have some excellent mummy portraits which are among my favorite subjects and mortuary figures that were very finely detailed. There were also several beautifully painted full sarcophagi and a wonderful collection of sculpted heads including some beautiful examples from the late Ptolemaic and early Roman periods. I was particularly excited to see a head thought to be a sculpture of the famous Marc Antony, lover of Cleopatra. He certainly had a bull neck as described in the ancient sources.

I was also entranced by a very sensitive gesso portrait of an Egyptian lady from the 18th dynasty. She was portrayed a little less stiffly than the the rigid stylized portraits of earlier Egyptian periods. But, thought to be painted during the reign of Amenhotep III, she thankfully, did not have an elongated head like the royal family of Akhenaten, Amenhotep III's sun worshiping successor.

The museum also had a small group of erotic ancient Egyptian sculptures. I had seen erotic art on Greek figure ceramics but never Egyptian sculptures, although I had heard about them in a History Channel program. I won't be including them with this post, though, because I don't want to be kicked off of Trip Journal.

In the last gallery were sculptures of cats that were considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians. There was a particularly endearing bronze sculpture of a mother cat with kittens. I've included a picture of it with this post for the particular enjoyment of my brother and his wife and my good friend Max who is always sending me cat videos!

I got back to my hotel about 3 p.m. and daughter Margaret was waiting for me. She drove over from Pennsylvania. I needed to rest my back a bit so we visited for a while before figuring out what to do for dinner. I thought Margaret would like to take the subway downtown but my world traveler daughter was terrified to go down into the "rat infested" subway at night! I tried to tell her it would be fine and I had been riding the rails for two days without a problem but she was adamant. So I had the front desk call a cab. We searched online for a good seafood restaurant and discovered a place called the Crab spot not far away at 833 Union Street. So I told the cab driver who acted like he had never heard of it. Consequently he wandered around until he run up a tab of $18. When we called a cab to go back to the hotel, it cost only $8. So, I guess we now have the full New York experience of being taken by an unscrupulous cab driver. At least it was only $10.

The meal we had at The Crab Spot was excellent. We ordered a cup of clam chowder for an appetizer and, although it was New England style, it had a creamy, buttery golden base that was not thick and heavy like you usually get on the West Coast and it was very flavorful. It also had a generous amount of finely minced tender clam meat with chopped carrot for a little extra flavor punch. Then I ordered a shrimp trio - crab stuffed shrimp, garlic shrimp and golden fried shrimp - served with "real" mashed potatoes infused with cheese and a sauteed vegetable medley that included whole green beans, zucchini and broccoli - all very tasty! Margaret ordered a seafood pasta with a pesto type sauce and shrimp and scallops that she said was delicious too. We shared one of my favorite desserts - creme brulee - to top everything off. So at least the evening ended on a high note!

Tomorrow we're off to see the 9/11 memorial and Rockefeller Center.

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