One of the best things about living in New York City is all the museums. Just last night I stumbled upon one I’d never been to before. I know a lot about art, so I am confident in my assertion that I had a lot of fun there, and it is probably better than any museum I have ever been to.
The museum was mainly focused on furniture. It was kind of like those colonial rooms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, except it was more than one room, and it didn’t have such low ceilings for short, malnourished colonists. Also, the furniture wasn’t from the 17th century. It was more modern, like in the Museum of Modern Art. Except it wasn’t fancy or artsy—the attempt was to convey a sense of everyday life, like Colonial Williamsburg, except again, not colonial.
You were allowed to sit on the furniture, which brings me to my first favorite part of the museum—their lax policy about sitting on the furniture. I also enjoyed being able to listen to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler while eating the ham from the Make-Your-Own-Sandwich Room, which was structured much like an ordinary kitchen. That reminds me: my second and third favorite parts were the CD collection and the ham collection.
I believe the curators wanted you to touch the art and eat the art so as to feel as one with the art and allow it to become a part of you. The everyday style of construction—the furniture being in the vernacular, as we say—was an attempt to force the observer to question the very nature of art. It reminded me of a painting I saw at the Met once. It looked like a canvas smeared with moldy Fruit Loops by a drunk baby. I didn’t think that could be real art, but actually it was, since Hello, I found it in a museum. Remembering this past experience helped me while in the museum last night, since there were a lot of things that looked like that painting—particularly a bowl of old Fruit Loops on a simple coffee table. Or was it so simple?
Museums can be exhausting when they are crowded. It’s like, Hey, Lady from Wherever They Let You Wear Light Colored Jeans in Public, can you move away so I can see the picture, too? I loved how empty this place was. I believe they keep most people out so as to allow you to immerse yourself in the museum’s spatiality. Also, I was there at night, when tourists are jetlagged and regular people are kind of tired.
The art was linked thematically, with many variations on the central motif of family life in the modern era. There were photos of the same subjects, and many of the drawings were by the same artist. They were of a unique style, one harkening back to a primitive age. My favorites were My Family, How I Help Cook Chicken Soup, and an untitled scribble in the medium of magic marker.
Security at museums can be a nightmare, am I right? You can’t bring in certain stuff, like cameras or drinks. But I brought my drink in (how I left The Gin Mill still holding my rum and Diet Coke, I haven’t a clue) and the one security guard downstairs didn’t care. He even knew my name already!
Museums are full of surprises, and this museum certainly did not disappoint. For instance, the final room had— surprise!—two people wearing pajamas. Not sure why they were yelling at me, though. This brings me to another thing museums are full of: mystery.
My final favorite thing about the museum was how close it was to my apartment. It was actually just down the hall. That’s the beauty of New York—those hidden gems that only real New Yorkers know how to find. Well, New Yorkers and the doorman who kindly escorted me out and back to my own apartment. I’m pretty sure he was from Poland.