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  • Writer's pictureErin Nixon

NYC Day Seven - The Met and Empire State

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Last full day in NYC, so we're hitting two big landmarks in one day, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Empire State Building. We started off our day early (as usual) and headed to get (overpriced) bagels for breakfast at Broad Nosh Bagels near Columbus Circle. They were good...just very expensive.

So. Many. Spreads. We both tried the lox but decided that it wasn't for us.

But the bagels were delicious!

I got a duffle bag full of bagels to take home and we went back to the hotel to watch the Today show while we waited for the Met to open. We left the hotel to head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) around 9 am so that we had time to take the subway and walk across Central Park. We got on the B train to go Uptown this time and got off at one of the stops along Central Park. I took a picture of the multi-level train platforms so y'all can get an idea of how confusing even the small stations can be.

I may have (temporarily) doubted myself when we went down the Uptown stairs and it was showing trains for lower Manhattan, but a passing stranger reassured us that we were going the right way. There was just another level below that one. Because of course there was.

We popped off the subway at Central Park and took a morning stroll across the park.

Doing a morning walk in the Park. You know, like the other New Yorkers.

We got to the Met around 9:40 or so and got in one of the three enormous lines queuing up to get into the museum. There are several museum's on this avenue bordering Central Park, but the Met is enormous.

You can see the end of the line when we got there, but by the time we got to the doors, the end was snaking around those trees and back down the block. Crazy.

The museum opened at 10 am and we made a beeline for the virtual code for the Manet/Degas exhibit, that I had seen online was limited capacity. We got in the virtual queue and it told us that our wait was only 2-3 minutes so we headed on back to find the exhibition space and were the first ones in for the day. Yes! Early birds + planning for the win.

The Manet/Degas exhibit was really interesting, and had many pieces on loan from the Musée D'Orsay in Paris, which Mom and I had gotten to see back in 2003. Manet and Degas were friends and competitors so the Met showcased pieces with similar subject matter along side one another so that visitors could compare how they each approached different topics and scenes. The exhibit was very packed so we meandered through as best we could and then went to go explore the (many) other galleries.

I spotted impressionist paintings so we had to go do a wander through all the Monet paintings that the Met had. Lots of his early work that were just beautiful.

Monet Family by Eduard Manet, Morning on the Seine - Good Weather by Claude Monet, and The Bodmer Oak - Fontainebleau Forest by Claude Monet

After looking through all the beautiful paintings, I hunted down the Asian Art Wing so that I could get my fill of all the ceramics. Prepare yourself. I took a lot of pictures in here. Lots of ideas for pots I want to throw!

The first picture is the one I took of this piece that is in my pottery book that I had wanted to try. The next four Mom took of me doing a thorough investigation of how it goes together. I did this for pretty much every pottery display in this entire section. Mom patiently waited the entire time.

So many beautiful pots, glazes, interesting feet, and decorative techniques.

I decided to get my picture with this gorgeous ox blood-colored vase.

In the center of the Asian Art gallery there is a beautiful courtyard that was so peaceful.

We got a photo of the sculpture gallery in the American Art section from the second floor.

After going through the Asian art gallery we headed down to the American Art section and quickly realized that it was already 12:30 and we were getting hungry. We popped down to the cafe and got a (very overpriced) turkey sandwich to split, before we headed back into the American Art galleries.

We looked at examples of American pottery, stained glass windows, furniture, glasswork, and paintings. I'm going to have to try throwing that ring bottle now!

After looking at a good part of the American collection we headed out through the Egyptian Art gallery, which has a recreation of an ancient temple inside the museum surrounded by a moat.

You could literally spend an entire day going through any one of these galleries!

After a brief swing through the museum store (didn't find anything we needed) we walked back through the park and hopped back on the subway to head back to the hotel. We got a few souvenirs on the way back and then we decided to relax in the hotel for a little while before we need to head down to the Empire State Building for our tour and dinner.

We left the hotel at 4:15 and after a bit of a false start (mom left her glasses) we got on our way to the B train from 7th Avenue down to Herald Square. When we were kids, Mom had checked out the audiobook for Remember Me to Harold Square by Paula Danzinger so we had to go to Herald Square first.

We were both a little surprised that it was as small as it was...

The subway had popped out right on 34th street so we also had to get some photos of Macy's!

Miracle on 34th Street!

Next we went to locate the Empire State Building entry point, which was good because the queue for the 5:15 entry was already forming. We got some great photos of the building and joined the line.

Look at where we're going!

We got moving a little while later and we headed up several flights of stairs, security, and an elevator to get up to the 80th floor where they had an enclosed observation deck. We got some shots of the iconic decor on the elevator and in the museum displays throughout the tour.

Look at those doors!

We took a shorter elevator up the last six floors to the 86th floor where they have the outdoor observation deck that everyone knows from Sleepless in Seattle. We were very pleasantly surprised that they have huge heat lamps going so that it isn't terribly cold out on the deck (the wind was a different matter).

The view up there really is amazing.

Did I also have some vertigo as I was looking down at Bryant Park? 100%.

We got to take the elevator down by ourselves so we turned it into an impromptu photo booth.

We made it down!

Empire State decor is all over the building, so we took some more photos around the building before picking up a few things at the gift shop and heading to dinner at STATE, the bar and grill at the base of the building.

Iconic art deco designs all over the building.

We had a nice dinner at STATE and headed back on the subway to our hotel. We got ready for bed and decided to watch the Taylor Swift documentary Miss Americana on Netflix before bed.

Time to relax!

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