On the last Sunday of November my friend, the art expert, invited me to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art with him. He asked me what I wanted to see and I wanted to check if my favorite artwork was back in place (it's Shibata Zeshin's Autumn Grasses in Moonlight
) but once again it wasn't on display; instead the museum was doing a fascinating show on kimonos
. The Japanese culture certainly changed over the centuries since the West made contact back in the 19th century and it was so interesting to see it shown in the history of the kimono plus they showed a few Japanese versions of Western outfits of the 19th century. Afterwards we walked around the rest of the 2nd floor looking at variious galleries; at one of them he pointed out his favorite picture The Chess Players
and explained why he loved it. He is the art expert - my way of judging a painting is if I would want it in my place of residence...and I really wouldn't want most of the art I saw that day. I'm sure somewhere in the Met there are many artworks I would like but the museum is so huge that it really takes days to see everything (and what is shown is merely the tip of the iceberg of art the museum owns). Afterwards we went back to the Moonstruck Diner for an early dinner. It certainly made the last day of November a memorable one.
Yesterday we met at Bread & Butter
for an early lunch. It was my first time there and I loved it. It's both a deli and a small grocery store. The art expert had an excellent salad - he got to pick all the ingredients he wanted - and I had some tomato basil soup, a ham and cheese omelet and a hot chocolate. Afterwards we walked over to Connolly's Pub
to see the The Godless Revival Holiday Bash
. My favorite speaker was Faisal Saeed Al Mutar
, an Iraqi atheist who had to flee Iraq after the killings of his brother and best friend. He's established the Global Secular Humanist Movement
. It can be difficult being an atheist in the US but it's nowhere near as dangerous as in other parts of the world particularly Islamic states; this must change if we are to make progress and put away childish things like Bronze Age mythologies. It was an interesting start for December which, at least in the US, is so fixated on the birth of one such mythological being.