Posts Tagged With: Museum

Saddness, Shopping, and Laughter in Jerusalem

Jan 9 2009
Another early morning wake up call. Again, I was the first one to get ready. We had to dress conservatively today because we were headed to Yad Vashem. It was extremely cloudy out and was misting a bit. We stopped in front of the museum to take a group photo. We were just one of many tour groups there.

We got our tour guide who guided us through the museum. We had to listen to him on headsets. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the museum. I didn’t think the tour guide was very good and I didn’t feel the museum was comprehensive. Nor did I find it very moving. We got to see a room full of records from survivors, which was a bit interesting. The museum was very gray and dark. It opened out to a beautiful view of Jerusalem. To show the hope and renewal after the destruction. Morgan was in a wheelchair because of her Masada incident and her poor brother had to carry her up the stairs. For me the most moving thing was of a statue towards the exit of the museum complex. It was of a teacher who was given the option to be saved or die with his students. He chose to die with his students.

After that we went to the shuk. Ricky was my shopping buddy. First we hit the amazing bakeries and candy stores on the street outside of the shuk. Then he haggled for me in Hebrew so I could get a t-shirt. After that we got zatar from a spice merchant. We walked around the shuk for a while and looked at all the yummy food. The we wandered down a side street and found a Sephardic bakery that was cheap. We loaded up like nobody’s business. The food was amazing!
We headed back to Mehane Yehuda St., which was the meeting spot. We looked at what everyone bought. A lot of people were jealous when they saw the good looking items Ricky and I picked up. We met Shabat’s son. He was so shy. We had to leave because shabbat was about to start.
We got back to our hotel in time to hear the shabbat alarm.


We then did the candle lighting and had services. It was our 2nd shabbat Friday in Jerusalem. Let the shabbat elevator fun begin! We had dinner, which was yummy. I decided to get more adventurous with my food choices and was pleasantly surprised with everything I ate.

After that we went back to Jen, Lindsey, and Jordi’s room and hung out. Sarah, Sara, and both Jens were there in addition to Ricky, Ben, Marc, Jacob, Julie, Lindsey, Lior, Jordi, Emily, Rachel, Michelle, and myself. Jen flat-ironed Ben’s hair, while Ricky prank phone called Alan. It was hilarious! We were laughing so hard! Then we went up to Alan’s floor to continue the prank by knocking on his door. But when the elevator opened on his floor he was standing there. We let the elevator door shut and fell on each other laughing.

After that we went downstairs to hear what Hebrew names the soon to be Bar/Bat Mitzvahed people picked out for themselves. We then headed back to our rooms only for a fuse to go out. The hallways turned into a party. A couple of us eventually called it a night after an hour or so because we had to wake up for services in the morning.

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Categories: Asia, Food, History, Israel, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum has something called Target First Saturdays. At night you can visit the museum for free and the special exhibits for a small fee. They also have music and other performances. I have been wanting to go to the Brooklyn Museum for the longest time because they have a great Egyptian section. It’s considered one of the best in the world. Additionally, John Paul Gaultier has a temporary exhibit there that I wanted to see. The exhibit is usually $15, but was only $10 because of Target First Saturday. We waited online for well over a hour, but it was worth it in the end. The mannequins for the exhibit were images of real models so they blinked, talked, sang, etc. Creepy and cool at the same time. My pictures are below:

Categories: NYC, Photos, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scavenger Hunt at the MET

I hosted a scavenger hunt at the MET this past Friday. The MET is probably my favorite museum in the world. I have spent countless hours there and though I think I have seen it all I always stumble upon something new. After years of searching I finally found Michelangelo’s the Young Archer. They always change its location. I just randomly stumbled upon it. I have never been around Christmas so that was cool. I also had a n Egyptology lecture in the G level which was nice. I did two of the new exhibits one consisted of beautiful jewelry (no pics allowed) and the other one was on Hinduism and allowed me to enter the Jain Meeting Hall (one of my favorites). Some pictures from Friday are below:

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Categories: History, NYC, Photos, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hanging with Washington at Fraunces Tavern

9/28/13

Today was free museum day. Even though I have been to Fraunces Tavern several times before, I decided to go again because I haven’t been back in years. The museum closes at 5pm and I got there at 4:20pm. I started in the room where George Washington said goodbye to his troops. There was a docent telling stories in this room. The room was packed with people and I had a gentleman right on my back. The docent explained that the alcohol was over 100 proof back then. So they would take a punch bowl and fill it with 50% water and 50% alcohol. They would then add sugar and nutmeg to it. The bowl would be passed around and people would pour into their mugs. They didn’t believe in germs back then. She also talked about the term spring cleaning, which meant that’s the time of the year you would clean your clothes. The clothes could dry outside in the spring. She was talking for a while so I decided to visit the other rooms plus I didn’t like that I gave the right answer to a question and she gave the credit to the man in front of me who said salt (the answer was sugar cane). Pictures weren’t allowed in this room. The cashier said it is because the items in the room are lent to the tavern and the owners didn’t want people taking pictures of them.

The next room was filled with images of Washington. The room next to that one belonged to George Clinton. He was Vice President of the US and the first Governor of New York. The wallpaper in his room was beautiful. Next I headed to a room with a DVD player. I didn’t feel like listening to it.

I went upstairs to the Sons of Revolution room. The Sons of Revolution used to meet in the tavern during the American Revolution. The room contained Washington’s hair and teeth. The next room had some letters. After that was a room that showed the evolution of the American flag. Then there was a room of random artifacts. The last room was of different revolutionary paintings. They were beautiful. Sadly no pictures were allowed.

I went to the gift shop and bought two pens. They were $2 each and I usually see them for $6. I also bought 3 postcards at 50 cents each.

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On a side note my mom also took advantage of the free museum day. She went to the Mount Vernon Hotel.

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Categories: History, NYC, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Couple Finds 2,000-Year-Old Archaeological Treasures Under Their House

Love this article.

All rights belong to The Blaze, Sharona Schwartz, and Yahoo!

To view the original article click here

The Blaze

Sharona Schwartz September 16, 2013 11:12 AM

When Miriam and Theo Siebenberg purchased a plot of land for their new home in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City that Israel had just a few years before captured from Jordan, they had no idea of the antiquity treasures dating back from Jesus’ time and before that lay underneath.

Before the Siebenbergs built their house in a neighborhood where archaeological finds were regularly cropping up, Israeli Department of Antiquities inspectors examined the site, but found nothing of historical significance that would have stopped construction.

.The Couple That Found 2,000 Year Old Archaeological Treasures under Their House

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Descending into history at the Siebenberg House (Photos Credit: Tzuriel Cohen-Arazi/Tazpit News Agency)

In 1970, they moved into the new home and were soon to discover how wrong the inspectors had been.

At the time, archaeologists from the Hebrew University were excavating all around the Jewish Quarter.

“I went over one day and asked the archaeologists if they had checked the area where my house was,” Theo Siebenberg told the New York Times in 1985. “They said they had and that they were sure nothing was there.”

But to Siebenberg, that answer didn’t seem right.

“I would stand here and picture myself in the Second Temple Period. The temple was just over there,” he told the Times, pointing to the nearby Western Wall, the most holy site in Judaism. “Why wouldn’t Jews have built here then? Every inch of land near the Temple must have been very valuable.”

.The Couple That Found 2,000 Year Old Archaeological Treasures under Their House

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The enormously challenging digging project in the early 1970s (Photo courtesy: Siebenberg family)

So he took matters into his own hands. He approached the engineers who had built his new house, asking if he and his wife could conduct an archaeological dig underneath. They told him that if an excavation upset the stability of the land, it could cause the neighborhood to slide down the hill.

Still, he didn’t give up.

Engineers came up with a pricey plan to construct a restraining wall held down by steel anchors which would secure his neighbors’ homes. A wealthy man, Siebenberg was able to fund the project independently, according to media accounts 30 years ago, and to guarantee his neighbors that he would pay for any damage the dig might inflict on their homes.

So the wall was built and the Siebenbergs were able to embark on their treasure hunt. They hired a team of architects, engineers, archaeologists, laborers and even donkeys to bring the rubble up from down below.

It was only after eight months of digging that they found their first artifact, a bronze key ring from the era of the Second Temple which may have been used as a key to a jewelry box.

.The Couple That Found 2,000 Year Old Archaeological Treasures under Their House

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The first find: a bronze key ring from the Second Temple period (Photos Credit: Tzuriel Cohen-Arazi, Tazpit News Agency)

Soon after, they came across an abundance of ancient archaeological treasures. Among them: the wall of a 2,000-year-old home, two mikvehs (Jewish ritual baths), arrowheads possibly used by Jews defending themselves from the Romans, a Byzantine water cistern, an ivory pen and an ink well. Encouraged by their finds, they dug further. Sixty feet below, they found empty burial chambers believed to be at least 2,600 years old, dated to the First Temple.

“The Siebenberg excavation is not only a monument to determination and plain bull-headedness, but an engineering and structural marvel,” wrote Biblical Archaeology Review in a 1982 article about the project.

.The Couple That Found 2,000 Year Old Archaeological Treasures under Their House

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Arrowheads on display at the Siebenberg House (Photo courtesy: Siebenberg family)

After digging for 18 years, they converted the lower levels of their house to a museum where visitors can view the ancient treasures and descend into the excavation to feel what it was like to dig into ancient history.

For Theo, the project was motivated by his personal quest to find his roots. At age 13, he was forced to flee Belgium to escape the Nazis. After moving around Europe and eventually to the U.S., he felt he was missing a connection with Jewish history. His wife Miriam tells TheBlaze that he dedicated his life to finding a true home he felt he had lost in Europe.

The project “was motivated by wanting to find his roots. My husband was born in Antwerp. He felt like a boy without a home. He was searching for a spiritual home,” Miriam says.

“All of the investment and the dedication and effort were aimed at finding the home he was looking for his whole life. That was the idea, finding the historical continuity,” she adds.

The Siebenbergs decided to one day donate the museum and its contents to the Israeli public. They have set up a non-profit organization for that purpose.

You can view many more photos of the museum and collection on their Facebook page.

(H/T: Tazpit News Agency)

Categories: Asia, Israel, Mish Mash, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mallawi Museum in Egypt was Looted

I’ve been meaning to post about this all week, but it has been a busy week. The Mallawi Museum was broken into and the artifacts were looted. They also killed the security guard/ticket taker. Almost everything was taken and what wasn’t taken was damaged. About 1,040 items were taken and to date 90 have been returned. Below you’ll find more information about the incident. The article below belongs to Yahoo and the Associated Press. To read the original article please click here.

To view the salvaging of the museum click here

To view the damage on 8/17 click here

To view the list of stolen items click here

Egypt’s devastating museum looting latest casualty

Associated Press

AYA BATRAWY August 19, 2013

CAIRO (AP) — As violent clashes roiled Egypt, looters made away with a prized 3,500-year-old limestone statue, ancient beaded jewelry and more than 1,000 other artifacts in the biggest theft to hit an Egyptian museum in living memory.

The scale of the looting of the Malawi Museum in the southern Nile River city of Minya laid bare the security vacuum that has taken hold in cities outside Cairo, where police have all but disappeared from the streets. It also exposed how bruised and battered the violence has left Egypt.

For days after vandals ransacked the building Wednesday, there were no police or soldiers in sight as groups of teenage boys burned mummies and broke limestone sculptures too heavy for the thieves to carry away. The security situation remained precarious Monday as gunmen atop nearby buildings fired on a police station near the museum.

Among the stolen antiquities was a statue of the daughter of Pharaoh Akhenaten, who ruled during the 18th dynasty. Archaeologist Monica Hanna described it as a “masterpiece”. Other looted items included gold and bronze Greco-Roman coins, pottery and bronze-detailed sculptures of animals sacred to Thoth, a deity often represented with the head of an ibis or a baboon.

The museum’s ticket agent was killed during the storming of the building, according to the Antiquities Ministry.

View gallery.”

FILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, …

FILE — In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, Damaged pharaonic objects lie on the floor

Under the threat of sniper fire on Saturday, Hanna and a local security official were able to salvage five ancient Egyptian sarcophagi, two mummies and several dozen other items left behind by the thieves.

The museum was a testament to the Amarna Period, named after its location in southern Egypt that was once the royal residence of Nefertiti. The area is located on the banks of the Nile River in the province of Minya, some 190 miles (300 kilometers) south of Cairo.

When Hanna asked a group of teenagers wielding guns to stop destroying the artifacts that remained, they said they were getting back at the government for killing people in Cairo, she said.

“I told them that this is property of the Egyptian people and you are destroying it,” she said in an interview Monday. “They were apparently upset with me because I am not veiled.”

After managing to chase them away, a group of men began opening fire to try to force her and the security official to leave. She said the men were apparently also in charge of the boys, who had burned one mummy completely and partially burned another, while pushing around a half-ton statue from the Old Kingdom of the third millennium B.C.

FILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, …

FILE — In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, damaged pharaonic objects lie on the floor

“We were working and lowering our heads so they do not fire on us. There were snipers on rooftops,” she said.

The two were able to salvage some 40 artifacts and thousands of broken pieces that Hanna said will take archaeologists years to put back together. The Egypt Heritage Task Force, a group of Egyptian archaeologists who use social media to try to raise awareness about illegal digging for artifacts and looting, said 1,050 pieces were stolen from the museum.

The head of museums for the Antiquities Ministry, Ahmed Sharaf, said two statues were returned Monday. He told The Associated Press that police and ministry officials will not press charges or arrest anyone who comes forward with looted items and that a small financial reward is available for returned artifacts.

He said that until now, police have been unable to secure the museum. He accused members of ousted President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, who have been spearheading protests against the government, of being behind the looting and attacks on the nearby police station.

Hanna said the looting was more likely carried out by heavily armed gangs of thieves who took advantage of the lawlessness to target the museum.

FILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, …

FILE — In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, a damaged object lies on the floor of the Malawi …

The chaos erupted Wednesday when security forces in Cairo, authorized by the new military-backed government, cleared out two Islamist-led sit-ins demanding Morsi be reinstated, igniting violence that has killed more than 1,000 people.

The Great Pyramids west of Cairo and the Egyptian museum in the heart of the city were closed during the country’s bloodiest day last week. At least 30 tanks line the streets outside Egypt’s main museum in Cairo.

Some looting occurred during the 18-day uprising in early 2011 against autocratic President Hosni Mubarak. More than 50 items were stolen from the Cairo museum, but Sharaf said around half have been recovered.

Never, though, was the looting then or at any other time since on the scale seen last week, according to archaeologists and ministry officials.

In the past two years of instability since Mubarak’s ouster, illegal digs have multiplied and illegal construction has encroached on ancient, largely unexplored pyramids.

Also threatening sites is the view held by some hard-line religious allies of Morsi who view Egypt’s ancient history as pagan.

The Malawi Museum was in many ways a tribute to the heritage of Minya and home to chests, coffins, masks and hematite stone with Hieroglyphic inscriptions used for measuring. The looters also made away with sculptures associated with the deity Thoth, who ironically, is known as an arbitrator of disputes.

FILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, rows of display cases are broken and empty at the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was ransacked and looted between the evening of Thursday, Aug. 15 and the morning of Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 in Malawi, south of Minya, Egypt. The theft of about 1,000 artifacts spanning some 3,500 years of history from a small antiquities museum south of Cairo showcases the tenuous security in the provinces. (AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper, File) EGYPT OUT

FILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, Damaged pharaonic objects lie on the floor and in broken cases in the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was ransacked and looted between the evening of Thursday, Aug. 15 and the morning of Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Malawi, south of Minya, Egypt. The theft of about 1,000 artifacts spanning some 3,500 years of history from a small antiquities museum south of Cairo showcases the tenuous security in the provinces. (AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper, File) EGYPT OUT

FILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, damaged pharaonic objects lie on the floor of the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was ransacked and looted between the evening of Thursday, Aug. 15 and the morning of Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Malawi, south of Minya, Egypt, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013. The theft of about 1,000 artifacts spanning some 3,500 years of history from a small antiquities museum south of Cairo showcases the tenuous security in the provinces. (AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper, File) EGYPT OUTFILE -- In this Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 file photo, a damaged object lies on the floor of the Malawi Antiquities Museum after it was ransacked and looted between the evening of Thursday, Aug. 15 and the morning of Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Malawi, south of Minya, Egypt, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013. The theft of about 1,000 artifacts spanning some 3,500 years of history from a small antiquities museum south of Cairo showcases the tenuous security in the provinces. (AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper, File) EGYPT OUT

Categories: Egyptology, History, Mish Mash | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1787 and 1968

8/17/13

I woke up and got dressed while watching Scandal. We checked out of the Loews. They told us there was free coffee in the restaurant. My mom added to her cup. We left our bags with the hotel.

We went straight to the National Constitution Center. I’ve been wanting to go to this museum since it opened. I never went because of time and the price. We decided to go this trip because there’s also a 1968 exhibit. So we felt like we were getting two museums for the price of one. I got in as a youth ($13). I always say I’m 17. My mom got in for the AAA adult rate ($12). The woman giving us our tickets was not nice and didn’t give us any info about the exhibits. I took all the brochures I could find (not knowing one of the items was a fold up constitution-if I had known I would have taken some for my students).

We decided to do the 1968 exhibit first. I was happy that they allowed photography in the exhibit. I had just taught a 1960’s class so I was excited to see everything I just taught. My mom felt like she was looking at her childhood. The exhibit covered the assassination of MLK and RFK. It also covered Vietnam, the Black Panthers, moon race, music, toys, clothes, the Olympics, etc. I liked the Vietnam helicopter, the clothes, the items from the kitchen where RFK was assassinated, and the albums.

After the 60’s exhibit we went upstairs to the We the People exhibit. It’s an interactive exhibit on the constitution. It focuses on the 3 different branches. There were sections where you could watch videos. You could be sworn in as the president. You can simulate the jury duty experience. There were election booths where you could vote on ideas and it would match you with a past president. They had judicial robes you could try on. There was even a jeopardy game you could play against people. I got all the questions right. There were little sections where you could listen to Paine, Jefferson, Adams, FDR, etc. I liked that they set up FDR’s audio section to resemble a fire side chat. My favorite part of the exhibit were all the artifacts. They had items from different presidents, judges, and other historical figures. They had items from the Dred Scott case, the Scopes trial, prohibition, Sandra Day O’Connors’ robe, etc. There was an old copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and one of the first public copies of the constitution.

Our next stop was Signers’ Hall. The hall is the same size as the room where they signed the constitution. The room is filled with the delegates from the convention. The statues are very life like. My mom and I posed with several of them. We both signed the constitution. Supposedly you can print a copy of your signed constitution in this room. I didn’t see anyone doing that. You also can give people a link at home and they can watch you in the room.

After that we took pictures of Independence Hall from the second floor. By the staircase they had plaques in the ground of when each state ratified the constitution. We headed down to the gift shop. I got some postcards. I wanted postcards from the 60’s exhibit but they didn’t have any. I got 3 press a pennies (that will be a separate post).

We caught the 1:30pm Freedom Rising show. Sandra Day O’Connor called it the best 17 minute civics lesson. I couldn’t agree more. The show was extremely engaging and made me feel very patriotic. I just kept wishing I was rich enough to bring my students to see these exhibits. They would love them!

We left and walked through the visitor center. I took a picture with Rocky. We crossed the street to the President’s house. I haven’t seen that area before. They found it in the last couple years when they were trying to build bathrooms for the liberty bell.

We walked over to the Graff House, which is where Jefferson drafted the declaration. It was closed, which I knew but I still took pictures from the outside. My mom and I did some more shopping at Ross stores. We went back to the hotel to pick up our bags. We hopped on the train and had about 40 mins to kill at the 30th Street Station.

We boarded our Amtrak train on time. We were able to get quiet car seats again this time we were facing the right direction. Time to head to New Jersey.
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Categories: Family Vacation, History, Philadelphia, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Day at the MET

7/18/13

We decided to do the MET today because it was supposed to be even hotter than yesterday. I met the girls on the steps of the MET at 9:30am. I got to the steps around 9:36am and could immediately tell that the museum was not open yet. It was supposed to open at 9:30am. We waited and sweated. It was over 100 degrees and there was no shade. We eventually got into two single file lines. I was soaked. This was redic. They should have had us wait inside the lobby. Everyone could have been shopping in the gift shop while we were waiting. They finally let us in at 10. Janelle paid $3 but the lady gave her back $1. I paid $3. Lauren paid $5. We hit the gift shop first. I saw several things I wanted to buy, but I wanted to wait to do it until we were done in the museum. I have been to the MET numerous times. The last time was 2 years ago and I spent an entire day there (opening to closing). So I’ve done all of the museum, but I love the place. I was excited to do it again.

Lauren’s picture. Janelle is on the steps

We started in the Egyptian section. We did Perneb’s tomb. I read some of the glyphs for Lauren and pointed out important pieces. I explained many of the items and funerary rituals. We ran into some of the girls’ Contiki tour mates. We did the Temple of Dendur which looked particularly pretty today since there was a ton of sunlight pouring in. I took them to my favorite galleries, 126 and 130. We used the restroom and Janelle decided to head out. She wanted to get back to her hotel and change before her Sex in the City Tour. We said our goodbyes. I was sad to see her go. I wish I could have spent more time with her. 😦

Lauren and I then headed to the Greek and Roman area. They are always wonderful to look at. We saw a piece called the Boxer that was temporarily lent to the museum. So I had never seen it before. There was a guy sketching it and he was doing a really great job. After that we headed to the area on Central America. We found one of my favorite areas in the museum which are the French rooms. It is like being transported to Versailles. I then took Lauren to see the Patio from the Castle of Vélez Blanco which makes you feel like you stepped into Romeo and Juliet. We then headed upstairs to do the second floor.

The Boxer

We started with the paintings. We looked at Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, etc. After we came out of the painting area I saw a sign for the Punk exhibit. I’ve always wanted to do the Costume Institute at the MET, but never get around to it. So we did a detour to see the exhibit. There was no photography allowed. The clothes alternated between very strange and awesome. Some of the outfits were made out of everyday items like garbage bags. Many of the outfits seemed a bit more gothic than punk which is my taste. There were also some great shoes. There was one pair that was gladiator style from Versace and went all the way up the leg.

Then we headed to the Asian section. This section is filled with Buddhas and Hindu statues. However, my two favorite parts of this section are the Vadi Parshvanatha Jain temple (gallery 243)  and the Chinese Courtyard (gallery 217). Unfortunately, both were closed this time. We were still able to see the top of the temple though. There were some new items that I had never seen before including animals made out of bubbles. I also saw some of beautiful clothes. One gallery had a view of the Temple of Dendur, which is a view I wish I had.

After that we wandered over to the Art of Arab Lands. I had only seen a little bit of this exhibit because the last time I was here the majority of it was closed. Last time I looked at the items from Mesopotamia. I enjoyed seeing the Moroccan Court (gallery 456), the Damascus Room (gallery 461), the Mihrab (gallery 455), and all the Qurans and rugs. I was sad that the Assyrian Royal Court (gallery 401) was closed. I would have liked Lauren to see it. We got to see the special exhibit on the Cyrus Cylinder.

The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: Charting a New Empire

Image from the MET’s website

Before we left I wanted to make sure Lauren saw the American Wing, which consists of the facade of the Branch Bank of the United States that they turned into a mansion filled with colonial rooms, paintings, furniture, and other artifacts. I love this part of the MET. It reminds me of the White House and I can easily picture our founding fathers walking around inside. One of my favorite rooms in the MET consists of images of Versailles and its gardens.

At that point it had been about four hours and I knew we were both tired and Lauren was probably hungry. Even though we hadn’t seen everything I figured it was time to go. We used the restroom and headed to the clearance shop and the regular shop. I bought two books (both on sale), an Egyptian pencil case (I always wanted one), and two postcards. Lauren picked up several items as well.

Even though it was extremely hot outside I figured Lauren might want to see some of Central Park since tomorrow was supposed to be even hotter and they might not get to it. I used my phone to plot out a path to Cleopatra’s Needle (otherwise I would get hopelessly lost because I seriously hate the park). We found the needle pretty quickly and though we were beyond melting and we stayed to admire it and take some pictures. I knew there was another interesting site nearby but I couldn’t remember where. So we wandered for a bit in the direction of the water and found a statue that said Poland on it. At that point my iphone was getting pretty hot so I put it away. Lauren took some pictures and we decided to find our way back. Our way back wound up being along a very long path. Thank goodness I read somewhere that the numbers on the lampposts tell you what direction you are heading, what block you are near, and how long until you hit the street, otherwise I would have felt that we were going to walk forever. We saw a statue of Hamilton on our way out. The path let us out at 85th and 5th and we had entered at 79th or 80th and 5th.

We originally were headed to H&H Bagels for lunch which is located at 81st and 2nd. So we walked the avenues while sweating buckets. We were both weighed down with big heavy bags from the MET. Every time we missed the light we would hide in the shade. We got to 85th and Lexington and I explained to Lauren how many more blocks we would have to walk to H&H. I told her Shake Shack was a block away and she agreed. We got to Shake Shack and it was very busy. We shared a table with a woman. I was soaked! My dress was drenched. I hate the heat!  Lauren got a cheeseburger, fries, and a water. I just got an ice cold water. That cold water was the most beautiful thing on Earth at that moment. I was too hot to really eat. I ate one of her fries and they were good. We chatted for a while about debt, university tuition, rent, homes, apartments, etc. I walked Lauren to 86th and 3rd and we said our goodbyes. I was sad to leave them. It had been a very hot but nice two days.

I went to H&M and caught an air conditioned train back home.

The results of my shopping in the last two days

Categories: Egyptology, History, NYC, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Egyptian Museum in Cairo

7/31/11
I wake up, put on the clothes from yesterday and a pair of airplane socks. I wash my socks from the day before and blow dry them. I head down to the lobby and no one is there. I check the bar, restaurant, and the street. Where is everyone? There’s a girl I don’t recognize in the lounge and after 20 minutes I go and talk to her. Turns out she’s on our Contiki and missed last night’s meeting. So we now have 7 guys and 7 girls. Each girl gets 1 husband. The girl’s name is Nicole and her bag is lost as well. She’s also American. It turns out that my cell phone alarm messed up and set itself to an hour earlier then we were supposed to get up. So instead of 7am I woke up at 6am. Lovely.

The Contiki group eventually comes down. I pay for my optionals (tip, Luxor/Karnak, Light and Sound, Abu Simbel, and Edfu). I also give the girls the stuff I got them in NYC. I sit with them while they have breakfast. I take some bread for later though I doubt I’ll eat it.

We board our bus, which is nice and roomy! We each get our own row, which will be perfect for the rides to and from Hurghada. Next stop the Egyptian Museum! I knew the museum wouldn’t have AC, I had prepared for that. No, I had packed for that. My plane clothes made the museum very uncomfortable. However, I sucked it up and didn’t complain outside of my head.

Sherif ushered us past the gates for the museum because across the street was Tahrir Square. There was a mini fire by the gates and Sherif told someone to put it out. Sherif collected our cameras and checked them in. A lot of groups tried to get into the museum at the same time and one group cut in front of us. Sherif argued with that tour guide. After that we went through security.

When we walked into the museum I thought I had stepped into one of my TV programs. How many times had I seen Zahi and other Egyptologists on TV in this place? It was like I had been here a million times before. Sherif took us to the King Tut floor first. After seeing hundreds if not thousands of pictures of these items it was strange to think they were now right in front of me. The condition of everything was fantastic! Everything had his cartouche on it and the detail was incredible. I loved his gold throne that showed him and his wife sharing a pair of sandals. I was amazed at how many shawabti he had in his tomb. There must have been 2 full walls of them. We saw his fold up beds, some statues, and alabaster items. We also got to see his canopic jars, which were beautiful. They were also made of alabaster. Next we looked at the solid gold encasings that housed the sarcophagi. They were enormous and the work on them was mind blowing. I have no idea how they got them out of the tomb. Many of them featured Isis with her wings spread out.

Onto the big moment, King Tut’s golden mask. The mask, jewelry, and two sarcophagi were in a separate air-conditioned room. We walked in and I immediately went to his mask. I must have stood there for 2 minutes before moving. It was mesmerizing. I eventually moved around the room to look at the jewelry, the crook and flail, and the 2 sarcophagi. After walking around the entire room and be amazed at everything, I decided to go back to the mask. I made a point to stand there and stare into Tut’s eyes. After a minute or so, I closed my eyes and tried to make a mental image of the mask. After another minute I said farewell to the mask and joined Sherif outside.

On our way downstairs Sherif showed us some papyrus pictures. Many of them dealt with the sun rising. He also showed us a famous one of the heart being weighed against a feather. Next we stopped at a large tablet and the cartouche was broken and only setepenre remained, which would be half of Ramesses II’s name. I muttered his name and Sherif heard me. He asked if I could read it and I said I could. The next statue we went to was of Ramesses II and Horus behind his head. Sherif showed us many other statues and as we turned into a room I spotted Ankhnaten. It was the Amarna room. There was a mini bust of Nefertiti. Later we saw a lot of statues of scribes and we saw Rahotep and Nofret with their amazing glass eyes. We also got to see organs in canopic jars, statues of Hatshepsut (with her false beard), a wooden statue of Cheikh El Beced, scenes from the Book of the Dead, a seated statue of Tuthmosis III, and the palette of Narmer.

After Sherif finished with our guided tour he took me over to the image of the Rosetta Stone. We discussed it for a while and then I went to the small gift shop. I purchased a pack of King Tut postcards for 10LE and when I went to say thank you in Abrabic the guy freaked out on me. He insisted I was an Arab and that my pronunciation was perfect. He offered to teach me more Arabic words, but I wanted to catch up with the girls.

I caught up with the girls going into the mummy room. After I paid and said thank you this guy also insisted that I was an Arab. Strange. The mummies were amazing! I loved the idea of being able to look into the face of a man or woman who ruled thousands of years ago. You could make out every detail of their nose, mouth, and eyes. Some of them even had hair and eyelashes. The mummy I was most excited to see was Hatshepsut’s. In her case was the box they found her liver and tooth in. After watching that particular episode on Discovery and National Geographic a million times I couldn’t believe that I actually got to see the mummy and the box. VERY COOL!

Then we went into the jewelry room, which had AC. The room was kind of boring and we spent most of the time discussing the cartouche we wanted to buy on the boat. Then Janelle and Megan wanted to leave, so we started to look for an exit. We went to the bathroom, which wasn’t awful and then found the exit. We were all very hot and thirsty so we stopped at an outdoor café area. We spent a lot of money on overpriced water and snacks. Supply and demand at its best. We met Sherif and got our cameras back. Then we waited for everyone to come back. I spoke to Sherif about his education and the different languages he could speak and read. He has a very fascinating background! There were a couple of bees that were freaking me out and I just wanted to go at that point, but we were still waiting for Paul. Sherif sends us to the bus and there’s Paul. Where’s Paul? became our bus joke after that.

Only two pictures because we weren’t allowed to bring our cameras inside.

 

Categories: Africa, Egypt, History, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Keep Portland Weird

6/15/13

I woke up on the later side today. My mom and I got ready and packed everything up since our flight was later that night. We decided to check out right away rather than come back later to do so. We left our bags with the hotel and headed to Portland’s famous Saturday Market.

The market is only a couple blocks from our hotel. It’s filled with a lot of art, food, and hippie vendors. It takes up about three blocks. We browsed for a bit and really didn’t see anything we liked. There was one vendor that turned bottle caps into rings and necklaces. I thought her stuff was cool so I bought a $5 ring. We walked along the river and saw another part to the market that was fenced off because you had to pay. We decided not to do that part.

The sign “Keep Portland Weird” wasn’t kidding. I thought people in NYC were strange. Portland has us beat. I saw every hair color imaginable. I saw more tattoos and piercings in one day than I have seen in my whole life. There were people in corsets, leather bondage outfits, tutus, tie dye, bras, bathing suits, costumes, etc. There is honestly no dress code in Portland.

We headed over to Pioneer Place which is a big mall. We browsed for a bit. Then we went to Ross where I found a skirt and shirt I liked but ultimately left. We then had a decision to make. We could go to Pittock Mansion or the Oregon Historical Society. I knew my mom would love Pittock but we would have to take a bus and then walk a mile uphill. I really wasn’t in the mood for it. Plus the timing would have been close. We would only have 45 minutes there. So we chose the Historical Society. Our next debate was about whether or not to walk. That got settled for us when we met a nice disabled man at the light rail stop. He explained how the public transportation system worked and talked to us about Portland until the light rail came.

The Historical Society was about 3 blocks away from the stop so that was convenient. The tickets for the museum were pretty cheap but we were under the impression that the museum was small so my mom decided to sit on the sofa and wait for me. We figured why spend two fees if the museum was going to be just ok. However, the museum turned out to be fantastic! We got very lucky and arrived on the day when two special exhibits opened. The two exhibits were Windows on America and For All the World to See.

The first exhibit was incredible! It contained hundreds of artifacts belonging to Presidents. I had never seen most of them which is saying something since all I do is go to museums. Some of the things they had included:

  • An exact reproduction of the Declaration of Independence
  • George Washington’s handwritten plans for Mount Vernon
  • Official copy of the Thirteenth Amendment
  • Swatch of fabric from Lincoln’s Fords Theater Chair
  • The letter, pierced by a bullet, which was in Teddy Roosevelt’s pocket during an assassination attempt in 1912
  • Only copy of the Atlantic Charter signed by Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • U.S.S. Antares Log from the Attack on Pearl Harbor
  • Truman’s Inaugural Top Hat
  • John F. Kennedy’s Oval Office Table and Rocking Chair
  • The only camera that caught Ruby killing Oswald

I could have spent hours looking at the exhibit. No one told me that photography wasn’t  allowed. I had taken two pictures when I got yelled at by a security officer. He then spent the entire time following me through the exhibit which was beyond annoying! I really wanted pictures of the artifacts so I could show my students. He left my side for two seconds and I snuck a picture of the camera mentioned above.

After that exhibit I headed to the For All the World to See exhibit which is on the Civil Rights Era. The most moving thing from that exhibit was the original image of Emmett Till’s face after he was beaten to death.

After that I headed upstairs to the Oregon section, which covered the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Oregon Trail.

We decided to walk back to our hotel. We passed the Heathman which is a fancy hotel in Portland. We also went into a couple stores and we found our first rite aid. I wanted a pharmacy so I could buy a cheap cold water. The pharmacy also happened to be selling the Ken dolls that they use in the Most Popular Girls in School YouTube show.

After that we passed the two areas where there are food trucks. Most of them were closed and there were a ton of super shady people hanging out. We quickly left the area and stopped at a vintage shop. We decided to do Voodoo Doughnut again. The line was much longer this time and it was much hotter outside than yesterday. The line took about 40 minutes. My mom got an Old Dirty Bastard which is absolutely loved. I got a Diablo Rex. I didn’t like it. Their yeast doughnuts are much better than their cake doughnuts. I wish I could go back and order something else.

Old Dirty Bastard

Diablo Rex

We went back to the hotel and picked up our bags. We walked to the light rail red line to the airport. We waited and waited and waited. While we waited we watched all the Portland people in weird clothing walking around. The light rail finally came and at that point my mom and I were both tired from standing. The light rail was packed. There weren’t seats for us. We were standing near a group of very strange teenagers. The girl closest to us had pink hair, a black bra, a floral ill fitting skirt, and black wooden stakes through her ears. She goes, “I need to take out my earrings because my mom doesn’t like me wearing them.” My mom whispers to me, “but her mom is ok with her leaving the house in a bra?”

The ride seemed long because we were so tired. People had boxes of voodoo doughnuts that they were going to bring on the plane as carry on’s. There were a bunch of shops and places to eat before security, which I think is stupid. If you buy any liquids in these places then you have an issue at security. Plus everyone wants to get through security right away so they know they made it to their gate with plenty of time. That’s when people want to walk around and be entertained.

Security was a breeze. We found the United Club without the help of the two people in security who were snotty to us. The club just had crackers, cheese, Milanos, and shortbread cookies. There were also a handful of crappy magazines. We had about 2 hours until our flight. So we ate and read. The left the club to buy two water bottles for the plane.

We eventually boarded and had someone in the seat next to us. They promised us entertainment again and then said for $8 you could buy it. So stupid. Nothing is free anymore. We caved and paid for it. I watched Oz and Beautiful Creatures. We hit a lot of turbulence and I kept praying for us to land. We wound up landing really early.

The sun was just starting to rise. It was beautiful to see. Time to take a bus to the train and walk 15 mins home. Beyond exhausted after my first real red eye.

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, History, Oregon, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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