austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

And then one day this man gave me a call

After the Apple Store my father and I set out northward for the Metropolitan again, and we were getting pretty far up --- passing, for example, embassies with flags we couldn't recognize and determining from the door signs that Serbia seems to be doing all right for itself --- before deciding that maybe we could go to a different museum instead. I was willing to take any museum. By then we were starting to run into street signs promising exhibits at the Henry Clay Frick collection which was somewhere farther along yet, of course, although we didn't have any clear idea where and the signs didn't bother to give a street address. It was just a few more blocks up in a building that had that vaguely-late-19th-century-library look to it.

The Frick museum had the expected restrictions on it --- no photography, no labor organizers, no shooting the management --- but also a healthy collection stuffed full of rooms. It's one of those types of mansions where there were sitting rooms, standing rooms, taking-coats-off rooms, putting-coats-on rooms, and so on. The only rooms whose purpose I clearly understood anymore were the banquet room which was large enough for Arena football and the garden room with some water fountains inside.

And yes there was art too, including a Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington and a number of pieces from Titian that brought the recent and very silly row in the British parliament to my mind, so I was probably the only person suppressing a giggle through these parts. Not to sound like I don't appreciate the art but I've got very few abilities in describing artwork in text and you can probably look up the high points in the collection online and see Authorized Photographs anyway. I'm better in writing about the trivialities, like the discovery that they actually have phone booths. Well, phone closets, since they're built into the wall, and one of them was even being used by someone. Still, it does mean that if Clark Kent had to change into Superman in Manhattan today provided he was a member or it was Sunday morning during the ``donate what you like'' time he could do it easily at the Frick.

Trivia: Andrew Carnegie proposed to Henry Clay Frick that they merge their steel and coal companies in New York in 1881, while Frick was on his honeymoon. Source: An Empire Of Wealth, John Steele Gordon.

Currently Reading: Conan Doyle, Detective: The Real Crimes Investigated by The Creator of Sherlock Holmes, Peter Costello. I'd like to believe this book is true since it's full of really cool stuff and it's too sloppily organized to be completely nuts. But if it is then why isn't Arthur Conan Doyle's (apparently) actual real-world crime investigations and detections, like, subject of a couple thousand books and movies? If you believe the book he once figured out where the murderer hid the body just from knowing the name of the place where the murder occured and without evidently leaving his own house. Nero Wolfe couldn't do better. Why am I only learning this stuff now?

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