We'd arrived a little early, and queues snaked left and right around the block, however once the doors opened the line proceeded briskly and we were (as is our habit) on the way to the top floor to see an installation on the roof garden - a blood-red design by a Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi.
Abseiling down, there is a good collection of modern European artists - a room chokka with Van Goghs, and the tedious blousy Renoirs among the pillars of the modern art establishment. More interesting is the emphasis on "period rooms"- reconstructions of living rooms from American history from the austerity of the Shakers to the opulence and higher craft values of the wealthy colonials.
A major installation was "Punk: Chaos to Couture" - examining the Summer of Hate from the standpoint not of the music, but the fashion. Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm Maclaren are therefore the leaders, not Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious - the punk acts relegated to models for the clothing. Meh, if you say so, fashionistas. There were $595 T-shirts on sale for the true believers.
This one was interesting - a sculpture by Sarah Bernhardt of her dead lover.
This is an early model of the Statue of Liberty, used to fundraise for the construction of the Staten Island installation.
One level showed we were beated for the day - it's called the Visual Storage, and it's a series of glass cabinets completely full of all sorts of antiques, artifacts and curios. There's no way one could roam those tight corridors without being overwhelmed.
There's an admirable emphasis on sculpture too - several airy wings with sculptures and friezes, and in some cases facades from historic buildings or walls.
Frank Lloyd Wright has a couple of rooms dedicated to his interior designs, along with fellow-travellers like Louis Comfort Tiffany.
There are several good cafes and spaces reserved for members, and I can seriously not recommend the ground floor cafe left for the general public.
We stumbled out, too weary to even give the Met Shop a decent glance.
So, all that culture made us reach for the credit card - off to Bloomingdales historic department store on 59th Street.
As part of the CityPass, the store offers a somewhat surly 15% discount certificate which (while heavily disclaimed in this age of leased sub-stores) would be a better bargain if it weren't for the fact the store was extensively advertising 30-60% off everything in a sale commencing on July 4th. Yes, "don't buy today" was the compelling narrative, so we didn't. After a coffee on the sixth floor, we split up for just over an hour to see what was to see, but nothing so irresistible as to justify jumping the gun on the Independence Day Sale coming up in two days. Some nice kitchen porn; very attractive pots and pans and lots of gadgets we'd need a new kitchen cupboard to store (and a new kitchen to store the new cupboard in).
I quite liked the offerings from men's designers Hugo Boss, Ted Baker and a series of greens and greys from John Varvatos. Maybe Wednesday :-)
Back home along 14th Street, a quiet night in for the footsore.