Jaime Green

Jaime Green writes about science, food, and museums, among other things. She is an MFA candidate at Columbia University, where she also teaches undergraduate writing, and a member of Neuwrite, a collaborative working group for scientists and writers. Her work has appeared in The Awl, Download the Universe, and The Rumpus. She is the host and editor of The Catapult, a podcast of new writing. Visit her at jaimegreen.net and CatapultReads.com

A Guide To The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
an excerpt

ENTRANCE

There are a few ways to enter the museum – through the parking garage, around the south side of the building up a wheelchair ramp – but don’t choose anything but those sweeping front stairs. They are majestic, and it feels good to walk up them.

THE GREAT HALL

The broad front stairs funnel you into a narrow doorway.The Great Hall is a rectangle, and the doorway is in the middle of one of its long sides. Bag check to the left and right.The octagonal information desk is straight ahead. Helpful employees sit behind it; placards list the many languages they speak. Admission can be purchased at desks at the short sides of the rectangle, to the left or right when you enter, and on busy weekend afternoons, staff members roam with handheld credit card machines to help shorten the lines that stretch the length of the Great Hall from each admission counter. Entrances to the museum are at the two short sides – Greek and Roman to the left, Egyptian on the right – or at the middle of the long side opposite the front entrance, to Medieval art on the first floor or to European Painting, up another grand staircase. There is a sneaky, up-only escalator hidden in a nook to the left of these stairs.

THE GREAT HALL

The museum has a permanent trust for the purchase and display of fresh cut flowers. The philanthropist Lila Acheson Wallace wanted to ensure that the hall would always have “living beauty.” The arrangements are tasteful, gorgeous, and seasonally themed: delicate pink and light green to welcome spring, libidinously tropical in summer. Dried wheat and something golden orange in autumn, holly and red berries after that.

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