The Problems of Sight-seeing


I like making itineraries, they keep me busy in the boring wait for the holiday to arrive; I pour over books and maps and plan my days. Iím not talking minute by minute, but a general idea of the order in which to see things, so there is no time wasted getting from one place to the next.

My plan for sight-seeing in New York was thought out but not executed, because when I got there I walked down the wrong street and ended up walking through Central Park. It was only when I came upon the back of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that I realised I was close to the Guggenheim Museum. With its unusual shape itís one of the most recognisable buildings in the world and one I had always wanted to see for myself.

Anticipation was high because I have books of Frank Lloyd Wrightís work and was looking forward to physically standing in front of one of his most famous buildings.

So, as I walked out onto Fifth Avenue and looked across the street, to say I was disappointed would be truly understating it. The entire building was covered in scaffolding and tarpaulin and the glorious curved structure I had spent six months looking forward to seeing was hidden.

It turns out it was in the midst of a renovation in time for its fiftieth birthday, but I had planned not researched my visit. I felt like Frank Sinatra reading his Granddadís guide book in On the Town; it didnít bode well for the rest of the trip but I never linger on thoughts like that.

I stood staring at the Museum for ages but I knew I would go in, after all having come this far how could I not and I wasn't disappointed. It seemed so tactile even being made of concrete because there are no hard angles; as you stand in the Rotunda you follow the sweep of the main walkway up
to the top level and the huge, round skylight. I can understand the critics who say itís not the perfect
place to view artwork but it is a piece of art in itself and I loved it.

For the most part the rest of the break went in order, but itís all about shifting mornings to afternoons and evenings to mornings just to make sure you do all you want in a city that can cause information overload. Even getting wetter than I ever have before did not dampen the fun I had. But thatís another
story.

D Berry

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