We made our way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The architecture, the people, the cars and taxis, the dogs, the flowers and blooming trees...the flavor of (uptown) Manhattan was all around us.

The Metropolitan Museun of Art is a world class museum, and the entrance lets you know it. We knew we only had a few hours and so we chose a careful path. Starting off in the Egyptian wing, we were truly amazed by what we saw. Most of us felt somewhat prepared having looked at many reproductions of Egyptian art but standing in front of so many fine examples had an impact on all of us. It was interesting to talk about the ways that the Egyptions positioned their figures in order to represent space. The Temple of Dendur and the "mummy room" were particularly striking. After having seen the art and artifacts of many "primitive people" the previous day at the Natural History Museum we could not help but make connections and identify differences.

As in life, carefully designed plans are often thwarted. The museum was preparing for special exhibitions and events so our route was changed. We entered the American wing and viewed portraits and historical paintings - many depicting scenes from the American Revolution. The enormous painting of Washington crossing the Delaware was incredible. The students were easily able to see how the strokes of a paintbrush can create the illusion of water, ice, cloth, and movement - this when the painting is over 10 feet long and one's nose is 3 inches from the surface. We saw Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassatt and other American Impressionists.

From there we happened into the hall of armor (including Henry VIII's) and again recognized similar shapes and styles of tools and weapons (a theme by now!). It took a while to gather everyone in order for us to move along because the students were fascinated with the metal workmanship and imagined situations where these objects might have been used.

We made our way back upstairs and into the galleries of European paintings. Winding through medieval religious pictures, we again noticed the different techniques that artists used to depict space.Tiepolo, Goya, Velasquez, Ruebens, Carravaggio, and on and on. Art History textbooks come to life! The students took it in as best they could, given limited time and advance preparation.

Our final tour in the museum were the European Impressionists and other 18th and 19th century European painters and sculptors. This wing might otherwise be known as "The Greatest Hits"! Renoir,Cezanne, Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Sargent, Degas, Van Gogh, and more.

After the museum, we had hotdogs and felafels from the carts and apples and oranges from home while sitting on the steps of the Museum. Delicious!

From there we hopped on a bus and made our way to the Empire State Building. No lines! Wow, wow, wow! We each had a personal audio tour which enlightened us about the buildings and neighborhoods we could see. We visited the giftshop, and walked back to Grand Central to catch our train.

Dinner was a beautiful Hungarian feast, prepared by our hosts. Chicken Paprikash with spaetzel (Paprikas csirke and nokedli), salad, and homemade Almond Torte with whipped cream. A delicious end to a delightful day!