“Maybe we should get a cup of hot tea” I said to Jon as we walked through the Central Park Zoo. We were on our way back from The Frick Museum. We didn’t get into the museum because at 10am, when the museum opens and we got there, there was line that wrapped around the block. Every time I’ve ever gone to the Frick I’ve been the only on there, I couldn’t imagine what was going on. Turns out the painting we wanted to see, The Gold Finch by Carel Fabritius, is part of an Old Dutch Master’s exhibit which includes Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring.
The sun hadn’t come up over the tall buildings as we walked the 20 blocks from our hotel to the museum and the wind was not at our backs, but in our faces. So we were practically freezing when we got there (I had also decided, in a fog of delusion, that it was going to be warm out today and wore my red shoes instead of my winter shoes so my feet were especially cold) and the thought of waiting on a line for an hour or more was not something I was ready to do. So we made our way back ( the wind now at our backs) through Central Park, trying to walk in the path of the sun, which was blessedly showing it’s face, with Jon stopping to take photos as he does.
Through the gates, we watched the sea lions frolic happily in their tank (the only beings happy for the cold it seemed) as we entered the Zoo. Then we saw the sign for the Dancing Crane Cafe. We had hot chocolate and a warm place to sit. When we got the feeling back in our fingers and faces, Jon suggested we go to the gift shop where he bought me a stuffed alligator.
So we never got to see The Goldfinch or the Old Dutch Master Paintings. And we basically walked 40 blocks in the cold to get a hot chocolate and stuffed alligator. But when I look at that alligator, I won’t be thinking of a painting I didn’t see. I’ll have a memory of being warm and loved. A sweet memory that’s better than any painting.