Migration; Art, Fashion and Us

Written Sept 30, 2021

I promised I would write about our visit to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, so that is part 1. Part 2 is or trip from New York to the Chesapeake.

The Metropolitan Museum

A few months back, Jim and I saw a special on PBS about the Met and realized we’d never been and should go. We decided then and there that when we went back to New York, it would be one of our stops. We showed up when the opened and started wandering. We started in the Egyptian exhibits.

This is not a reproduction but rather model from ca. 1981–1975 B.C. (that is BC, not AD!) of an Egyptian kings in his boat. The detail is incredable!

We decided it was much better than the Egyptian Museum in Cairo which was quite good as well. This brought back very fond memories of our visit to Egypt and the incredible culture and art there.

I loved this piece. About 2 feet tall and it has not been restored. Apparently it was unusual to have this sort of sculpture of women.
If I remember, these were from a mummy. Solid gold sandals and finger tips. Look very uncomfortable to walk in, but pretty amazing.

After a couple hours, we realized we’d only touched a small corner of one floor of the museum. We were in trouble. We’d never get through the whole museum.

Focus or you’ll never see it all

What did we definitely want to see. Three temporary exhibits; Fashion, Dutch masters and modern women photographers. Oh, and I had to see the Van Gogh portrait. I must always see Van Gogh.

We started with fashion… Oh my. Of course it is sort of a runway show with styles from the 40’s through today, basically one piece by many different designers. Jim and I are not fashionistas, so this was a bit of a challenge for us. I’ll let you judge for yourself (with a little commentary.)

I thought this was actually a rather cute dress. I did not try to keep track of the designers names.
They had COVID fashion in the exhibit. Things we want to wear (not!) to make us feel cozy given the difficulties of the year. The original version used a real sleeping bag. Would someone really wear this???
Another COVID outfit. I have nothing more to say…
I thought this was fun. Tails done up with colorful buttons.
This by far was the most interesting piece in the fashion exhibit. Not sure why they put it there as it is a very large quilt. The story… In 1856, yeas, 1856, Adeline Harris Sears took small silk diamonds and sent them to famous and influential people, some in the US and others around the world and asked them to sign them. She ended up with 360 signed diamonds which she made into this quilt. The signatures include 6 US presidents (including Abraham Lincoln) northern military heroes from the Civil War, antislavery political leaders, and people from science, education, and the arts. I’m not sure when she finished the quilt, but she died in 1931, so sometime prior to that. This is an amazing piece!

I didn’t take any pictures of the Dutch Masters but I must say it was a great exhibit, divided into sections showing domestic life, humor, portraits, etc. Very well done.

The Met has a special exhibition of women who helped shape the field of photography but are basically unknown. I though it would be small, but took a very large area with 5 or 6 rooms showing work from journalism to documentary to street work to surreal to abstract and photographers from around the world. I had only heard of a few of these women. It was a great show. I would have loved to linger longer but Jim and I were starting to feel pressed for time as we were planning to leave early the next morning and had work to prep for our departure. But, linger we did…. a bit. Here are a few of the images.

Lady Bridget Poulett as “Arethusa”, 1935 by Madam Yevonde
Cat + 1, 1932 by Wanda Wulz
Dream No. 1: “Electrical Appliances for the Home”, 1949 by Grete Stern

We did wander a bit as we moved to the various exhibits and only after we had found Van Gogh’s portrait in straw hat did I realize the have an excellent collection of modern European and American art. My favorite! We had to move quickly through this, in a section I could have spent the whole day. We will have to come back again.

I could look at Van Gogh and his contemporaries all day.

Moving Down the Coast

Jim and I had been watching the weather for several weeks. The path from New York to the Chesapeake requires a 15 hours offshore trip in the open ocean and then a 6 hour trip up Delaware Bay which can be quite exposed to ocean weather. By late September, the weather in the Atlantic can be a bit unsettled and there has been lots of offshore hurricane and tropical storm activity exacerbating the coastal waters. Jim and I had found a weather window we thought would work, although we expected some medium seas. Things were not going to get any better for at least a couple weeks looking forward, so this was the day to do the Jersey Shore. We also decided to do it in one day, but had planned several spots we could jump out if really necessary. The bays and harbors along this stretch of coast are not all that inviting. At out 8.5 knots, it is a 15 hour day and we wanted to be able to anchor in Cape May Bay before dark. So, we left at 4:30 in the morning. There was enough light to get out and with our navigation tools, we’d be OK.

Heading out of the marina in the dark. 4:41 AM
Passing under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. The lights from the bridge made an amazing shimmer on the water. The red lights allow us to see outside and in with little adjustment to the eyes. The displays are actually quite dim.

The trip went quite well in the end. The seas were reasonably calm most of the day. Turns out we left before most of the crowd. On our AIS (like of google maps that pinpoints other cars on the road), we could see this big mass of boats behind us maybe two hours. Clearly everyone else was using the same window.

We made it to Cape May but found the anchorage already rather crowded. But, there was space and we tucked in. After us, another 4 or 5 boats did the same. The weather was predicted to be a bit unsettled the next day in the Delaware Bay (which heads back up the other side of New Jersey), so we decided to stay put for a day and catch up on chores. All day, we saw a constant movement of boats through the harbor, taking the shortcut from the Atlantic to the Delaware Bay. Obviously, some mariners were not as cautious as we are. One must pick their own windows and comfort.

We are the Red boat in the center. All the Green triangles are other boats around us. They are not as close as they appear, but there were a lot of boats out there.

Next day, we head up the Delaware Bay, and through the C & D Canal to Chesapeake City, near the far end. It is supposed to be a cute town with a nice anchorage. All is true. There were 12 other boats that had the same plan. This is not a big anchorage and at times we could have easily tossed a ball to another boat. But, no boats were damaged in the process.

A few of the 12 boats in the anchorage. One has to wind there way through them to leave the harbor.

We did take the dinghy ashore, it was sooooo close, but we are getting better and getting the dinghy up and down. We can do it in 15 minutes!

There are lots of cute, colorful houses in Chesapeake City.
The Corp of Engineers has a nice museum describing the building of the canal. At one point, it had locks at either end. The lock house is where the museum is today. There are a couple engines with a big paddle wheel that would pump water in to the lock.

After visiting town, we continued on that day to Havre de Grace to meet up with our friends. Gary and Barbara Pensell. You may remember they are the folks we bought Rincon Feliz from. A good visit with them and also a provisioning run.

The Chesapeake and Delaware (C & D) Canal from Chesapeake City.

Today we’ve moved to the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake. We are being continually surprised how many boats there are on the water now. We are still used to boating during the height of Covid when everyone was at home on land. No longer.

But, we’ve found a nice anchorage on the Corsica River up the Chester River. Tomorrow, we’ll visit Chestertown, a bit farther up river and hopefully do some bike riding round the area where Jim’s 6th and 7th Great Grandparents settled in the 1600 and 1700’s.