taking the A Train

Friends know that one of my favorite things in the whole wide world is exploring a new-to-me City - or even an old-to-me City that I can see in new ways. There was nothing on the schedule today at the Novitiate House, and so I decided to visit the City that sparkles outside my window for a good old fashioned "Susan Day."

I took the local NJ Transit bus across the GW Bridge to the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal. I then walked through the tunnel to the Subway Station and took the A Train (which conveniently enough was making all local stops since the C Train was being repaired) to 86th & Central Park West.

I walked through Central Park which was picture postcard perfectly covered in snow. There were folks walking their dogs, families carting their sleds in search of the perfect hill, and kids making piles of snow balls in preparation for an upcoming snow ball fight.

My destination was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I got there shortly after they opened which meant the galleries weren't too crowded yet. Over the next 3 1/2 hours I saw a smidgen of their massive collection. I started with the special exhibition on Louis Comfort Tiffany. I then moved onto the 20th Century Art Collection, wound my way through some antiquities, medieval art (although the Novitiate House is going to check out the Cloisters in a few weeks for a real dose of that), and an assortment of other things.

In the end, I was as tuckered out as Gertrude Stein looks in this portait of her by Pablo Picasso. But I was also happy. I made my way back to the subway, then to the Bus Terminal (where I of course missed my bus and had to wait among the pidgeons, young mothers with noisy children and the Off Track betting parlor!), and eventually home.

The bus went across the upper level of the GW Bridge so I was able to see our groovy sister complex high atop the Pallisades. We're really the only buildings on the Pallisades so we stand out.

All in all, it was a good day. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house and explore!


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that as a canonical novice that you were able to take off for the day. Are you able to come and go as you please or do you have certain days that you are free?

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

I wouldn't say that I'm free to come and go as I please. At least not in the outside world sense. I could probably count for you the number of times I've been out of the house on my own since I arrived in September. For the most part it's been Spiritual Direction appointments, Doctor's appointments, shopping trips, long walks, etc ... I have been to a few movies, but those have been with folks from the house.

That said, we're not exactly "under lock and key." If an outing is made in the spirit of the novitiate - I treated yesterday as a "retreat day in the world" - then chances are we'd be able to go.

In general Saturdays are our free day. That's the day I go to the store or to a movie. I'd been feeling claustrophobic and in the need for some art and beauty to soothe my soul. I talked with my novice director earlier in the week about my idea to check out the Met on Saturday and she ok'd my expedition.

We are not a "cloistered" novitiate. It is a bit more traditional out here on the East Coast than our novitiates have been in the Westin recent years - at least to my understanding. But we are adult women and for the most part, treated as such.

xsquared said...

Sounds like a lovely day! I don't go into the city nearly as often as I should.

Mollie said...

Hey, I was at the Met on Saturday! Along with everyone else in Manhattan, or so it seemed by the time I arrived in the afternoon. I spent a couple hours in the African art collection, which I'd never really seen before.

I loved the Cloisters! And I'm sure it won't be crowded there when you go. I wish it were a little easier to get to -- but then it wouldn't be sufficiently cloistery!