|The Frick Museum on 5th Avenue, between 70th and 71st Sts.|
Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I walked through the humid sump which had descended on New York--it was frighteningly warm at 70-degrees--to the Frick Museum, a marble palazzo on 5th Avenue that was built by steel tycoon, Henry Clay Frick.
|Once, considered the most-hated man in America.|
|The workers are revolting.|
Today, the Frick Mansion occupies all of 5th Avenue between 70th and 71st Streets and houses an extraordinary permanent collection of art. Recently an exhibit comprised of 15 Dutch Masters opened and we headed there to see some Vermeers (including "The Girl in the Pearl Earring,) some Hals, Steens and even a Rembrandt or two.
|Considered the Dutch "Mona Lisa."|
Of course, the place was packed to the marble-clad gills with others there for the same purpose. However, the Frick's management kept things moving with Prussian efficiency. As crowded as it was, you could stand and stare in front of "The Girl," with only a small amount of interference and jostling. My wife and I examined it for a good ten minutes, unmolested, then walked away to view the other masterpieces, then went back for one last look.
There are a lot of horrible things you can say about humanity. We seem to have forgotten that we're all supposed to be brothers. We seem to have forgotten virtues like kindness and compassion. Even Christmas seems to be more about wretched excess and football than about something fine and holy.
Our National Motto: "Faucibus donec stillabunt." Shop till you drop.
In 2014, I will try for such a day once a week. I will make every attempt to not open my Mac. To not watch the concussive violence of American sport. To not engage in the banalities of the 24-hour news cycle. Instead I will listen to Maria Callas, and read whatever I am reading.
|Maria Callas. She's no Carrie Underpants.|