That all came to an end when I brought the camera out though. Let me explain the rules of photography at the Met for you. Unless it's specifically posted, you are allowed to take pictures as long as you don't use a flash. There are security guards posted in every other room or so to make sure this rule is adhered to. Want to have some real fun at the Met? I'll loan you my camera. For some reason, whether or not the flash is turned off, it pops up out of the camera every time you start to take a picture. You can go ahead and take the picture, and the flash won't go off, but it's going to pop up every time, and it makes a very distinct noise - one that apparently security guards recognize. Every time we took a picture there was some security guard making his way towards us to tell us no flash, only to find out that our camera was just teasing him. It provided plenty of fun for us, but I'm pretty sure it drove the security guards crazy.
If I was making their job hard with my camera however, I can only imagine how edgy they would have been if they could read my mind. I think the thing that surprised me the most from my visit to the Met, is how unprotected the art is. I kind of expected the most valuable paintings to be behind glass or at least roped off in some way. It's not like that at all. You can go right up to the painting and get as close as you want, although the closer you get the more a security guard kind of leans your way. At one point I was looking at a Renoir painting when the thought of "How famous would I be if I just grabbed a marker and signed my name in the bottom right corner here?" went through my head. Just as I was mulling over the repercussions of vandalizing a great work of art, I noticed a security guard heading towards me. Impressed that he could read my mind, I backed off a little, only to realize that my wife was behind me taking a picture of the Renoir, and the security guard was heading over to tell her "no flash".
|I'm thinking about it. Bottom right is the perfect spot.|
All totaled we spent about four hours in the Met, and I doubt we got to see half of what was there. Even the stuff we did see I would have loved to spend more time with. If I lived in New York I would definitely have a seasons pass to the Met, but I have to make do with simply promising myself that I'll get back there again. This time I'll allot myself an entire day, and even though we've bought a new camera since then, I might just bring the old one with me again, just for fun.