Contraband at the Met

(Credit: Urbanite)

This weekend, my boyfriend, Sean, and I trolled the Union Square farmer’s market for some good dinner loot. After a stop at Maoz (my vote for best falafel in the city), we picked up some wild mushrooms and black salsify for risotto and ... okay, not yet sure what to do with the salsify. Regardless, afterwards, we headed to the Metropolitan Museum to check out the Gustave Courbet exhibit (more on that later). Unfortunately, we were stopped in our tracks by an overeager security guard who refused to let us in with our farmer’s market goodies.

“But it’s only mushrooms,” I pleaded. “I’ll check it in at the bag check.”

“I’ve never seen nothing like that brought in here,” he said before shoving us off on his supervisor, who confirmed that we were not allowed in the museum with fresh produce, even if we did check it.

Sean was about to argue the case, fruitlessly, before I dragged him out. Reluctant to throw away our finds (farmer’s market food isn’t cheap, after all), we figured out where we could hide the goods so that the guard wouldn’t stop us again. The salsify went into my sleeve, and the ‘shrooms underneath Sean’s shirt. This time, we glided past (though the guard continued to eye us suspiciously. Afraid we might peel root vegetables all over the Rodins).

I was glad we weren’t caught and strip-searched, mainly because the Courbet exhibit was exceptional.

Courbet was a 19th century French artist who proclaimed himself the "proudest and most arrogant man in France.” His arrogance is apparent in the dozen or so self-portraits on display, each portraying a different persona. Some of his work takes on an angsty quality, not unlike a young Johnny Depp.

See what I mean?

Even if you didn’t dig Sweeney Todd, the movie, the Courbet exhibit is vibrant, and … massive. If you go, I definitely recommend grabbing a latte on the way in (just make sure to hide it in your pant leg).

Tags: food , gustave courbet , metropolitan , art

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