The Met’s Secret Garden

Marina Chetner

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is to New York (The Met) what the Musee d’Orsay is to Paris, and the Hermitage is to St Petersburg. That is, an outstanding big-city museum that’s too large to explore in one day, filled with fascinating exhibits, awe-inspiring artifacts and archaeological collections.

Abutting Central Park by Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street, the Met is located in my extended backyard. After a visit, I’m always inspired, whether by the Impressionist works of Monet, the Egyptian artifacts, or the pre-Columbian gold. The get that giddy feeling that makes me want to travel.

On the flipside, I find too much inspiration overwhelming. When this happens, I take pause in Ming Scholar’s Retreat, or what I call — the secret garden.

Well hidden between the Asian Galleries on the second floor, the garden is accessed through an moon gate crowned by a plaque — tanyou — that…

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