Monday, July 28, 2008

Old Graffiti

Last Thursday was the last night this summer for Midsummer Night Swing at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in NYC. I had never been to this event before, even though we've been in NJ for nearly three years now, and the event has been happening each summer for the last twenty. So when shoechanger friend Joe Bopp said he was going into the city on Thursday, I jumped at the chance to carpool.

In addition to going to Lincoln Center, Joe planned to stop in at the Ellen Christine Millinery on 18th Street to pick up a boater hat to top off the seersucker suit he recently purchased. So instead of heading in after work, Joe planned to take the day off and hit the millinery sometime after lunch, then stop in at the Met for an hour to two and then go to Midsummer Night Swing. Fortunately I was able to rearrange my work schedule to accommodate all of this, and it was a good time.

I was fascinated by the Egyptian Temple of Dendur, which has been on display at the Met since 1978. Sadly what I found most captivating about the exhibit was how it had been defaced with graffiti dating back to the early 1800's:

I guess people have always wanted to leave their mark no matter how small and insignificant. I don't know why it never occurred to me before that graffiti isn't just a phenomenon of the 20th Century. Well, I suppose drawings on the walls of cave dwellings, petroglyphs and the like are sort of graffiti, but somehow they don't seem quite the same as carving your name and date into a wall or a tree.

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