mcqueen at the met

theromanticWhen Wino, hubs, and I met up in London a few years ago, we genuinely thought about sightseeing like normal people. I remembered being enamored by the Tower of London the first time I was there, and I assumed Wino would want to seek out her own future hubs in the Palace. But once we arrived, the thought of standing in any lines exhausted us before we even remembered where those places were located on a map. Once again, beer won out and we pub crawled our way around London, and Wino agreed that her real husband was probably waiting for her at Platform 9 ¾ instead. As you can probably guess: we don’t regret a second of that trip.

Another time, Wino came to visit me in NYC (before she was a resident herself) and we decided to go to Seventh on Sale—a huge designer sample sale that happens annually, and promised to have us in an entirely new wardrobe for next to nothing. The line wrapped around the Lexington Armory twice, but we suffered through it in the name of FASHION… only to be sorely disappointed by what was waiting for us inside.

The thing you should take away from this is: lines are a waste of time, and should be avoided at all costs.

…Unless they really can’t be avoided.

We do our best, but unfortunately there are just some events where there is no other option:

  • To see the Mona Lisa. You will be disappointed by the size, but you have to see it.
  • To get a drink at a crowded bar.
  • To get into an *NSYNC concert (we know that one for sure because we did it 4 times between 1997 and 2001).
  • To use the lady’s room during any intermission anywhere ever.
    I was lucky they even had a lady’s room.
  • If you want to see the Alexander McQueen exhibit during these last few days of its run at the Met.

As you can guess, our most recent line-waiting experience was for that last one, and happened this past Saturday morning. We met up early, grabbed bagels and coffee, and made our way over to the Met. As expected, we arrived to a line that poured out the front of the Met and curled back and forth for what, in my line-hating mind, looked like miles.

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We waited for almost an hour outside the Met, people watching and gossiping (but mostly people watching because there was a serious cast of characters surrounding us). When we finally made it inside, more lines greeted us:

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We kept reminding ourselves of the amazing photos we had seen and how much our co-workers had gushed about the exhibit, and stayed focused on the goal. Finally, after an hour and a half, our section of the line was let into the exhibit.

We knew that the exhibit would be beautiful and inspiring, and we weren’t let down. In our opinion, it was curated perfectly, and the pieces were incredible. We even snuck a few photos (shhh):

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Unfortunately, there was ZERO organization when it came to walking through the gallery. As soon as they opened the velvet rope, it was a nightmare to walk through and see anything comfortably. We both agreed that the exhibit itself was worth the wait, and even worth the headache of making our way through the gallery wing, but I don’t know that everyone would feel that way.

It’s a given that die-hard McQueen fans and anyone interested in or working in the world of fashion will make it to this exhibit if geographically able. But if you’re even mildly interested in fashion, have heard of McQueen, or like Lady Gaga: fit some time in your schedule for the Met before Sunday and you won’t be disappointed. You can read more details about the exhibit and see photos and video here: http://blog.metmuseum.org/alexandermcqueen/

If you do find yourself in a line-waiting predicament, McQueen or otherwise, we have some advice:

  • Get there early. Getting there late in the day will just make you more anxious, and will feel like a bigger waste of time. It’s better to wake up a little earlier than normal so you can feel like you’re cutting less time out of your day by waiting.
  • Bring snacks. If we hadn’t had that bagel, I would have eaten the child in front of me.
  • Speaking of children: leave them at home. Seriously, don’t bring your kids to places that involve endless lines unless it’s a guaranteed child-friendly attraction and something they’re also excited about. The kids in front of us were mostly well-behaved… but if a bunch of mannequins wearing face masks set to candlelight and creepy music is what lies ahead, I’m going to assume it doesn’t count as “child-friendly.”
  • Wait with someone you’re happy to spend an uncomfortable amount of time with. When you can pass the time chatting and making jokes, it feels less like you’re being forced to stand around.
  • Don’t build it up in your head while you wait. I’m still struggling with this tip, but it is important to remember that just because hundreds/thousands/millions of other people have loved whatever it is you’re about to see or do doesn’t mean YOU’RE going to think it was worth the 3 hour wait.

And, most importantly: if you’re only going because everyone else is telling you to and you really don’t care about what’s on the other side, don’t waste your time. Chances are, there are a million other things you could be doing that will be just as interesting. We may not be able to say we saw London from the top of the Eye, but we will laugh for hours about our private viewing party of a Kylie Minogue video marathon back in our hostel over more beer and chips.

xo, The Romantic

– all photos are our own

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