“Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away. That is, running away in the heat of anger with a knapsack on her back. She didn’t like discomfort; even picnics were untidy and inconvenient: all those insects and the sun melting the icing on the cupcakes. Therefore, she decided that her leaving home would not just be running from somewhere but would be running to somewhere. To a large place, a comfortable place, an indoor place, and preferably a beautiful place. And that’s why she decided upon the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.”
E. L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler has been one of my favorite books since elementary school. I reread it from time to time, and it holds up, even though Claudia and Jamie manage to run away from home with less than $30 between them and make it to NYC from Connecticut no problem. This book influenced me in two ways: it made me realize how awesome museums are, especially at night, and it helped teach me that what makes art important is the stories we tell (or don’t tell…) about it.
My recent tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Museum Hack did exactly the same thing, which of course means I had an awesome time.