American Visionary Museum
In my imagination, art museums generally appear as spacious and elegant. This one was not like that. First of all, its gift store was named “The Sideshow,” and it was closer to a thrift store/flea market than a highbrow selection of neck scarfs. As for the art museum itself, the exhibits were more colorful and crazy than sophisticated.
The main show was called Parenting: An Art without a Manual. It was a collection of works from thirty-six different people who all said something different about parenting through their art. It was very interesting.
One person made tiny, elaborate houses that represented emotions such as heartbreak. Another person made these cool pixely hexagons out of men’s ties. Someone else created dozens of dolls.
But. While at the art museum, it was still the words that drew me most readily. Here are a few of the quotes that stuck out to me. They were typed on small placards and lined the walls up the stairs.
“Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist.:
– Michael Levine
“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.
– Jill Churchill”
“If we don’t stand up for children, we don’t stand up for much.”
– Marian Wright-Edelman
“A child is a child of everyone.”
– Sudanese proverb
Here are some more quotes. These were from the exhibit above.
The Queen and President Bush
When the two leaders met in England, they were in a 17th century coach pulled by six magnificent white horses. On the way to Buckingham Palace, one of the horses let rip a huge, earth shattering fart. The two dignitaries did their best to ignore what happened, but finally the queen turned to Mr. Bush and said, “Mr. President, please accept my regrets. I’m sure you understand that there are some things even a queen cannot control.” George W., ever the gentleman, replied, “Your Majesty, please don’t give the matter another thought… you know, if you hadn’t said anything I would have assumed it was one of the horses.”
Benjamin Franklin’s letter “To the Royal Academy of Farting” proposes that converting farts into a more agreeable form through science should be a milestone goal of the Royal Acadmey. This is only one of many satiric comments about farting by Franklin.
A story in 1001 Arabian Nights Tales is called The Historic Fart, which tells of a man who flees from his country because of his embarrassment of farting at his wedding. When he returned years later, he discovered his fart had become so famous that people used the anniversary of its occurence to date other events. Upon learning of this honor, he exclaimed, “Verily, my far has become a date! I shall be remembered forever!”
The Flatulence Post
A major sports event in England in the early 18th century was the annual flatulence competition. This was held in an arena presented before captive audiences. After a strenuous selection, winning contestants would perform and be judged by a distinguished group of experienced experts in the field.
(This article continues on for five more paragraphs describing the competition and detailing the specific rules.)
Edgar Allan Poe House
-“Allan” was the last name of his foster parents.
-He did not have an easy life.
-This house that he lived in with his aunt had the steepest stairs I’ve ever climbed.
-While we were there, my parents caught an error in the dates on the family tree. Instead of 1790 something, they flipped the seven and nine.
According to the biography there, “Poe was completely invested in the literary world of the time and first achieved national fame through his strong criticisms of other authors which often resulted in much public controversy.” Haha, this made me laugh. It made me imagine someone becoming famous because of those “roast raps” on Youtube.
Also, “”After Poe died, Maria Clemm (his aunt) was left without any source of income. She survived largely from the generosity of Poe’s friends and admirers. Among those who sent her small sums were Henry W. Longfellow and Charles Dickens.” He knew Longfellow and Dickens while he was alive! They were friends to the point that they helped his aunt when he couldn’t! But it gets even better. On the wall were these quotes that were said about him.
“Poe is hardly an artist. He is rather a supreme scientist.”
– D. H. Lawrence
“Poe was the first writer to write about main characters who were bad guys or mad guys and those are some of my favorite stories.”
– Stephen King
“Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?”
– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
“You might call him ‘The Leader of the Cult of the Unusual.'”
– Jules Verne
“It’s because I liked Edgar Allan Poe’s stories so much that I began to make suspense films.”
– Alfred Hitchcock
“Few of us can make paper speak as vividly as Poe could.”
– Russel Baker
“I do not need to add, I presume, that American critics have often disparaged his poetry. We are familiar with that kind of sparring. The reproaches critics heap upon good poets are the same in all countries.”
– Charles Baudelaire
Look at those names! Stephen King! Sir Arthur Conan Doyle! Jules Verne! Alfred Hitchcock! I don’t know the other three!
Baltimore National Aquarium
That jellyfish picture does not do them justice. They were beautiful. The last exhibit I walked through was the jellyfish one, and it was my favorite. I think I could’ve spent around half an hour in there just watching them and trying to get a good photo. I also got to touch some!
This was one of those shops that have a good mix of things, all of which look pretty. Stationary, cards, art, books, home stuff. I got a cool t-shirt from there. It’s a lemon yellow color with phases of the moon printed on it in a deep blue color. I have a weakness for articles of clothing that incorporate space.
Words that I copied down while wandering the store:
Solicitors make us sad.
Some who wander are in fact lost.
I thought about it in my head and I felt it in my heart but I made it with my hands.
The picture above is of the American Visionary Museum! That’s what it looked like in the morning on top of Federal Hill.
My favorite part about visiting the Naval Academy was these videos playing on a TV in the visitor building. There was a Star Wars Navy edition video and an Uptown Funk one that’s renamed Naptown Funk. Then when I looked for them on Youtube, I found that there’s so many of these. There’s also Gangam Style, Shake it Off, and a Navy sorting hat. Besides those, there’s multiple videos teasing West Point and lifestyle vloggish content.
They’re hilarious and amazing. The videos are good by themselves, but it’s mostly because it’s the Naval Academy. The tour guide said that everybody exercises on average three hours a day- three hours a day! On top of homework and all the other crazy stuff they do. Walking around campus (and Annapolis- there were so many students in uniform at Chipotle) and seeing them gave me the feeling that would be the closest I will ever get to demi-gods outside of Percy Jackson.
Old Fox Bookstore
And finally, an independent bookstore because of course.
What was the last independent bookstore you went to?
Owning books versus borrowing them?
Have you been to an aquarium?
Coolest animals you’ve touched?