The Yale Peabody Museum
Of course eastern Long Island is a fabulous place to live, work, and play. If you read this blog, you know that’s what we believe. However, sometimes we like to go farther afield. Yesterday was one of those times. Every morning we listen to National Public Radio (NPR). For a good while now, NPR has been touting the Echos of Egypt exhibit at the Yale Peabody. Ancient Egypt has always fascinated me, and Marian has enjoyed the Egyptian wing at the Met, so we decided to head to Connecticut and see what there was to see.
We took the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company ferry to Connecticut, instead of driving all the way to Queens and then up and back around to New Haven. From East Hampton, it’s about a one hour drive to Port Jefferson, followed by a 1 hr. 10 min. trip across the sound. You can make reservations on line, or call and speak with a friendly operator. Yes, a round trip with your car, driver, and one additional passenger will cost you more than $130.00. Yes, it is worth it to avoid all the extra driving and needless headaches of traffic.
We used Google Maps to identify a variety of routes from Bridgeport Ct. to the Yale museum. Why? Neither of us had ever been there before, and we were not in the mood to rely on smart phone GPS guidance. Call me old-fashioned, but I like the smart phone navigation as a backup. I prefer to have a very good idea of where I’m heading before I set out.
Once you leave Bridgeport, the museum is about a 25 mile drive, so figure on 30+ extra minutes to arrive. On the weekends, parking is no problem. The Yale parking fields are open to visitors at no charge, and there are plenty of spaces available. Warning, this is (reportedly) not the case during the week!
The Yale Peabody is a “right sized” version of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. You can see the museum in an afternoon, and not feel as though you participated in a forced march. The regular museum collections range from Dinosaurs, Insects and Birds to Native American Indian and Ancient Egyptian presentations. Dioramas abound, as do docents who engage visiting children with thought experiments and discussions about the collections. Yes, this museum is kid-friendly. We saw happy parents and kids, observing, engaging, and learning.
The special Egyptian exhibition was a joy. I love languages and was engaged by the scholarship on how ancient Egyptian was written in a variety of scripts, how it was deciphered after centuries of mystery, and how today’s Coptic speech was recognized as the ultimate development of spoken ancient Egyptian. Very cool! Marian enjoyed a review of the 19th century Egyptian-revival decorative arts, which received expression again during the Art Deco period. Ancient Egypt still lives in our hearts. It is hard to imagine a civilization so old and so enduring that Queen Cleopatra lived closer in time to us than to the Pharaohs who built the pyramids of Giza. We voted “two corks up” even though, for a change, no wine was involved in the deal.
Even in a right-sized museum, the visitor gets hungry. We asked at the front desk and received a steer to a nearby street with eateries. Marian suggested a Chinese restaurant, knowing there would be no argument from me. She made a great choice. We had a delicious lunch of Dim Sum at the Great Wall New Haven Restaurant, only 3 blocks from the museum. The staff circulates with a large variety of dumplings, both fried and steamed. There is something for the bold (chicken’s feet) and the more conservative (shrimp dumplings) . We washed our meal down with jasmine tea that came with the meal. It was vibrant and delicious. The Great Wall also has a standard menu, but for those who like Dim Sum, are in a hurry, or both, just point, nod, and enjoy. By the way, our lunch for two was $20.00, with tip. Try that in East Hampton.
We had a reservation on the 6:00 pm ferry back to Port Jeff, and managed get home and start dinner by 8:30 pm. A marinated flank steak and some roasted potatoes served with an Oreana Sugar Mountain Vineyard 2009 Zinfandel rounded out the day. The Oreana was plummy and delicious, but be warned. This lush wine is nearly 15% alcohol, so plan on sleeping late. Perfect for the middle of Columbus day weekend.
Back to Greenport, to visit old friends, make new ones, and become reacquainted with Lamburgueza. I’m sure there will be some wine tasting in there too. Meanwhile, enjoy the Fall, and your trip around town.