Jesse Jarnow

museum of natural history, no. 1, 4/06

Last week, patient en route across town, medicine a friend and I got stuck in rush hour traffic near Central Park. We hopped out of the cab, and walked across the park. Despite the warm weather, it was nearly deserted. The only people about were New York caricatures in garish jogging suits or walking hilarious dogs, all of us extras in a Woody Allen movie. Near the Sheep Meadow, the midtown skyline placid in the blue dusk, I felt transported to the timeless city that runs unchanging beneath the ever-shifting storefronts, advertisements, and neon. I might as well have been 12, visiting from Long Island. Today, the Museum of Natural History felt the same way.

(As Owen and I once discovered, while the other stuffed animals in the dioramas are posed vaguely naturally, the gemsbok simply stare disarmingly back. They almost break the fourth wall.)

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