Yesterday I went to the American Museum of Natural History with [ profile] gothgeekgirl (who isn't really on LJ these days), her husband Reed (WINOLJ), and [ profile] cattitude. This was a last-minute outing: Gothgeekgirl called Saturday evening and asked if we wanted to go the museum Sunday afternoon, and we said yes, and arranged to meet her in mid-afternoon outside the Planetarium entrance.

They were running a bit late, so we sat on a bench and watched hawks circling overhead. Then we spent a couple of hours at the museum. We started with aimless wandering, of the "okay, we're on this floor, there are Asian mammals over there." But I wanted to look at soothing rocks, so we went through the Human Evolution exhibit (which is very good and pretty up-to-date) into the Hall of Rocks and Minerals, which is still the 1970s structure I remember fondly from my teens, complete with low carpeted walls you can sit on.

When your familiar old exhibit hall includes a huge amethyst geode of the sort that I can say "Look" and point at from 50 feet away, and has petrified logs out where anyone can touch as well as look at them, it doesn't really need updating, except maybe for the periodic table displays in a few of the educational exhibits. (I lent Reed a lens cleaning cloth I happened to have in my bag, so he could wipe the fingerprints off the shiny cross-section of a petrified log before photographing it.) The hall is an excellent mix of "ooooh, shiny!" and science; we didn't look at it yesterday, but I recommend the case of fluorescent minerals. That's in a room to one side of the large central hall, next to the one with a gem cave and the cases with a variety of large, pretty, and expensive precious gems. A decade or so ago I was glad of the chance to take my mother's husband in there and say "Here's the Star of India."

At the moment, the "recent acquisitions" case at the entrance to the room includes some very nice opals, including three opalized fossil clams.

We ducked out of that hall a little sooner in time for a quick stop in the gift shop before the museum closed. Then Gothgeekgirl and I fortified ourselves with caffeine, after which the four of us took another hour and a half for an early dinner and more conversation.

From: [identity profile]

... wow.

I feel warmly nostalgic just reading this. Oh, I love that museum. I hope to see it again soon.

From: [identity profile]

I would love to own an opalized fossil clam. Barring that, I would love to see one.

From: [identity profile]

Many years ago, I was [ profile] tanac's ex-husband. Now I'm not entirely sure who I am, but I'm hot on the trail of finding out.


redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)

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