While I'll be Looking East from Byzantium, They'll be Looking Down at Their Phones

Museum patrons staring at smartphones

Museum patrons in the Byzantine room ignore the century-spanning art to interact with the near-present on their phones.

Observing Madame Cézanne

A desk in the corner, where a phone kept ringing, without being answered .

March 14, 2015

I had been wandering through the Met museum to two hours before going to a concert.

I came for Looking East from Byzantium, because I weirdly know and like both modern and antique music from the region. As is often the case with what I go to see in this town, I was reppin' the outlier demographic in the crowd. But most of the time I'm older than those around me, not smelling like onion and cumin, and/or more square looking. This time I was playing the part of a scruffy young whippersnapper by comparison.

I looked around from my seat down in front and squarely center. The only people remotely close to my age were well-stilettoed Turkish trophy wives. I was sitting with a bunch of old people who weren't sure why they came (said in their actual murmurs, not just heard in my speculation) and had trouble staying awake during the show. There were also priestly folks of varying denominations in the crowd, one of whom, decked in fine black robes, his hand repeatedly kissed by those who greeted him, was referred to as "your eminence" from the stage.

What a scene!

Share this