Highly Recommended: Free Weekend @ The Morgan; Waldorf School Gardening

Morgan Library & Museum, a Treasure Anytime, Offering Free Visits & Events in April

Morgan Library. Photo by Pat Tanner

Morgan Library. Photo by Pat Tanner

Back in the ’70s I worked just steps from what was then called the Morgan Library: the Gilded Age brownstone of industrialist Pierpont Morgan at Madison & 36th. I knew it was open to the public and that it held treasures, but I never stopped in. It took me until this past summer to rectify that major oversight, and I was simply blown away.

Morgan Museum & Library. Photo by Pat Tanner

Morgan Museum & Library. Photo by Pat Tanner

What finally nudged me into action was a particular exhibition (Alice in Wonderland, now past) and taking advantage of Restaurant Week to dine in what had been the Pierpont family dining room. Details on that visit follow below, but what you should know is that in celebration of the 10th anniversary of a highly successful modern expansion that has doubled its annual attendance, the Morgan – now the Morgan Library & Museum – is opening its doors for a free weekend mid-April.

Normally $18 for adults and $12 for children, seniors, and students (and well worth it), everyone enters free from 7 pm on Friday, April 15 through 5:30 pm closing on Sunday, April 17.  In addition to 4 exhibitions on view (including one on Warhol and another on Richard Wagner’s “Ring”), there will be live classical and jazz music and a Spring Family Fair on Sunday. For me, though, the brownstone itself is the masterpiece.

Morgan Library Ceiling. Photo by Pat Tanner

Morgan Library Ceiling. Photo by Pat Tanner

The Morgan has 2 dining options: this cafe in the Renzo Piano-designed space, now 10 years old:

Morgan Museum Addition. Photo by Pat Tanner

Morgan Museum Addition. Photo by Pat Tanner

(Sadly, the striking colored squares shown were a temporary installation.)

The other option is the dining room, where I ate, which is open for lunch and brunch and for which reservations are necessary. The menu changes seasonally, and for the April free weekend will offer special cocktails and dishes inspired by the current exhibitions and anniversary.  Here are highlights of the Restaurant Week meal I and a friend enjoyed last August:

Morgan Red & Yellow Beet Salad w/Goat Cheese, Citrus, & Pistachios

Morgan Red & Yellow Beet Salad w/Goat Cheese, Citrus, & Pistachios

 

Morgan Chicken Paillard w/Haricots Verts, Fingerlings, Tomato, Frisee, Lemon

Morgan Chicken Paillard w/Haricots Verts, Fingerlings, Tomato, Frisee, Lemon

Morgan Grilled Shrimp w/Butter Lettuce, Pickled Mango, Avocado, Toasted Almonds, Cucumber Yogurt

Morgan Grilled Shrimp w/Butter Lettuce, Pickled Mango, Avocado, Toasted Almonds, Cucumber Yogurt

For a complete list of anniversary weekend activities, check out this press release at www.themorgan.org. If crowds are not your thing, I encourage you to visit this hidden-in-plain-sight NYC masterpiece anytime.

Waldorf School Gardening Class, Past & Present

Edible Jersey Spring 2016In the spring 2016 issue of Edible Jersey I write about the experiences of my own children and their classmates at the Princeton Waldorf school back in the 1980s and 90s – including a landmark visit by Alice Waters – and interview the school’s current gardening teacher, Suzanne Cunningham to see what has changed. (In a nutshell: a lot! No more handing full-sized scythes to third graders and letting them loose in a field.) Story starts on page 19.

Suzanne Cunningham & Kindergartners, Princeton Waldorf School

Suzanne Cunningham & kindergarteners,           Waldorf School of Princeton

Please take a moment to read it, and then come back here to make sense of this, my very personal post-script:

I find it interesting that the design and building of the sitting garden is Lemmo’s fondest memory. He went on to earn a degree in architecture from Rice University, and recently founded his own firm, LA-N-D (Lemmo Architecture and Design) in Austin, TX. He may or may not see a correlation there, but I do. Likewise with Elizabeth, whose imagination once had her thinking she was working with magic potions. After earning a Ph.D. in genetics from Stanford University, she is conducting postdoctoral work in virology at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco, with a goal of developing vaccines for rapidly evolving pathogens such as HIV. Alice, who has arguably fewer happy memories of Waldorf gardening, nevertheless finds herself digging these days, as director of sales operations for Clarabridge, a data-mining consultant firm in Virginia.

waldorf plowing

 

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