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It's been almost a year since the annual New York visit with my brother and sister in law. Every year we go to the Armory Antique Show and catch the major Folk Art show which they have in New York the same week. Last year it was in Chelsea, the year before uptown.

Anyway, last year my wife and I walked from the Yale Club at 44th and Vanderbilt to the Metropolitan at 110th and Park or whatever in an icy wind just to see Ernest Meisosier's Friedland which, when sold in the 19th Century, was the most expensive painting in history by a living artist. Meissnier is SOOOO out of favor now and the Met is one of the few Museums which doesn't hide his paintings in the basement.

I didn't know squat about Meissonier....

...until I read Ross King's magnificent The Judgement of Paris which deals with Meissonier, Manet and the revolution in French art during the reign of Napleon III, but I digress.

Last year after freezing my you-know-what off on a 50 block walk to the Met, interrupted by soup, salad and wine for two at some cute little upper East Side bistro ($100), I paid the "voluntary" $20 to get into the Met only to learn too late that Friedland was not on display at the time due to renovations. Major buzz kill.

This year, I am saving the $20 and investing it in a cab ride from the Yale Club and when I get to the Met, that painting better be there. They owe me one.
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