Thursday, December 14, 2006

Condoblogger: Cultural Learnings of Atlanta for Make Benefit This New Condo

Atlanta is home to a couple really world class Museums. The High Museum of Art, The MIchael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, Fernbank Museum of Natural History... lots of great venues to see cool stuff.

This week I've had the opportunity to visit a couple exhibitions that are in town: Imperial Rome at Fernbank and Titanic The Artifact Exhibition at the Civic Center. Of the two, I'd recommend the Titanic.

The developer of This New Condo was kind enough to buy all the new homeowners a years membership to Fernbank and today I finally got to make use of it! "Imperial Rome" was pretty sucky though, actually. Don't even get me started on the busloads of kids and their loud voiced chaperones. Typical museum stuff, with lots of big posters featuring lots of big words, surrounded by a bunch of plexiglass cases featuring artifacts from back when going to "the baths" was a completely different experience (from what I've HEARD). I am lucky enough to have been to Italy and it struck me as I walked through the exhibit today that all the statues and busts with giant DO NOT TOUCH signs in front of them are things that I've seen on the STREET in Rome being blasted with Vespa exhaust and Gellato drippings. They are so much more casual about stuff like that there. I understand that many people will never go to Rome to see these pieces in their natural settings and so this exhibit is cool in that respect. I also understand that these artifacts are grouped to highlight a specific period in Roman history which gives it a context that a walk down Via Condotti lacks. But for anyone who has dipped a toe in the Trevi Fountain or climbed the Spanish Steps "Imperial Rome" at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History will be a sterile, tedious, 12 dollar disappointment. Actually... I think it will be a disappointment even if you haven't been. Rent Caligula or Gladiator instead.

"Titanic" on the other hand was pretty neat. The exhibit is being staged in a part of the Civic Center that is bordering on "run-down." It used to house a neat-ish science museum called Sci-Trek. That's been closed for a couple years now, and in its place several traveling exhibits have come through. "Bodies" was there a couple months ago for example. Other than the venue, the actual exhibition was pretty cool. When you arrive you are handed a boarding pass which lists your name, the class you are traveling in and some other tidbits. Mine identified me as Col. Archibald who was (of course) traveling in first class. They make great use of sound as you move through the different "rooms." Music, sound effects, voices... that was a nice touch. Mockups of the rooms in First Class and "steerage" were interesting to see, especially when you consider the amenities available on today's cruise ships. I was struck by the personal nature of a lot of the things they've recovered from the crash site. Eyeglasses, toothbrushes, shoes, even some cigarettes. Lots of the stuff was wrapped in leather cases which along with the cold way down there helped to preserve things. Unlike the "Imperial Rome" signage, the signs and posters in "Titanic" were compelling quotes and facts that I actually WANTED to take the time to read. When you reach the end of the exhibit you get to find out if you (the you on your boarding pass) survived the sinking. I'm pleased to report that unlike poor Mr. DiCaprio I did in fact make it through that cold dark night. Now that I have survived Titanic, maybe I'll look into that Atlantis cruise I've had my eye on. Which reminds me...

The gym/fitness center/workout room here at This New Condo is up and running officially. No more excuses! Nothing else new on the Condo front to report though. They still have not turned on the sign... can't wait to see if I'll need to upgrade to blackout shades!

1 comment:

cola boy said...

That sounds like a great exhibit. I'll need to see if it comes to Orlando.