Ming Dynasty Exhibit, Plus An Evening in the CWE

Friday night, Jen, Kim, Kate and I went down to the St. Louis Art Museum to take in the Ming Dynasty Exhibit. The exhibition had been running for a while and was nearing its end, and with Fridays bringing free admittance, we figured it was perfect timing. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures, so allow me to describe the evening the old fashioned way. We got up there around 5:45 or so and were able to walk right in. Crowds came out later in the evening, so this is a great time to visit. Strangely, there weren’t many Asians visiting the Asian art exhibit. Either they aren’t that interested, or they didn’t procrastinate until the very end like SOME people.

The exhibition was huge and diverse: scrolls, paintings, sculpture, textiles, tools, ceramics, and even architectural ornaments were all included. When you take into account the idea that these things are all al least 400 years old, just the fact that they were preserved in such exquisite condition is amazing enough. The colors of many of the scrolls are just as vivid as they must have been on day one. My favorite piece was a 30-foot scroll that depicted the emperor playing sports on the fields of the castle. Turns out, the Chinese played golf back in the day… who knew? Jen was a big fan of the jewelry. The amazing craftsmanship and intricacy of the pieces was breathtaking and the purity of the gold made for blinding bling. The porcelain pieces were really nice as well.

After the exhibit, we went to Llywellyn’s in the Central West End for dinner because it was a beautiful night and we wanted to sit outside. We scored a nice table on the sidewalk, and with the exception of a karaoke DJ thinking it’s OK to get the party started with “Tears In Heaven”, the night was perfect. The food there was good and a couple beers went a long way towards putting my mind at ease. Afterwards, we went to Left Bank Books to support local booksellers and visit Spike the Cat. Then, while I was dropping our purchases off at the car, Jen and the girls enjoyed the various street performers. The best was the fire twirling girls:

Fire Twirler

With it still being a beautiful evening, we strolled down Euclid to the gelato joint next to Culpepper’s. I had half chocolate, half coconut. It tasted like a Mounds bar. I could have added Almond, but I wasn’t feeling like a nut. All in all, a good time and a great night to be outside.

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