Home > Uncategorized > McCabe Library and the Barnes Museum

McCabe Library and the Barnes Museum

This morning I’m in Hobbs coffee shop across from the Swarthmore train station.  It’s a delightful place; the coffee, the oatmeal, and the atmosphere are excellent.

Yesterday there was no class, so I headed the library first thing in the morning to work on tomorrow’s presentation on Miramar.   What a joy to have long, uninterrupted hours to organize materials and explore!  The librarian gave me free access to the printer (I’m just not there yet in reading lengthy articles in digital form), and it was a relief to have an industrial sized hole punch and stapler at my disposal.  (I’m aware that this sounds unbelievably nerdy, but it’s a new challenge for me to operate out of a dorm, without access to office or home equipment). 

After a long morning exploring 20th century Egyptian history and the writings of Naguib Mahfouz, I set out for the Barnes Museum.  As many times as I had been to Philadelphia, I had never had enough time (or enough forethought) to plan a visit there, so I went online several weeks ago and bought a ticket for a 3:00 tour on my first no-class day. 

Well, I missed most of the tour.  Knowing it wasn’t easy to find, I had printed out Google directions with map.  It should have taken 20 min or so to get there, but I took an hour.  I swear there is no Merion Rd. that both Google and the small map on my ticket refer to.  Google also says to look for it a couple of miles too early.  I went back and forth on Route 1, thinking I had gone too far, then thinking I had missed it.  Finally I found Old Lancaster Rd, which got me into the right neighborhood, but even then it took a while to locate Latches Lane.  I finally found the entrance to the museum, drove around briefly to find parking (and even got a shady place), and walked a couple of blocks in the 100 degree heat.  As I passed the neighborhood signs saying “Save the Barnes,” I couldn’t help thinking that if they wanted to save it from me, they had very nearly succeeded.

I found a shady parking spot, though, and the guard at the front gate was helpful and encouraged me to go on in and join the tour.  She was right.  I did go in and caught the last 20 min or so of the tour, which was enough to help me get my bearings.  Then I spent some time looking around by myself, and I look forward to going back with my daughter next week.

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