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Published: January 16th 2008
Trash can in downtown Wichita
It's YOUR downtown to. So feel free to leave anything anywhere, since it's your property.
Obfuscator writes: We woke up at an approximately normal time, but since we knew we weren't going to be able to meet up with our cousin and aunt until the afternoon, we hung out in the motel for a while. Luckily our motel had a late checkout time, so we were able to stay there uploading things to the blog until checkout. The strong wireless connection mentioned by Onaxthiel came in handy at this point.
When we ran out of time, we headed back to Oldtown to find something to eat, and we succeeded at the River City Grill. The food was alright, but I wouldn't highly recommend it or anything. Just sort of standard restaurant fare. When we got done there, we met up with our cousin and aunt and headed toward the Wichita Art Museum. When you drive to the WAM, the first thing you'll probably see is a large sculpture of a person with one arm and a sickle in its hand. We didn't closely inspect this sculpture until we were leaving, so I'll come back to it.
When you enter the WAM, if you don't look up, the person at the desk ought to tell
Hand blown glass in the WAM
an unfortunately named place for all the glass art they have there.
you to, since at least at this time, they have an enormous “bridge” over the entry, which is filled with several hundred pieces of blown glass art. The entrance fee is $5 for adult non-students, though the WAM is free on Saturdays. Visitors wishing to take pictures are required to sign a thing promising not to take pictures of certain items, and to only take photos for personal use. If you don't mind taking off your shoes, you can walk out on the bridge and look at a lot of the blown glass pieces up close.
The WAM has a pretty good collection of American art, and we had a good time exploring it. There was a rather interesting special exhibit there on quilts while we visited, and it once again reminded me just how incredibly dedicated some people are to fine, frighteningly time consuming crafts. There's also a little kiddie area where you can make your own art. We left Onaxthiel there for a little while with the crayons, and when we were done checking out the rest of the museum, went back for him. One temper tantrum and one lollipop later, and we were heading out of
This piece of art...
looks like it has fingers....for grasping!
the museum. (Onaxthiel adds: I really didn't need the lollie, but it was tasty. I drew a turtle. I like turtles.)
The large sculpture near the entrance turned out to be even more bizarre than we thought. Not only was the large female figure with the sickle missing her arm, but there is a dismembered male figure on the ground next to her, clutching a hammer, and a bunch of little figures crawling all over the fragments. One seems to be a bank robber, another a banker, and the others rather indistinct. We had suspicions about the meaning of this statue, which were only confirmed when we obtained a book about sculptures in Wichita. Evidently this sculpture was done in the 50s by a member of a “group of artists interested in raising social awareness and social justice.” We thought Tail Gunner Joe would have strong words to say about the work, but it WAS awareness raising. I felt smarter just for looking at it. Also, I wanted a cheeseburger.
We left Wichita and headed back up to Manhattan for one more night. We met up with Onaxthiel's buddy D again, and headed to a local brew pub
for dinner, before watching 3:10 to Yuma, which was a bit of a disappointment, and Daywatch, which was a bit of a disconcerting experience. It should be noted that 3:10 to Yuma does star Batman, Wash, and Russell Crow and Peter Fonda. It has been hailed as the best western since Unforgiven, but it should be pointed out that the only other westerns to come out since Unforgiven were Open Range and Brokeback Mountain, both of which were hailed as the best westerns since Unforgiven, and neither of which could hold a candle to Unforgiven. But then, what CAN hold a candle to Unforgiven? But I digress. All in all, an entertaining night.
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