Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cleveland Museum of Art: (My Last) Solstice

Yesterday was an interesting day -- starting in Minneapolis where my original flight was delayed to the point where I literally had a United Airlines employee running with me through the airport to a new gate, where I was then dragged down the jetway for a new flight just before departure and told to take any available seat so that I wouldn't miss my onward connection to Cleveland from Chicago. I'm very thankful for that agent.

In Chicago our flight to Cleveland was delayed because, according to the captain's announcement -- I kid you not, "The airplane was plugged in to electrical power and the outlet broke when they unplugged it".

I made it to Cleveland collected my bag and went speeding towards Solstice at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

While I was not in the best shape when I made it to Solstice I was looking forward to it, hoping that some lessons had been learned from last year. I've attended each of the Solstice Parties since the first one in 2009.

The 2009 party was fantastic; the 2010 party was even better, 2011 was about as good as the previous years. 2012 was lousy. 2013 will be my last. Rather than boring you with a list, I can point you to the post from 2012 and say that it was about the same.

Primary objection holds true -- there was essentially no discernible "art" component to this years festival -- even less so than last year as neither Rachel nor I could find a photobooth much less any of the various art activities that had been staples of pervious years. Performing artists (aside from a few balloon creations) were noticeably missing.

But what made 2013 worse than previous years was the sheer level of noise. The volume in the atrium was so high that you couldn't carry on a conversation with friends 6 inches away -- and if you tried to find solace (or just peruse the art) in the new North galleries -- you would be blown away each time someone had the misfortune of passing by the motion activated doors.

It also seemed this year that the number of obnoxiously drunk people was through the roof. While alcohol has always been fairly free flowing, and there are usually very "happy" people, it seemed like more people were drinking to excess

The result continues to feel not like an event highlighting, or even supporting, the Cleveland Museum of Art, but rather a completely unrelated music event that just so happens to be taking place at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Based on my later arrival, rather than dealing with parking I had valeted my car at Tudor Arms Hotel (a DoubleTree by Hilton property on Carnegie at MLK I've been curious about since it opened about a year ago) and at the end of the night Rachel and I walked back over and enjoyed an "in town" vacation and a leisurely start to a Sunday. That part was at least enjoyable.

Solstice, however, just wasn't enjoyable. At all.


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