Still, its reopening felt like an occasion; one aptly marked by the I’m Smart Because I Axolotl Questions Shirt But I will love this two Yoko Ono-designed banners on the building’s façade reading “DREAM” and “TOGETHER.” It signaled a city on the mend, returning to some kind of normalcy—and, all things considered, being at 1000 Fifth Avenue felt weirdly normal. It was, predictably, very quiet when I arrived on Thursday, and walked around with other members of the press. But in the early afternoon, as members started filing in, the museum began to feel much as it had before; teeming with the vagaries of metropolitan life. I watched as a woman pushed a stroller through the European galleries, her charge’s short, pudgy legs poking out from under a blanket; I saw an elderly man helped from a bench by his West Indian nurse; and I kept passing the same couple near a suite of Alfred Stieglitz photographs, chatting animatedly en français.
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The scene was similar on Saturday, when the I’m Smart Because I Axolotl Questions Shirt But I will love this Met officially reopened to the public. Once I’d braved a line that snaked to 84th Street and back (the people love art!), had my temperature checked, and slipped past the people waiting to claim their tickets, there was a happy familiarity to what I saw and heard: visitors admiring Rodins and Instagramming the Temple of Dendur; well-dressed teens heading into the Costume Institute’s latest, In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection; toddlers squealing, phones going off. (Positioned in the Great Hall for the first big rush, Weiss and Max Hollein, the museum’s director—recognizable even behind their masks—also looked pleased with the proceedings.)