Drawing of the Temple of Dendur in its original location by Henry Salt (1780–1827). The drawing was made by Salt during an expedition to southern Egypt and northern Sudan in 1819. The digital version of the drawing is taken from the web site http://www.ancient-egypt.co.uk, created and maintained by Simon Hayter, and is copyright free.
Last night, shortly after the disappointment of Mubarak's speech and many hours before today's extraordinary news, Egypt's pro-democracy protesters steeled themselves yet again in preparation for uncharted waters. I managed to tear myself away from my Eyptophile twitter stream and hop on the 6 train to the Upper East Side in order to attend CAA's centennial gala party. Egypt was all that was in my mind. I was not in a party mood.
Inadvertently, the CAA gala, held at the Met's ubiquitous party venue, The Temple of Dendur, added its own incongruous layer of dowdiness, grandeur and gloom. I guess the main problem was that aside from the full bar and a few bowls of nuts, there was absolutely no food. Not a shred. So for $35, exhausted and hungry scholars were permitted to stand around a crowded ruin and drink, until they were summarily dismissed at 9pm.
We New Yorkers know that the Upper East Side is not a particularly hospitable part of town in which to find oneself exhausted and hungry -- not to mention tipsy -- especially in the late evening. As we shoved off into the freezing night, pal and fellow blogger Charlotte Frost mentioned she hadn't eaten since noon. Happily, I know the UES well enough, so I steered us to a favorite joint for nosh on Lexington where we supped on matzo ball soup cheek by jowl with local cab drivers:
Before leaving I did manage to take a few pictures. I was particularly intrigued by CAA members' widely varying tastes in footwear: