Naughty Loki

Loki Takes New York, Day 10: Hel is an Endless Succession of Art

The tickets from the Cloisters yesterday are good at the main 5th Avenue Met Museum today, so that is where we are headed, after a very late start.  This trip involves the C train to the same station we stopped at for the Natural History Museum (Sigyn is waving hello to all the mosaic animals) and then a short bus ride the width of the Centrally Located Park.

This is one enormous museum.  It is so big that it might almost do for my palace, when I take over Midgard.  Except that it’s on a very busy street and I could certainly do without all the taxis honking.  Not to mention the sticky hordes of plaid-wearing schoolchildren.  Those have got to go.

We are beginning our tour in the Egyptian wing.  Sigyn likes antiquities, though she is a little frightened of mummies.  We can skip the mummies, dearest.  There are plenty of other things to see.

Such as this model of an ancient tomb.


That’s nothing.  The next gallery houses an entire ACTUAL tomb.


The signage says that it was going to be submerged when a dam was built, so they just merrily cut it out of the hillside and brought it here.  I am impressed–I did not think mortals were so willing to do hard work.

Here we are having the obligatory photo taken next to statue of someone important, carved as a sphinx.


If the human female ever stops plucking her stray chin hairs, she’ll have a beard just like this.

Sigyn has made friends with this Greek-era funerary lion.  She says he looks like he needs a friend.


Yes, Sigyn, it does sort of remind me of Snuffy, the lion in the British Museum.  You have a keen eye.

We have left ancient Egypt behind and are now looking at art, art, and more art.  Between yesterday and today, I have reached my MAMAmaximum allowable monthly dose of art.  I believe I am suffering from a surfeit of Medieval altarpieces.

This exhibit of garden-themed paintings is therefore somewhat refreshing.  Sigyn has fallen in love with this colorful rendering of chrysanthemums by someone called Caillebotte.


Where have I heard that name before?  Ah, yes.  Last year.  We saw his painting of people on a bridge.    I did not know he also painted flowers.  I have learned something.  May I go home now?

Vase, vase, statue.  Painting, altarpiece, painting, etching.  Painting, painting, figurine.  Suit of armor, snuffbox, painting, painting, carving.

All of this looking at art from bygone eras and not caring much is making me hungry.  Surely it is time for a late lunch before we all perish?

Luckily, there is a cafeteria with more than pre-packaged sandwiches.  The human female has chosen a healthy salad.


The human male, on the other hand, has chosen something tasty.


I wouldn’t pat the female on the back for her self-discipline too hard, though.  While the male was briefly out of the room the female ate one of his chicken pieces and the rest of his fries…

Moooooore aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaart.  This has become my life.  I live in a museum now.  When I die (I no longer wish to be immortal; someone end this misery) just slap an accession number on me and add me to the collection.

Oh, glorious day!  We are concluding the day’s perambulations, in the gift shop.  Yes, please!  Purchase some over-priced tchotchkes and let us be done.

Sigyn thinks this colored pencil set would suit her admirably.  I have to agree.


They look like they would be easy to handle.

We have finished the day tired and footsore.  The male’s knee is quite painful, and the human female says she feels as if she is coming down with something.  (No doubt yesterday’s wandering about in the rain has contributed to that, and it is supposed to rain tomorrow as well.)  We have therefore opted for an international version of chicken soup.


Where are the noodles?!  There were supposed to be noodles!


Oh.  Under the chicken and vegetables.  Very well.  Carry on.

When we return to the inn, let us have a serious discussion about how we will spend the remaining days of our visit to this city.  I advise you mortals to consider your options carefully.  If there is more art involved, there may be Consequences.  

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Loki Takes New York, Day 8: The Best Laid Plans

My oafish brother Thor gets all the credit for being able to influence the weather, but I do pretty well.  Which is why, when the humans planned to a) visit a church with exceptional stained glass windows and b) explore the city’s other large botanical garden in one of the southern boroughs, I magicked up a cold, soaking rain.

It is even more of a delight traveling about the city today, because for some reason (innocent whistling) most of the trains that run between Manhattan and Brooklyn are not doing so.  This necessitates a switch to a different line and frequent consultation of the subway map.  And much grumbling.

Ehehehehe!   The human female chose to wear a skirt today, and her fancy shoes, and now she’s all soppy-draggly about the hem.  The church photos are dark and dreary, and tempers are beginning to fray.

Now we are all standing, under umbrellas, on the church porch, waiting for…  I don’t know what.  Now there’s a minivan pulling up, there’s a man getting out, and he and the human female are hugging!  And the human male is just standing there!  WHAT IS GOING ON?! 

Oh.  Apparently this man is an old house-mate she hasn’t seen in thirty years.  He lives here and they arranged to meet up today.  Poor fellow, I’m sure he wasn’t prepared for how gray and saggy she’s become.  That’s like to ruin the brunch we’re all headed to have.

So here we all are.  The old housemate has come with his wife and grown up daughter.  They are all going to sit around and talk about the “olden days” and “how much the old home town has changed” and “how awful the traffic is in New York.”  Go ahead and reminisce and blather on, people.  I’ll just eat your omelets while you do.


Bleargh!  By Idunn’s little green apples!  Who puts spinach in an omelet???

Since the rain shows no sign of abating, the former housemate has suggested that we visit a nearby museum, rather than the botanical garden.  This idea has been approved.  Now we just have to figure out which combination of one-way streets will actually bring us to this destination.

Goodbye, former housemate!  See you in another thirty years.

This museum features a suite of rooms taken from some fancy historical house.  I find old furniture and knick-knacks yawn-inducing, but Sigyn is charmed by the tiny replica of the house itself.


Too bad it’s behind glass, my love, or you could explore the miniature garden.

By Thor’s bitty ballpeen!   Is everything in this city for sale?  The entire Egyptian wing is closed to the public today, having been rented out for a private function.  This is beyond infuriating.  When I come to rule this miserable rock, I will have instant access to anything I want, whenever I want it.

One of the exhibits we can view is dedicated to the color blue.  The staff have assembled an assortment of blue items from the various galleries.


Sigyn, of course, has gravitated straight to the glassware.  There are no paperweights, which are her favorites, but this footed dish is nice, I suppose.

This pair of recumbent equines has also caught her eye.


She has named them Tweedledee and Dumbledore.  Dearest, I think you may be mixing your books…

Oh, ho!  Now this is something!


I am quite smitten with this little pagoda-throne.  I need only oust the current occupant so that I may sit as regally as befits my glorious behind.

(later) We were all museumed out.  After retracing our public transit steps and stops and false starts back across the city, we have changed into dry clothes and ventured out for dinner.

We are all of us quite fond of dim sum, and we have found the narrowest little hole in the wall in which to eat some.  Truly, we are seated in what most people would call a hallway,


Alas!  There are no wu gok to be had.  (Ha, mortals!  I had a word with the kitchen.  They usually have them, but not for you.  Not today!)

We shall have to content ourselves with these roast dug egg rolls, pork buns, and other tiny dumplingesque offerings.


We have also tried the soup dumplings, which we did not photograph because they must be eaten whole, in one bite, lest one end up wearing half the soup.

Yawn!  It has been a long day.  The humans accomplished about 50% of their goals, and the weather is too sloppy to try for the top of the Very Tall Building again.  I count that as success.

More mischief tomorrow!

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Loki Takes New York, Day 7: The Human Female Has Gone Walkabout

The human male’s knee is bothering him even more today, because he didn’t take it as easy as he should yesterday.  The human female, who I suspect has NO nurturing instincts whatsoever, rather than stay at the hotel to take care of him, has gotten it into her head to explore some of the outer reaches of the city on her own.  Apparently she wants to look at places in some book she read.

As hare-brained as that notion is, I actually like this plan.  Divide and conquer.  If I tag along, I can annoy her without the human male interfering.  And maybe I can get her good and lost.  That would be fun!

So here we are, on the 7 train headed for one of the eastern bouroughs.  Sign has joined us because she heard the female talking about a garden.  “Garden” is the magic Sigyn word.  It works even better than “please.”

We have arrived.  But where are we?  Mortal, are you sure we are in the right city?  And not in some foreign country?  I can’t read any of the signs!  (Well, all right.  That one down there says, “pharmacy,” but what about the others?!)


There are a number of fruit sellers, and on this blazing hot day, their succulent wares are quite tempting, but again, I can’t read what anything is.  Those look like watermelons, but who knows what’s inside?


I think the human really may be lost.  She has been standing on the street for a quarter of an hour now, alternately checking the map on her phone, the file of landmarks on her phone, and the “you are here” signpost on the sidewalk.  (Of course, it doesn’t help that I magicked the sign on the post so that it has north at the bottom.)  It’s gonna take her a while to figure it all out.

Rats and hurrah!   She has discovered my little trick and correctly oriented herself (boo!), but she has achieved her destination and Sigyn is happy.


This place is rather pretty for a site that used to be an ash and slag heap.  You see what can be done with a little effort, mortal?  This should fire you up and go home and do something with that disgrace you call a “garden.”


There is a quaint little bridge over a tiny waterfall.  It feels very good to be in the shade after traipsing about and riding the subway all day.


The calendar is suspended somewhere between spring and summer.  Sigyn calls this “spiraea-dangling season.”


And if you can’t find spiraea, fringe-tree will do.


I cannot decide which is more photogenic, this pale-flowered sweet shrub…


… or my beloved Sigyn.

Sigyn is wishing that peonies would grow back in Texas.


Sorry, beloved, there are some things even my magic cannot achieve.

We might be able to do something about roses, though.  This is an inspiring collection.


Well, how rude!  Some group of wealthy mortals has rented out a good portion of this garden for a private party!  The temporary “no entry” signs are almost as annoying as their loud rap “music.”  For depriving my sweetie of the opportunity to enjoy the entirety of this place, I think they will now find that the wedding cake is actually frosted styrofoam and the punch has salt instead of sugar

(later)  After much walking and more time spent on the subway (which is not actually subterranean this far from city center) and some more walking, we have now reached one of the other places the human female has read about.

The International Night Market springs up each Saturday evening like a toadstool after rain.


No one gets in ahead of official opening time when this gorgon is on guard duty!

At last it is time to wander in.  Various morsels and concoctions are filling the air with delicious aromas.  We could, if we chose, dine on octopus balls or shark sandwiches.

Sigyn has elected to try this arepa instead, apparently because she thinks the word is fun to say.  “Arepa.”  “Arrepa.”  “Arrrrepa!”   Good for r-rolling practice, if nothing else.

Sigyn, what even is this?!  poke, poke, poke.  I don’t trust it. 


(nibble.)  Ah.  It is a corn griddle cake of some sort, topped with a crumbly, tangy cheese.  Not bad, but not very satisfying if one has a craving for meat.  I think I saw a grilled steak booth in the last row…  I shall return.

We have now looked at all the food booths and browsed in the wares that are for sale.  We are hot, tired, and ready for a cool shower.  Sigyn, let us teleport back to the inn and leave the human female to slog her way back to the train station, endure a lengthy cross-town ride, and then slog from the train station back to the room.

Then, when she does some of the accumulated laundry in the inn’s washroom, I’ll see to it that the dryer stops after five minutes and eats up aaaall her quarters…

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Loki Takes New York, Day 6: On and Off a Bunch of Boats

I think we wore the human male out yesterday.  His knee is bothering him, and he has no interest in activities of a seafaring nature, so he is going to visit a few stores today while the human female pretends to be adventurous and goes off by herself.  Or as by-herself as one can be with a Norse god and my delightful little Sigyn along.

The human female has long harbored (Harbored! Ha!  Nautical pun!) dreams of going to sea on a clipper ship.  Imagine her delight to find out that such an activity is possible here since we are, after all, on an island.

So, like a Big Girl, the human female has hopped the 1 train and taken it all the way to the south end of the island.  She is now looking for the boat.


Found it.

It’s a tall thing, I’ll give it that.


I just had a thought.  The human female has been known to get seasick.  Sigyn, we proabably want to be upwind of her…

Now, supposedly we are going to go out into the harbor via motor, then cut the motor and hoist the sails.  The crew has offered to let the passengers help “haul away.”

Augh!  The human female is doing it!  Just when I thought she couldn’t look any more ridiculous.

Flappity, flappity.  Sails are up!


This craft affords a good look back at the Manhattan skyline.  See that tall one that can’t decide if it wants to be a triangle or a square?


It’s very famous.  Can’t remember what it’s called.  But it’s famous!

Quick!  Look!  There!  Can you see it?  It’s the human female’s favorite building again, there in the background.


All the passengers are pointing and exclaiming about this tall statue on an island in the harbor.


I’m not sure who she is, but I rather like her spiky crown.  Rest assured, however, that when I come to rule Midgard, my statue is going on that island, and my horns will be even better.  And my adoring crowds will be bigger.

Well, that was a short ride.  The human female would have stayed out there all day if someone had let her.   As it was, the crew had to take one of those fending-off-poles and nudge her up the gangplank with it.  (They should have used the pointy ends.)

Sigyn wants to know what this building is.


According to the guidebook, my love, it is a carousel, and all the ridables are meant to look like fish or seashells.  If you really want to ride a fish, Sigyn, I can magic one up for you.  No need to spend too much money on a ticket and then just go in circles on a plastic guppy recently vacated by a toddler in a leaky diaper.

What?  Where is the human female going?  The Staten Island Ferry?!  Great Frigga’s Hairpins, woman!  Have you not had enough boating for one day?


I don’t care if it’s free; the terminal is unpleasantly crowded.  And now the crowd is moving and we are being swept along!  Unless I teleport this instant, I am going on another boat ride.

day6-ferry-leaving Man

Sigh.  Afloat again.


Look.  It’s a bridge or something.

Augh!  Apparently we have come on the ferry just to say we have been on the ferry.  Now, without setting foot out of the terminal, we are waiting for the return trip.  I can’t think of anything more pointless.

At least there is an aquarium to watch while we wait.


Look, Sigyn!  I think that one is happy to see you!

The crowd is just as big on this side.


I spy with my little eye, something beginning with “f.”


At last!  Back on dry land!  The humans and Sigyn are taking in another concert in another church.  I want no part of that, so I think I’ll walk around and take in a few sights.

I think if I survey the area from the top of one of the taller buildings, I can get a real feel for the geography of the island.  Bet I can get a great selfie up here, too.



That was close!

(later.)  We are now in the vicinity of a place called Rocky Fellow Plaza.  It is known for its sculptures.


I’d say he looks more like a BLOCKY fellow than a ROCKY fellow!

Well, what do you know?  It’s another carousel!


Odin’s eyepatch!  This one is even more expensive than the fish one.

(later)  Well, that’s two!  The humans have now tried a second time to get to the top of that very tall building to get a look at the city.  They were once again too late to get a ticket before their old-people bedtime.  Ehehehehehe  They’ll have to go first thing in the morning.  (They can keep trying.  I’ll keep thwarting!)

Nothing for it but to have dinner and call it a day.  The humans have chosen a tavern this evening.  I approve of the color scheme.


I believe I fancy a nice steak this evening.  Sigyn is more interested in carbs, especially cheesy ones.


It’s a rather loud in here, but the ambiance is warm and cozy.


Sigyn is beautiful by candlelight.  Be careful, my love, lest you tumble in!

The male is having fried fish and potatoes.  The squeezy lemon has a little seed poncho.  Fancy!


Sigyn and the female are sharing a pizza.


Supposedly it’s a Margarita pizza, but Sigyn says she can’t taste any tequila.

Well.  It has been a long day.  I could do a little more mischief, but I need to save something for tomorrow, when the human female’s feet should be at peak agony and the male’s knee nearing critical.

It is so easy to mess with old people!

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Loki Takes New York, Day 5: Gardens and Goddaughters

The humans have PLANS today.  Isn’t that cute?  They really think that the combination of subway + Loki + goddaughter (who is coincidentally visiting this metropolis with her grandmother and is being borrowed for the day) = Something That Can Be Scheduled.

I am on a first name basis with the folks at the MTA now. The first train the humans boarded decided that it did not want to run to the Bronx today and decided to reverse direction halfway there.  The humans scrambled off at the next stop and jumped onto a different one.  That one has now decided it was running late and will be an express, omitting a handful of stops.  Luckily, the garden that the humans wish to visit is still on the list of stops.  But we are going to be late.  That works out well, because the blue-haired goddaughter and her grandmother gave their Uber driver the name of the garden in Brooklyn, so they have had a minor detour of their own.

(later) After exiting the train and having a bite of breakfast (egg-on-roll sandwiches purchased from a shop in which Allspeak would have been decidedly useful), the humans spent another half hour wandering about, looking for the entrance to the garden.  Yes, the folks at GoogleMaps also work for me.

So now, at last, an hour past the initial rendezvous time, here we all are.  The first thing past the ticket booth is a reflecting pool with a pleasingly fierce, toothy sculpture.


It’s supposed to “evoke the flowers of lobster claw ginger.”  If you say so.   Wouldn’t it be a shame, though, if it somehow came loose from its moorings and, say, rolled over the human female?

This is quite the garden!  We are surrounded by flowering trees and shrubs


Sigyn thinks that Styrax flowers will be very “in” this year,


and that every home should have a peony to nestle in.

We have reached the big conservatory.


That is a LOT of glass.

The fully grown palms and tree ferns make a nice pattern against the roof.


This whole place is quite photogenic.  Since the male and the goddaughter are both photographers and Sigyn and the female are plant nerds, I predict we will be here for. ev. er.

The entire garden is hosting an exhibit by a famous flower painter, with emphasis on the plants of Hawai’i she painted.  The Hawaiian plants all have special signs.


Ah. This is a lobster claw ginger.  Now that wacky sculpture makes sense.


Even though the flowers are bright red, Sigyn says she likes this tiny Streptocarpus better.


Possibly because the flowers look easier to wear on one’s head…

Oooh!  Carnivorous plants!


They don’t have anything large enough to take on one of the felines back home, but they are still interesting.

As are the denizens of the Desert House.   This aloe is green and pointy.


I approve.

Sigyn is squeeing over this red, furry one.  What a surprise.


The human female has fallen for this one.   There’s no label, but she’s pretty sure it’s in the Apocynaceae.


So: it’s yellow, clingy,  toxic, and obscure.  Yes, that suits the human female very well.

After what seems a week and a half, we have finally left the glass house.

Sigyn wants to visit the rock garden, since rock garden plants are often diminutive and “cute.”

I will admit, it is beautiful. Too bad the human male is not allowed to take his new rolling camera bag on the gravel trail.  The human female will have to content herself with a lightning fast look around, then exit to mind the bag while the male goes in to take a squillion photographs.


Sigyn and I are neither restricted nor hampered and can stroll at leisure.  These tiny bellflowers are, according to my beloved, “dainty and charming.”


So are you, my sweetling. So are you.

(later)  After viewing the art exhibit and poking in the gift shop, we left the garden and returned to the central city via above-ground Metro Train.  For an extra fee, of course.  After missing the first train looking in three different places for the ticket booth and having to wait a half hour for the next one.

We left the goddaughter to make her way to her inn from Grand Central Terminal–which, as the guidebooks say, has a fascinating ceiling full of stars.  On the way out of the terminal, we caught a glimpse of one of the human female’s favorite buildings.

day5-Chrysler and moon

It is the one she most wishes to observe from the top of that one very tall building.  We’ll see about that… (Cue ominous music.)

Now we are having dinner in an establishment that bills itself as a purveyor of grown-up grilled-cheese sandwiches.   It has peculiar tables.


Ah! The food is here!  The male has a burger-ish sandwich with grilled onions.  The female has chicken with herbs.  There is, in fact, a good deal of melted cheese involved. The tuberous tots are also cheese-bedecked.


Whether the humans have walked off the equivalent of all these calories today is left as an exercise for the reader.

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Loki Takes New York, Day 4: Wanderings and Wiseassery

Fortunately for my nerves, the humans are not planning to spend ALL their time in museums.  Do not misunderstand me.  I like a good museum as much as the next man, but by Odin’s Empty Eyesocket the humans are so slow!  The human female has to stop and read. every. single. card. and. label.  The male has to take fourteen photos of each object.  Clicky, clicky, something about bracketing, clicky.    

Hwaarrrrrgh!!!  Sometimes I just want to whip out Gungnir and give them a bit of a prod from behind, you know?

Today they purpose to do a bit of shopping and some sight-seeing and end up at the harbor for a sail.  The male wants to visit–big surprise!–both of the large camera stores in this city, along with a purveyor of fountain pens and a stationery store, to fondle various papers.  The female wouldn’t mind beads and toys.

Thus, we are on the subway, headed south this time.  Some of the advertisements in the train cars are interesting, but I may have to locate the artist who drew the ugly cartoon series for the roommate-finding service and turn him/her into a smallish, squashable beetle.

To express my displeasure, I have interrupted power on the entire line.  The humans will have to disembark, switch lines, and try again.  Good thing they have their Metro cards, which allow them unlimited use of trains and buses for an entire week!

We have emerged like moles, blinking, at the corner of Union Square.  Look, Sigyn!  There is a street market!  There seems to be quite a variety of comestibles, as well as a good deal of nursery stock.

I see you have already found the sweet alyssum.


I know you’re excited, Dearest, but do recall that anything we buy, even if I teleport it home, the human female, in combination with the horrible city water, is bound to kill within a fortnight.


Ah!  Apples.  Let us see if there are any we haven’t sampled yet.


Sadly, no.  It is not the right season for apples.  But any chance to sample Roxbury Russets is not to be missed.  And Sigyn approves of all the lilacs.

(later)  We did manage to find one of the camera stores, and the male purchased a rolling case for all of his camera gear.  (Good, because I was not about to help him carry any of it!)  We also located a store selling Japanese stationery, clothes, and home goods.  It took forever to pry the humans out of that one.  I kept a close eye on Sigyn, because when we visited such a shop in London, she met with a bit of misfortune and needed rescuing.

Now, I think, we are just traipsing about.  Ostensibly, we are looking for some ancient church, because the humans and Sigyn have a “thing” about stained glass and old stone.  The mortals, however, cannot seem to find the right subway station, even with four eyes, two brains, their cell phones, and three maps.

They have found this instead.


Three enormous, bronze, stackable rhinos.  I will never understand Midgardian art.   All that bronze could have been put to much better use making a statue of me.

It transpires that failing to find the subway has not slowed the humans down much.  They have, by sheer dumb luck, managed to find the church they were seeking.  I will wait outside while Sigyn has a look around.


Moving on!  On the humans’ over-ambitious target list for this trip is a huge bookstore called The Strand.  Bookstores, I can stomach.

Up on the “rare and old” floor, some of the shelves have books sorted by color, for those morons who value books only as decorative objects.


But I must admit the green section is very flattering.

They also sell greeting cards and signs.  I like this one.


Foolish mortals!  You have taken too long today, with your subways and your markets and churches and imported notebooks!  The children’s bookstore which you wished to visit has just closed, and you are too late to book a sail today!   Thus do the plans of dawdlers come to naught!

You have also tarried too long to pick up anything decent at one of the ready-to-eat shops and will have to find a second to secure tonight’s dinner.  I am hot and tired and cranky, so, after a very warm day of trudging around, you will find that I have arranged for the second shop to be out of limeade.  And you, female, will find a live mosquito inside your sandwich wrapper!

We are back at the inn.  I find that I am still feeling a bit peevish, as well as Quite Put Out with the humans and the MTA.  Thus, I will take advantage of one the Interesting Period Features of this establishment.  In the lobby, there is a large, brass plate which proclaims that it is an authorized United States Postbox.   In days of yore, there was a pneumatic mail system that carried mail throughout the building and, one assumes, to the local post office.   On each floor, there are mail slots that once waited to whisk letters away.

Mail slots like this one.  Going…






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Loki Takes New York, Day 3: A Plethora of Beasties

The humans had every intention of visiting a big garden today.  I have quashed that, summoning up a cold, miserably persistent rain.  They have declared today a “museum” day instead.  Isn’t that what we did yesterday?  Augh.  So little imagination.

We are headed north on the subway, having finally figured out which train to take.  This, I have learned, is not always easily discernible.  Some trains, the “locals,” make all the stops on the line (or at least, the ones not currently being skipped due to construction, or maintenance, or the conductor’s whimsy.)  Other trains are called “express,” because when they fail to stop at the platform or skip a number of stops once en route, all the passengers hasten to express their frustrations in short words beginning with “f.”

The subway, in general, is noisy, stuffy, smelly, and in dire need of a good cleaning.  I don’t know how those stains got that far up the walls, and I don’t WANT to know.

Oh, goody.  Here’s our stop.

Wait!  There is more here than the standard, plug-ugly subway tile!

There is mosaic work!   There is some sort of curly-tailed creature perched upon the station identifier.


I don’t know what it is, but by the sound of Sigyn’s squeeing, she’s going to be asking for one before the day is out.

Ehehehehe!  There are all manner of beasts here, from this tiny giraffe-necked weevil thing…


…to a diving whale bent upon exploring what lies in the depths beneath the platform.


It’s actually an impressive art installation.  I think I have it figured out—the animals depicted in color represent living creatures, and the ones depicted only as gray silhouettes represent extinct species.  When I get to rule this measly planet, you can bet the mosquito is going to go gray-silhouette so fast it will make everyone’s head spin.  Count on it.

We are now inside the National Museum of Natural History.  As I have no objection to learning a bit more about the realm of which I’m to be god-emperor, by all means, let us proceed.

There are several fine dioramas.


This one, however, looks a bit too much like Jotunheim, so please, let us move on!

This establishment is known for its collection of giant lizard fossils, such as this fine, ferocious, fellow.


It’s so beautiful, it makes me want to sing!

“If you’re a T. rex and you know it, clap your… Oh. Sorry.”

Seriously, though.  Are we sure those puny arms went with that magnificent body?  Wouldn’t it make more sense that this exceedingly large pair of viciously-clawed arms, for which no corresponding body has ever been identified, be placed on the skeleton instead?


When the bone nerds figure out their mistake, I am going to laugh.

Fun fact:  There are no animal fossils in Asgard.  Bilgesnipe eat everything that dies naturally.  Any that dies unnaturally was probably hunted by Thor and his buddies and served at a feast.

We have now reached the hall of Ancient Mammals.  Oh, like the human female!

This one’s orthodontia is just a tad better than hers.


Sigyn is reading the sign, which pronounces it to be a Gomphotherium.  Look at that toothy grin.  Surely that should read, “Chompotherium.”  I shall make the necessary corrections.

Some of the displays are meant to be touched.


Sigyn, what is it with you that you always seem to end up in some skull’s nostrils?  It’s not a criticism, Precious; I’m genuinely puzzled.

Ah, now this is clever.


The museum has got just the skull of a whatever-this-is and has constructed a wire outline of the rest of the creature.

Hey, human female!  I think we found your great-, great- auntie!  (The familial resemblance, especially as to the nose and enormous butt, is quite striking!)

Oooh!  Sigyn, look up!!!  The museum staff have mounted a model of an enormous, sharp-jawed fish.


Too bad it’s been dead since the Silurian.  Most extinct animals I could take or leave, but something like this would be a perfect addition to the moat around my castle-to-be.  A few of those and some grease on the drawbridge, and I’d never have to worry about salesmen, prosletizers, or petitioners ever again!

Ooops!  One dinosaur left.  According to the signage, this is a new exhibit, something called a Titanosaur!  Posed slantwise, to take advantage of the long diagonal of the room, it still doesn’t fit!


Its peg-toothed head sticks out into the hallway!  It’s tiniest pinky toe is ten times the size of my Sigyn!


Well, it has been a most educating day.  The humans learned that yes, one can exit and re-enter the Museum if one wishes to eat lunch someplace other than the mu$eum’$ canteen.  They learned that it is possible to buy gyro sandwiches and hamburgers from a food cart, but that if it is raining, it can be difficult to eat while holding an umbrella, so going to eat just inside the subway station can get one out of the wet.  With my help, the human male learned that if you don’t want to lose three-quarters of your lamb onto the pavement, it is best to grip that gyro with two hands.  They both learned that the ready-to-heat-and-enjoy meals from the food market between the “home” subway station and the hotel can be a bit disappointing.  Silly human!  Did you really expect, if I were along, that your sesame noodles would actually taste like sesame?  And you!  Did you not know that vodka-tomato pasta sauce usually has a good shake or three of crushed red pepper?

And *I* learned a fun fact about this hotel, which I will show you tomorrow.

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