As a girl growing up in the rural landscape of New Jersey, a day trip to New York City, “The Big Apple”, was an exhilarating adventure. A world unto itself, the epitome of Yin meets Yang dancing at the crossroads. A city where each sound competes at being the loudest, where the lights never go off, and each person you pass has an intricate story untold. It offers the best restaurants, shopping and museums, it is an awe-inspiring dream and a puzzling maze at the same time. The never-ending busy pulse is exciting and anxiety inducing all at once, it’s fantastic. As I grew older I moved to “The Big Apple”, and although my time now limits me to brief trips the memories are still vivid as ever. In fact, here is one of those memories:

I’m standing where 82nd St and 5th Avenue intersect in front of a magnificent building called The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fondly aka The MET). I can feel the heat rising from the streets, the pace is fast, and smells are wafting from the carts selling hot dogs, pretzels and soda. Taxi cabs are honking, kids are flying by on skateboards, and dogs are excited to be outside after spending too many hours in a confined space. I slowly begin my ascent up the long steps to the entrance. Without even realizing it, as I walk through the tall doorway into a new world all the sounds of outside disappear like a vacuum sealed door.  I head to Egyptian Art first, it draws me in like a siren. I then make my way to European Sculptures and Decorative Arts where I’m lost in time and space for hours slowly gazing and creating stories in my mind’s eye. I then jump to Modern and Contemporary Art for a change of scenery, eventually making my way through Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. To my surprise by the time I reach Greek and Roman Art, the sun is setting. Although torn over the idea of leaving, I decide it’s time to head home. As I exit those tall glorious doorways I re-enter the streets of New York City. As I stop to look around before descending the steps I notice it is just as I left it, people rushing to get home or to the next spot, horns honking, carts selling food, and endless conversations amongst a vast sea of faces. Yet, I feel different, and that is when it hit me. The MET is not just important for the Art (although magnificent), or events, or even its history. It is important because it has the capacity to change you from the inside out, and that will forever stand the test of time.

We now find ourselves in a time where we are being tested; a test of our patience, of our respect for our fellow man, and where using a face mask everyday is the new normal. But like everything in history, this too will come and go. Our face masks will eventually be put away in the time box and we will be focused on the next event at hand. I am thankful and grateful to all the courageous people helping to keep others healthy and safe. Lauren Ross Design will be donating partial proceeds of face mask sales to The Metropolitan Museum of Art and going forward we will always create a product that can continue to donate partial proceeds to The MET.  #SupportTheArts

Warmest Regards,

Lauren Ross