Date Night: Exploring Wndr Museum, Dinner at Mad Social

Liz had scheduled a date night for us tonight, and didn’t tell me any details. We’ve been really busy with work and the house for a long while now, and she decided it was high time we spent some time alone… just the two of us.

No work, no house stuff, just us hanging out on a date. And I knew I needed something like this, but until we actually stepped away to do it… I didn’t know just how much I needed this.

We met up after work, and tried to get a Lyft to our destination. I didn’t know where we were headed (beyond an address), and the post-work traffic had us showing up about 20 minutes late. Liz was a little stressed (and so was I), in that we felt like we were going to be super late.

In the car, I realized something: it didn’t matter if we were late, or if something went wrong. I was on a date with my wife, and no matter what happened – it was going to be great. Because I was on a date with my wife.

When I paused and stepped back from things, my stress levels dropped and I tried to be a bit more in the moment, to enjoy what was unfolding before us.

On stepping out of the car at our destination, we arrived at the Wndr Museum.

As I understand it, the museum is a “popup” and has several exhibits based around the main exhibit: an infinity room created by Yayoi Kusama.

On walking in, one of the first things I spotted was a series of televisions all playing Power of 10.

Lots of microscopes.

Exploring some holograms.

There were a few displays like this, prompting people to drop a ping-pong ball to vote for their answer.

Random, cynical aside: on seeing this, my first thought was “Only white people want to travel into the past.”

Out at the bar, no doubt.

One of several installations near the entrance. Lots of candy was (consistently) spilled on the floor here.

Several lamps that visitors could experiment with. If you placed the bulb on top of some color and “squeezed” the light, it would adopt the color.

Infinitely happy.

Liz, with balloons. What can I say, we like balloons.

I wish I would have taken some literature with me, regarding each of the exhibits. The whole musuem was a combination of different installations by different artists. And there was a thematic progression, starting small (with this “neutrino detector” installation) and expanding in size to ultimately arrive at Kusama’s “Infinity Room”.

I like this shot of Liz, as I imagine her on trial in some alien court room in the Star Trek universe.

Playing around in an Ames Room.

I’m a pretty big deal.

I forget what this piece was about, but it was made up of hundreds of plastic straws, connected by a star-like connector.

There were pulsing/changing lights in the background, which made the whole area quite neat to walk through.

Liz, looking up.

This room was quite captivating, as it worked a bit with sound and the notion of “clouds.” The lighting was pretty spectacular.

I struggled a lot, as I was going through the museum. At several stages, the experience felt a little chintzy and forced. The production values were high, the exhibits themselves were quite well done… but it seemed to lack a certain gravitas, and sometimes felt like a slightly better funded children’s museum.

There were a lot of inspirational quotes scattered about, focusing on science and wonder. And they were good quotations, don’t get me wrong. But there was this sense of “look how amazing the universe is” shotgunned across the walls.

That said, I did try to read most of them. And when I came across this passage by Erik Pevernagie, I really dug it – and this really spoke to me.

When we are fairly observant and overly patient, a vibration of happiness might crop up unwittingly as we capture the timelessness of a lucky moment and a sparkle of a stray instant, unexpectedly, enraptures our life in a blaze of color and splendor.

I really like these lines, and there are a handful of specific moments I thought about, from the blog. And these lines made me think about what I like most about the blog – sure it’s great for documentation and doubling as a photo album, but it’s these random, chance moments that really make keeping this thing worthwhile.

Again, the colors in this room were amazing.

Liz, showing once and for all that she isn’t a muggle after all.

Inside the infinity room. Interesting note: we had to put on plastic “booties” over our shoes, and we had only 1 minute to linger inside the room.

The artist’s original instructions limited visitors to only 30 seconds, but this piece was actually purchased by a private collector (who then built the museum around the piece). And they set the rules to limit visitors to 60 seconds.

Really wish I could have spent more time inside.

On our way out, we got to play a bit with an interactive wall.

It reminded me a lot of Ego Media’s website (circa 2000, when people were converting short video snippets into vector animations). Still looks neat, after all this time.

For dinner, we walked over to Mad Social for a very indulgent meal. We got to unwind over drinks and truffle fries, and closed out a very fun date night that was long, long overdue.

Kusama: Princess of Polka Dots
The Obliteration Room: Thousands of Children With Thousands of Stickers

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