This weekend, my friends and I woke up at 5:45am and stood in line until 11am to see the Rain Room, a room full of rain. Was it worth it?
Well, it’s complicated.
My immediate reaction is skepticism. We stood in the blistering heat, I ended up with blisters on my feet, and for the last twenty minutes of our wait (which, while blissfully air conditioned, were also the most painful minutes), we watched small children running through the exhibit as if it was a sprinkler at Central Park. As someone behind us said, “if they can bring their kids, I should be able to bring my dog.” The line moved agonizingly slow, as only ten people are allowed in the exhibit at one time. We spent less than twenty minutes in the exhibit itself.
That being said, the Rain Room really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We experienced being in a rain shower, yet not getting rained on. It allowed us to appreciate the serene beauty of rain without the annoyances of muddy puddles and soaked clothes. We also got some awesome silhouette pictures, courtesy of a bright white floodlight, the only source of light in the otherwise black room. (Though we were so busy posing that we only really enjoyed the quietude in the last few minutes.)
To see the Rain Room, you basically have to have a membership, since the museum lets members into line first. I happen to have a membership, but I felt a pang of pity walking past all those tourists who’d come from other states and countries to see the Rain Room, only to be stuck waiting for five hours or more. Nothing is worth standing in line for that long, and definitely not a 10ft by 10ft square of artificial rain.
It’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience, in that I will never do it again. But it was pretty cool to experience it once, and as my friend said, somewhat dubiously, “well, only 200 people get to see it per day.”
P.S. If you want to wait for a reasonable amount of time for something that is, in my opinion, more worth the wait, do try out this tomato sauce recipe. It elevates the pedestrian marinara to never-before-attained gourmet heights; it’s rich and delicious, the perfect way to use up all those cherry tomatoes.