27 March 1981
By Jennifer DUNNING
NEW YORK is dotted with places to travel in. Take the subway to Lisbon, a bus to Seville. Walk across a street jammed with lurching cabs and nervous pedestrians and tumble into a meditation garden from Japan. The weekend sidewalk traveler can nearly name his oasis and find that country's cultural center, one of many throughout the city that aim to create a sense of place and time through exhibitions or through sheer ambience. The two that perhaps combine both best are the Hispanic Society of America and Japan Society. The Hispanic Society, founded in 1904 by Archer Milton Huntington for the ''advancement of the study of the Spanish and Portuguese language, literature and history and the countries wherein Spanish and Portuguese are or have been spoken languages,'' has been a favorite for several generations of New Yorkers. It's an adventure in itself to cross the huge, airy plaza that opens into the society and other museums and institutions, and stop to gaze at Anna Hyatt Huntington's equestrian statue of El Cid Campeador, flag and hoofs flying and every detail of muscle, mail and silken vein distinct. Inside, the visitor is plunged into a comfortably exotic world from the first step across the tile floor and past the ornately carved 17th-century Mexican cabinet that stands out from the deep red walls.
New York Times • Arts • page 1 • 2,337 words