As you might know, I’m pretty much addicted to museums, and so after moving back to New York, I was especially excited to revisit some of my old haunts.
An old favorite, I love the Frick because it’s small and easy to handle. Comparable to Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris, in my opinion.
The former residence of rich guy and union-buster Henry Clay Frick, the building houses Frick’s extensive collection of European paintings and sculptures, 18th-century French porcelain and furniture, and much more.
Plus who doesn’t love an indoor garden court?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is practically in my backyard, and because of that and its enormity, it seemed like the right museum to join.
In recent years, the Met’s most popular draw has been its costume exhibits. Last year I saw Death Becomes Her, and in September, China Through the Looking Glass.
I loved both although both times were complete madhouses, especially the latter since my friend and I saw it on the last weekend, which happened to be the Friday night of Labor Day weekend.
But membership has its benefits. In the future, I’ll be able to see all special exhibits during off hours, ie, without the hoi polloi. One I’m really looking forward to is the opening of The Met Breuer, which will house modern and contemporary art, and is located in the Whitney’s old space.
But the permanent exhibits are nothing to sneeze at. Although I’ve been visiting the Met for years, recently I saw two exhibits that I’ve never seen before, one on late Baroque interior design and one on medieval Spanish art. I also revisited Arms and Armor while listening to the (free) audio guide app.
I feel like the Met is a place you can visit a million times and see something new every time.
While I’ve lived in close proximity to New York for most of my life, I somehow never visited the Cloisters until late last year.
Whenever I think of the medieval art museum, I think of my brother’s school trip there when he was a kid and his coming home with a print of its arguably most famous work, The Unicorn in Captivity, which hung on his bedroom wall for years. Seeing the tapestry in person was a little like seeing a celebrity.
The surrounding area, Fort Tyron Park, is also lovely.
Getting out there is a bit of a schlep. At first my friend and I balked at paying $6 for the bus ride, but it turned out to be worth it. The seats were super-comfy and the ride was pretty quick at less than 20 minutes. If we had taken a regular local bus, it would have taken more than an hour.
When I was living on the Upper East Side before I moved to San Francisco (otherwise known as “New York, Take 1”), the Whitney was my favorite museum. It was very close to my apartment, and my work ID at the time got me in for free. On hot summer days, I’d just go there and hang out.
Now the Whitney is in the Meatpacking District right near the High Line. It’s a beautiful space with an amazing view:
I thought it was going to be insane with people when I visited over Thanksgiving week, but it actually wasn’t too bad.
While I still love the Whitney, because of its new location I unfortunately probably won’t be visiting it very much.
Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum
Another museum that’s close to where I live. I always enjoy it although I found the recent Pixar exhibit somewhat disappointing. I liked the How Posters Work exhibit better.
And the rest…
Since moving back, I’ve also had the chance to visit the Museum of Arts and Design (love the jewelry); the Museum of Morbid Anatomy in Brooklyn (at least the store and a weird movie about old health films); the Morgan Library (specifically, Alice: 150 years of Wonderland); and the Princeton University Art Museum, which by the way is always free.
But the NYC adventures don’t end here. Next up, food glorious food.