The Museum Mile Festival Returns June 10

museum mile


NYC, home to the world’s greatest collection of art collections, is once again opening its doors for the Museum Mile Festival on Tuesday, June 10. Museums up and down the 5th Avenue stretch lovingly referred to as ‘Museum Mile’ will be open to all visitors for free beginning at 6 p.m. that night.

This year’s participating museums include some of the best like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York, El Museo del Bario, the Guggenheim and more! Head out to Museum Mile on 5th Ave between 80th and 105th to take part in this year’s festival!

5 Can’t Miss Events This Week In NYC

This week in NYC, the NFL Draft, Contemporary Art, and Jazz in Harlem highlight our activities list!

The Harlem Jazz Shrines Festival at the Apollo Theater, Sunday May 4-10

Harlem Jazz

photo via Shahar Azran

The 21st New York African Film Festival begins, Wednesday, May 7-26

New York African Film

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The NFL Draft comes back to Radio City Music Hall, Thursday, May 8-10

NFL Draft

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Bronx Week kicks off, Thursday, May 8-18


Photo via Bronx Tourism Council


The Frieze Contemporary Art Fair take over Randall’s Island, Friday, May 9-12

Frieze Art

Photo via Facebook / Frieze New York


Major superstarstars are coming to town, the Scottish celebrate their heritage and affordable art is to be bought this week in NYC

One of the biggest stars in the industry, Lady Gaga, is performing in the Roseland Ballroom – Wednesday, April 2

lady gaga

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Affordable Art Fair Exposed will take place in  New York City this week at The Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea – Wednesday, April 2-6


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Globe superstar Miley Cyrus is bring her Bangerz tour to the Barclays Center – Saturday April 5


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This week New York will be colored with Tartan and deafen with bags pipes as the Scottish celebrate their 16th annual Tartan Day Parade – Saturday, April 5


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Juan Gabrielone, one of the best-selling Latin recording artists of all-time, will perform at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden – Sunday, April 6


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5 Can’t Miss Events This Week in NYC

This week features a few events in Brooklyn that you need to go to. Here are the 5 events to keep an eye on in NYC:

Jay Z is back in his home for another night on the Magna Carter World Tour at Barclays Center Monday, January 13

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Early American Guitars: The Instruments of C. F. Martin opens at The Met Tuesday, January 14

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Stop by The Word in Brooklyn for a special Comic Book Night Panel with Sean Howe and Tim Leong Wednesday, January 15

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The Under The Radar Festival continues through this Saturday at The Public Theater Through Saturday, January 19

image via undertheradar

Join Fran Lebowitz and Martin Scorsase in conversation at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Sunday, January 20

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Review: MoMA in Two Hours

Every Monday, Gray Line New York will be highlighting a “Partner of the Week” on our blog. We are going to provide a review for a new partner’s product and share our own insights and experiences. This week, our Partner of the Week is The Museum of Modern Art.

MoMA, NYC, Museum of modern art

Museum of Modern Art

“Modern art is just like normal art, but with a modern twist.”

Way back during my freshman year of college, that is how my architecture professor summed up the idea of modern art. I don’t think I knew what he was talking about at the time, but looking back, I think that may have been the point. While that may seem like a pretty obvious description of modern art, it has always stuck with me and I never really knew why.

Last week I made the trek up to 55th street to visit The Museum of Modern Art. Since my days as a freshman architecture student, I have become quite the modern art fan. I don’t know much about artists or movements or art in general, but I love going to museums. The summer that I spent in London involved numerous trips to Tate Modern. Whenever I’ve gone to the Louvre or the Met or the V&A, I always find myself spending the majority of my time in the modern art section. Despite all of this, I somehow have never made it to the MoMA, arguably the world’s greatest modern art museum, which happens to be located right in the heart of my city. Needless to say, I was very excited for this trip.

One of my favorites, by Wassily Kandinsky

One of my favorites, by Wassily Kandinsky

When I arrived at the Museum of Modern Art, I wasn’t quite sure that I had gone to the right place. When I think about museums, I imagine standalone buildings with a massive presence like the American Museum of Natural History or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but this isn’t the case for the MoMA. Instead, it looks just like any other building that you might pass by in Midtown Manhattan. There was nothing special about the exterior- nothing that screamed, “Look at me, I’m a museum!”

When I entered the building, shortly after the museum had opened at 10:30 a.m., I felt like I had just gone into a crowded office building. There were a couple of main desks off to the sides, but mostly just an open area of space that serves as the lobby. Again, this was beginning unlike any trip to a museum I had ever experienced. It was ordinary. After a brief exchange at the information desk, I received my ticket and entered the museum side of the lobby. I was immediately overcome by the extremely open architectural design of the building and realized that this isn’t just like any old office building.

color quoteOn the day that I went to the MoMA, I was really stretched for time, as most tourists are when they visit New York City. I decided that it would be best to spend no more than two hours at the museum, so this review will reflect that. This is the story of how you can take on MoMA in less than two hours.

I started by taking the escalator straight to the top of the building. Floors four and five are for painting and sculpture, which is where most of the popular works are located. Once I was on the fifth floor, I began wandering from room to room, taking in all of the different pieces of art. Some paintings I recognized, some artists I had heard of, others I wasn’t familiar with. As it goes for most museums, I didn’t spend an equal amount of time admiring each piece of art that I saw. Some pieces caught my attention more than others, so those were the ones I dedicated my time to. After all, I only have two hours, so I need to use this time wisely.

moma, nyc, art

I have a similar piece in my home, but it’s value is diminished since I walk all over it every day.

The thing about the MoMA as opposed to other museums in NYC is that you need to go into it with an open mind. There were dozens of pieces of art that I looked at and thought to myself, “I could absolutely have made this- how is it hanging in a museum?” If you let that feeling get to you, you won’t enjoy your visit. Instead, just look at the art and say, “Damn, Barnett Newman is lucky that he decided to paint an entire canvas red before I did.”

While there are some pieces that will make you question what art really is, so many others will leave you staring at the wall, transfixed by a paintings beauty. “Color is a means of exerting direct influence upon the soul,” read the info card next to one painting. “Art is a creation for the eye and can only be hinted at with words,” read an actual canvas hanging on the wall.

the scream, moma, nyc

Crowds were small, but consistent around The Scream

The two big draws were not surprising in the least, given that they are probably the two most popular paintings in the museum. The first was The Scream by Edvard Munch, currently on loan to the MoMA by financier Leon Black, who purchased the painting at auction in 2012 for over $119 million, making it the most expensive painting ever sold. It has also been the target of multiple thefts, and versions of it have gone missing for up to two years giving it even more popularity. The painting was also the inspiration for the “ghostface” mask worn by the killer in the popular movie, Scream. For these reasons and many more, there was a crowd gathered by the painting at all times.

The second painting is Vincent Van Gogh’s, The Starry Night. Again, this painting had half a dozen people surrounding it at all times because of its popularity. What’s really cool about The Starry Night is the texture of the paint. I’ve seen pictures in art history books and online hundreds of times before, but seeing the actual painting hanging on the wall was a real treat. The brush strokes are so much more defined in real life than in photography, giving me the feeling that it really was the first time that I was laying my eyes upon Van Gogh’s masterpiece.

My personal favorite was a series of three painting by Umberto Boccioni entitled States of Mind. The series is really a story that has emotion and depth and really makes you feel feelings. I could have spent an hour just staring at these paintings, striking up conversation about them with other guests who took a liking, but since I only had a limited amount of time, I had to move on. When you stop by the MoMA, you should check them out. They’re awesome.

As I began describing earlier, the building that houses the Museum of Modern Art is modern art in and of itself. The spacing and balconies make it so that even when it is crowded, it doesn’t feel crowded. The selection and placement of the art is strategically done as to further provide that open feel. One large room left all of the walls empty just to hang a single piece from the ceiling. The building itself isn’t nearly as big as The Met, but it certainly feels that way.

umberto boccioni, moma, states of mind

Boccioni’s States of Mind I: The Farewells

By the time I made my way through the fourth and fifth floors, my two hours were nearly up. I never made it to floor three, which features Architecture and Design, Photography and Drawings, or floor two which houses Contemporary Galleries, Prints, and Media, but that’s fine. By not rushing my way through the museum to make sure that I saw all of it, I got to enjoy to parts that I did get to. If you’re going to the MoMA and are on a time limit, take a look at the map beforehand and decide what it is that you really want to see. Set your priorities and if you don’t make it to the bottom of your list, there’s always next time.

I made my way back to the street and down into the subway with a craving for more. As I rode the M train back to my office, I couldn’t help but think about my former professor’s quote. Everything about the MoMA was like other museums, but with a modern twist. From the entrance way to the escalators, the Museum of Modern Art truly is a modern experience. As obvious as that may sound, it still caught me off guard.

I cannot wait to get back to the museum. Surly I will be back soon, hopefully when I have a little more time to spare.

To pre-purchase tickets for the Museum of Modern Art and skip the line in the beginning, visit our website now: MoMA Tickets

Spring is in the Air This Weekend

A Beautiful Weekend is on the Way!

This winter has not been what New Yorkers have come to expect from recent years.  The temperatures have gotten chilly, but never truly cold and we barely saw any snow flurries, let alone a blizzard.  After last years ‘Snowpocalypse,’ this season has been weak, to say the least.  And if you are hoping that it will turn around and NYC will become a winter wonderland yet again, don’t get too excited.  With forecasts for this weekend calling for sunny skies and temperatures reaching up to 60 degrees on Sunday, I’m willing to admit that spring has come.  And boy, am I thrilled.

It’s not that I have anything against winter in New York.  I mean, you have the lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree, and a snowy Central Park is one of the most picturesque scenes that The Big Apple has to offer, but it’s cold.  Often, too cold.  But now that the weather is warming, there is no more bundling up just to go down the block or avoiding long walks to keep out of the cold.  Now, we can take off our hats and gloves and leave our big coats behind; spring is here!

If you’re lucky enough to be spending time in Manhattan for this beautiful weekend, then get ready for some fantastic activities.  There are always a ton of things to do in New York, but this weekend seems to have an extra boost to it with the way that the weather is shaping up.  So, without further ado, here are a few of the best ideas for your weekend schedule:

Armory Arts Week:

The Armory Show in New York has a fantastic display of contemporary and modern art exhibits. Whether you are an art enthusiast or a first timer, this show has something for you.  If you hop off our Uptown Loop at Columbus Circle and walk west to the piers, you’ll have no problem finding this fantastic event.  The show begins today, Thursday March 8th, and continues through Sunday the 11th.

Chinatown Restaurant Week

17 restaurants are participating in this year’s Chinatown Restaurant Week, which is set to kick off on Friday, March 9th.  This nine day event will help celebrate the Chinese culture and present nice discounts for traditional Chinese cuisine.  If you’re hungry this weekend, hop off of our Downtown Loop at the Chinatown stop and eat up!

Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament

Are you a sports fan? Well the Big East Tournament, college basketball’s premiere conference championship, is a must see.  Thursday all day, as well as Friday and Saturday night, The World Most Famous Arena will host some of the most exciting athletes in the nation as they all vie for the crown.  Just hop off our Downtown Loop at the Macy’s/Madison Square Garden stop, and don’t forget your tickets!

Gray Line New York All Loops Tour

With the weather warm and the sun shining bright, this weekend will be a fantastic time to grab your family and friends to sit atop our world famous double-decker buses.  The All Loops Tour includes our Uptown Loop, Downtown Loop, Brooklyn and Night tours, and your tickets will be valid for the whole weekend! (Tickets valid for 48 hours) Do you want to know the best part about hoping on and hoping off of our bus tours this weekend?  You can hop right off of our bus and be within walking distance of all of the above suggestions!

Don’t miss out on a wonderful opportunity to see all of the sights and experience a wonderful weekend in New York City.

Visit Museum Mile in NYC

New York City is home to some of the most amazing and well-known art collections in the world. For an out-of-towner, these museums can be a little bit  intimidating. But have no fear, friends! The Gray Line New York Uptown Loop Tour drives right past Museum Mile in the classy Upper East Side.

If you’re feeling adventurous, hop-off at Stop #33 on the Uptown Loop Tour and walk South to Stop #36.

Along the way you’ll see:

  • Smithsonian National Museum of Design/ Jewish Museum
  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Frick Collection/ Whitney Museum
  • Central Park and Fifth Avenue
  • And more!

Click here to learn about The Museum Mile Festival on June 14, 2011.

What’s your favorite NYC museum?