Fall is the season for beautifully burnt colors, the first chill of the season, football, tailgates, pumpkin spice added to all of our favorite beverages and giant piles of leave that are always more fun to demolish in theory than in practice. In NYC,, the autumn season is really about so much more than that. It’s about festivals of food and film and music and wine. It’s about brand new exhibitions flooding our museums- the greatest in the world. It’s about Broadway shows – 8 of them – opening the curtains for the first time. It’s about the beginning of the holiday season with Christmas Trees and giant turkeys and Rockettes and Nutcrackers. Here are 44 reasons to be excited about Fall 2014 in NYC:
- New York Film Festival is back in town (September 26-October 12)
- So is the NYC Independent Film Festival (October 15-19)
- And don’t forget the Big Apple Film Festival (November 5-9)
- There’s even a Horror Film Festival in NYC this Fall (November 13-16)
- But it’s not just about movies… The New York Wine and Food Festival comes this Fall (October 16-19)
- The Prospect Park Food Truck Rally is live on every first and third Sundays of the month (until October 19)
- New York Comic Con hits the Javits Center (October 9-12)
- The Global Citizen Festival is a free* concert with Jay Z and Carrie Underwood and more awesome people (September 27)
- And the CBGB Festival highlights younger bands with lots of free and cheap shows (October 8-12)
- The Village Halloween Parade is one of NYC most extravagant annual events (October 31)
There are 6 new exhibitions at MoMa
- Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor (October 4)
- Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs (October 12)
- Sturtevant: Double Trouble (November 9)
- Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities (November 22)
- Modern Photographs from the Thomas Walther Collection, 1909-1949 (December 13)
- The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World (December 14)
And 3 new exhibitions at the Guggenheim
- Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s (October 10)
- V. Gaitonde: Painting as Progress, Painting as Life (October 24)
- Wang Jianwei: Time Temple (October 31)
And 2 new exhibitions at Brooklyn Museum
- Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond (October 3)
- Judith Scott—Bound and Unbound (October 24)
And 7 new exhibitions at The Met
- Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age (September 22)
- Thomas Hart Benton’s America Today Mural Rediscovered (September 30)
- Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry (October 8)
- Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire (October 21)
- Bartholomeus Spranger: Splendor and Eroticism in Imperial Prague (November 4)
- El Greco in New York (November 4)
- The Art of Collecting Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions, 2003-2014 (November 11)
And 8 Broadway Premieres
- On The Town (October 16)
- Disgraced (October 23)
- The Last Ship (October 26)
- The Real Thing (October 30)
- The River (November 16)
- Side Show (November 17)
- A Delicate Balance (November 20)
- The Elephant Man (December 7)
Plus, it’s the start of the Holiday Season!
- Thanksgiving means the Macy’s Day Parade (November 27)
- And what comes the first Wednesday after the fourth Thursday of November? The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting (December 3)
- Our annual Holiday Lights Double Decker Bus Tour begins (December 4)
- Bryant Park Holiday Shops will be open once again (November)
- As will the Central Park Ice Rink, which is just beautiful with the burnt orange of the trees (November)
- The Salvation Army posts up all across the city with dances and songs (December)
- And the Radio City Christmas Spectacular is back for another year (November 7-December 31)
- Last but not least, The Nutcracker takes Lincoln Center by storm (November 28-January 3)
Fall in NYC has so much to offer! What are you most excited for this coming season? Tell us on twitter at @GrayLineNewYork
Free concerts, free shows, and free water highlight this week in NYC:
New York Philharmonic will perform free concerts in the parks Wednesday, July 9-15
Broadway comes back to Bryant Park for free lunchtime shows Thursday, July 10
City of Water Day returns Saturday, July 12
Celebrate Bastille Day in NYC Sunday, July 13
MoMA’s Summergarden is back with the Jonathan Ragonese Ensemble Sunday, July 13
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.
“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.
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.
On 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.
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 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.
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
Last year our community manager, Shannon, offered up her 10 New Year’s resolutions in New York City. As a native of Florida, there was so much in NYC that she still hadn’t explored and needed to experience. This year, we are going to help you keep your resolutions when you come and visit the city that never sleeps.
So you’ve gone to the gym for an entire week but on January 8th you are taking your family on a New York City vacation. Don’t worry, there’s a simple solution: The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.
As someone who has lived in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, I have not found a better place to run than the beautiful reservoir in Central Park. Surrounding the reservoir is an all-dirt track 1.58 miles in length, which is perfect for walking or running at any pace. The crowds never seem to get overwhelming and the track is wide enough that you never need to break stride to pass a group moving slower than you. Plus, the scenery and surrounding Manhattan skyline is so beautiful that once you finish your workout, you’ll end up doing just one more lap because you won’t want to leave.
Spend More Time with the Family
You have a job that keeps you in the office all night and traveling during the weekends? If you want to spend more time with your family, New York is the place to do it. There are just about a billion restaurants in New York City that are perfect for the whole family and probably even more shows. Go for a night on the town with dinner and a show. Take a double-decker bus tour and see all of the sights together. Take a stroll through the Museum of Natural History where anyone from 8-80 year old will find something they love. There are so many things to do in New York with the family that you won’t be disappointed.
This is a popular resolution, and really, you should come to NYC just kick this one off because you pretty much can’t smoke here. There is no smoking in any restaurants or bars in New York. There is no smoking at sporting stadiums, beaches, boardwalks, golf courses, playgrounds, or pedestrian plazas like Times Square and Herald Square. All New York City Parks are almost entirely smoke free. If you are a law-abiding citizen trying to quit smoking, a trip to New York City isn’t a bad idea.
Learn Something New
No one wants to go another year with the same, useless knowledge dwindling around in their heads. It’s time to re-educate ourselves. And where is the perfect place to learn some new things, you ask? (Hint: there’s a theme here)
In New York City! Stop in one of the world’s most incredible libraries, the New York Public Library on 5th and 40th. Go to one of NYC’s famous museums like the Guggenheim or the MoMA, or maybe go to a less famous museum like the National Museum of the American Indian near Battery Park. You won’t regret it.
Photo Credit 1: Flickr / Ana Paula Hirama
Photo Credit 2: ShutterStock
*There are not actually a billion restaurants in NYC, but there sure are a lot.
With Cinco de Mayo on the horizon, this is setting up to be a weekend you’ll never forget (or remember, depending on your plans).
Cinco de Mayo
Before I toss out some ideas for Cinco de Mayo, can we take a look at the way this calendar year has fallen?
- New Year’s Eve = a Saturday
- St. Patrick’s Day = a Saturday
- Cinco de Mayo = a Saturday
As I’ve mentioned before, Cinco de Mayo is Time Magazine’s 4th “drunkest holiday.” Well New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day are two of the three that are “drunker,” and they have all fallen on Saturday’s this year (thanks, in part, to the leap year). Beer and liquor companies must be ecstatic about this.
Now, back to the point. In NYC, there are plenty of things to do to celebrate, but I’m just going to make one recommendation: dinner. Cinco de Mayo has become so commercialized by alcohol companies over the years that too many people think of it as an excuse to get recklessly drunk. What’s the fun in that? I say, head out to a nice Mexican restaurant, have a margarita and enjoy the night. Here are a few that are worth checking out, courtesy of Village Voice.
MoMa Focus Features: 10th Anniversary Salute
Starting today at 4, and continuing into next week, MoMa will be featuring a film from the film companies first decade. Films include Brokeback Mountain, The Pianist and The Constant Gardner. This is a great way for the Museum of Modern Art to celebrate Focus Feature’s first decade, and should be a lot of fun to attend.
Frieze Art Fair
The Frieze Art Fair, which is normally held in London’s beautiful Regent’s Park (best park in London for my money, but what do I know, NYC’s my town) is coming to New York. Opening Friday, the fair will be held under a tent on Randalls Island and feature “180 of the world’s leading contemporary galleries.” If you’re in town this weekend, you should definitely drop in. NYC has some incredible museums that stick around for longer than four days, but I think the Freize Art Fair is going to be something special this year.
And there you have it, three fun ideas for this weekend. As always, if you have any questions or thoughts about activities in NYC, give us a tweet. We will get back to you quickly with some more suggestions and advice.
Also, with the weather being beautiful this weekend, I think an open-top double-decker bus tour may be in order, no? Yeah.
New tours from Gray Line New York! The FreeStyle New York tour offers 48 hours of hop-on hop-off double decker fun that includes the Downtown Loop, Uptown Loop, Brooklyn tours and a Night Tour. PLUS, admission to any THREE of the listed NYC attraction below:
- Ferry to the Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
- Empire State Building Observatory
- Top of The Rock Observation Desk
- The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
- The American Museum of Natural History
- Interpid Sea, Air & Space Museum
- South Street Seaport Museum
- The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York Tour
- The Tribute WTC Visitor Center
- New York Skyride
Great sightseeing and tours at a Great Price! For more info, click FREESTYLE NEW YORK TOUR.