Midtown Manhattan has crowds, traffic, and art. Visit the gilded 1913 Beaux Arts Grand Central Terminal, even if you are not traveling by train or subway. Under the 120-foot-high ceiling indoor space offers diverse food offerings, newspaper stands, gift shops, and people.
Times Square at Broadway and Seventh Ave. is packed with sky scraping neon advertisements, which decorate theaters, TV studios, museums and stores. Great for people watching, but expect to tip Minny Mouse, Batman, painted nude women (desnudas), and others if they offer to take your photo. Small cafe tables and chairs allow lingering.
For a needed respite, plan stroll through the grounds of Central Park. The 843 acres designed by architects Fredrick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux contains gardens, lakes, and a zoo.
On the East side of Central Park at 5th Avenue and E. 82nd street is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is one of the world’s leading art museums. The Metropolitan’s collection spans world culture from prehistory to the present. The Met continues to increase attendance and this fiscal year reached a record-breaking 6.3 million visitors.
The more than 2 million works of art in the space is overwhelming! Pick a few galleries of your favorite art and a few of the special exhibitions. The popular exhibition “China: Through the Looking Glass” has been extended until Sept. 7th. Displayed are opulent, Chinese inspired gowns created by Western fashion designers, such as Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld and others. The “Sargent: Portraits of Artist & Friends” exhibition can be viewed until Oct. 4, 2015. To relax your eyes escape to the roof garden, this offers art installations and panoramic views of Central Park and the New York skyline.
The Metropolitan Museum (www.metmuseum.org),212-535-7710 is open 7 days a week at 10a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday closes at 9 p.m. There are information desks, parking garage an audio guides. There are three cafes, a bar and a cafeteria.
A smaller museum is the Morgan Museum and Library on Madison Ave. at 36th St. This palazzo-style building of Renaissance architecture was the private library of J. Pierpont Morgan. The 2006 expansion was by architect Renzo Piano, the architect of the new Whitney Museum (see my previous article). Pierpont Morgan’s magnificent office with priceless paintings and his library with rare manuscripts should not be missed. The exhibition “Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland” runs until October 11, 2015 and may disappoint small children; since the exhibit is mainly original drawings, rare editions, and objects which are difficult to view.
On the second floor of the Morgan is an exhibition “Hidden Likeness: Photographer Emmet Gowin”, which run through September 20, 2015. Emmet was born in Danville, Virginia and received a BFA in Graphic Design from RPI (now Virginia Commonwealth University). I especially enjoyed his photographs of his wife and family. However, the addition of pieces of the Morgan’s permanent art next to his work was annoying. Wish instead an exhibition with only his art.
The Morgan Library & Museum (www.themorgan.org) is opened 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Friday and Saturday. There is a small dining room and an airy colorful cafe.
For a change of pace visit one of the small galleries in the area. M. Sutherland Fine Art, Ltd (www.m.sutherland.com) tel.212-249-0428 is located in a lovely quiet neighborhood at 55 East 80th Street. Martha Sutherland collects contemporary Chinese art, which she shows and sells by appointment.
For my previous article on Manhattan click http://atombash.com/article/a-lower-manhattan-visit-the-new-whitney-…