Growing from the seed of Our Nearly Missed Date Night, I am going to explore one of the longest loves that I’ve had in this city: Museums and the Art Scene.
As with most forms of love in life, this one was first introduced with my family. Every summer, my father would take off two weeks every summer, and we would plan out trips to New York City. These trips always included the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History among other, interchangeable educational institutions.
Between the infamous dioramas filled with stuffed animals from all over the world, and the armor created in China centuries ago, history came alive for me as a child, and became something that is a very real part of modern-day New York.
Upon first moving to the city, I wasn’t so interested in the goings on at museums and galleries for no other reason than there were more exciting things to do now that my friends and I all lived here.
Today, I’m glad that I have a partner with whom I can frequent these places of education, again. The Man and I have visited the different museums, acting like children as we pick out our “don’t miss” sections, then plan a route through the museum so that we can see exactly what we want to see. In the American Museum of Natural History, my first favorite museum, he usually picks the North American Mammals, while I opt for the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. The institution was established in 1869 and has mesmerized, educated, and enchanted more than 5 million guests each year. At the Met, established in 1870, and visited by more than 5.24 million guests each year, The Man has to see the musical instruments, and I insist upon seeing the arms and armor.
What I especially love about the scene in New York is that while there are treasures of immeasurable value, there are also installations such as the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Gardens that have huge followings.
Walking through any part of this country and abroad, everyone everywhere has seen the remnants of nature– the fallen leaf, the broken twig, the discarded nut shell. The artists that created the whimsical and imaginative displays of the train show took those individual pieces of nature’s garbage and turned it into architectural features. I can hardly think of something more imaginative– to look at a piece of bark and see what could potentially be a brick on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Then there are institutions that merge two of my favorite aspects of life: world of nature and art, such as Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria. The location was established in 1986 to give artists the opportunity to not only exhibit their work, but also a place to imagine and create in a unique environment on the East River. I’ve done hours of thinking and soul searching on the property of this fantastic venue.
In New York City, a place of plenty, you find people creating the elaborate and simple, purchasing the expensive and thrift, all appreciating the grand and miniature. Art is such a broad term, and there is so much to explore here. Don’t misunderstand, I am not saying that New York City is the absolute pinnacle of art and museums, but it is not a bad adventure-land to have in your backyard.
What are some of your favorite institutions of art and education?