Posts Tagged 'MoMA'

Where the free things are

is where the people are.
This is especially true in New York.
Evidence: Free Friday Nights at MoMA

A free MoMA ticket may be the most wanted museum pass in the city since the place charges $12/student and $20/adult (yikes!).  Not only do you get to enjoy incredibly vibrant architecture (more on that later) and decent art, you get to use that saved money to dine at The Terrace. $12 will get you three chunks of good cheese, 3 slices of very good bread, and 9 fresh berries at the classy, minimalist looking cafe on the 4th floor of the museum

But before all that, we had to wait in a line that wrapped around three corners of a Manhattan block;  we started somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd corner.

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We waited 25 minutes (not bad) during which the line got even longer and we twice had to ally with the people behind us to defend our spots from line-cutters. Here is a how you defend: you poke them very hard in the arm (which they ignore), then you must glare and rudely say “EXCUSE ME, but the END of the line is over THERE” and point dramatically at the other corner  (at which point the sneaky line cutter will avoid eye contact and pretend to be a confused foreigner).  It also helps to attract of a lot of attention so people nearby are looking suspiciously at them too. Eventually the line cutters slithered away and we got into the museum.

Being inside MoMA on a Friday night during the holiday season is probably like being in an overcroweded Asian city. Or it also looks something like the fish tanks in Chinese grocery stores in New York where all you can see fish and barely any of the water that’s supposedly in tank. Except that the tank is designed by a Yoshio Tanaguchi and it’s exciting getting through the tank and finding your way around people.

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The MoMA building is quite spectacular and actually gets better as you start piling people in. The building capitalizes on the fact that people like being around other people and that a space that feels filled with people feels more vibrant. Also, two reasons why people to New York in the first place.

cimg73101Slight congestion on the escalators.

cimg72941Overlooks galore

The most impressively used space was the central atrium (1st photo) that was exhibiting a video piece being projected on all three 30 ft high walls. In the center, there was a large round couch on a carpet where people were taking off their shoes, laying down, talking, chatting, enjoying. All around the atrium people scattered about sitting against the walls, lying on the ground and even falling asleep. It was a real urban living room.

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As for the actual artwork, I was not as inspired except for one of Van Gogh’s paintings and his pre-painting ink sketches, but maybe this will come later?

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