Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Explore New York : Central Park & the Guggenheim

Today I bring you another installment of Explore New York! If you missed the previous posts, be sure to catch up on my excursion to Times Square (complete with a fancy dinner at Marseille), my trip to the MoMA, and my SoHo brunch at The Dutch. Let's go exploring!


It was a gorgeous July day when my friend Sascha and I decided to make our way into the city for a visit to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Since the incredible Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildingthe shape of which is called an inverted ziggurat, as it turns outsits just outside the eastern edge of Central Park, it only made sense to take a scenic detour on the way there. Why stay in the stuffy subway when you could walk in the summer sunshine, right?

After a quick subway ride from Port Authority to 86th Street, we were above ground—and right across the street from Central Park. As with everything I experience for the first time in New York, I was filled with excitement to stroll through the grand green space I've seen so many times on TV and in film. Sascha and I took a path that basically made a beeline from one side to the other, so of course there is so much more to see, but it was quite a lovely walk along the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Blue skies with puffy white clouds, a shimmering lake filled with ducklings, and stunning city architecture framed the whole scene. It was picture-perfect.

A leisurely 20 minutes later, we had made it to the Guggenheim. That Frank, man. He was one cool dude. As is often the case, one of my favorite things about the museum is the architecture, inside and out. I'd love to come back and see the spiraling dome tower inverted ziggurat whatchamacallit all lit up at night.

When we visited, the primary exhibition on display, winding its way up the museum ramps, was Storylines, which ended its run earlier this month. As its name suggests, the show brought together more than 100 works from the Guggenheim's contemporary collection to examine the diverse ways in which today's artists engage narrative through installation, painting, photography, sculpture, video and performance. Each piece was imbued with meaning—sometimes overt, sometimes more layered and complex. Also featured at the museum, and still on display through Oct. 12, is the poignant and even haunting work of Colombian artist Doris Salcedo. The exhibition occupies the four levels of the Guggenheim's Tower galleries and addresses the traumatic history of modern-day Colombia, as well as the wider legacies of suffering inflicted by colonialism, racism and other forms of social injustice.

So, what's my take on the Guggenheim? It was interesting, to say the least. Some of the art I loved, some I liked, some I hated but understood and some made me scratch my head in dismay. But that's all part of the museum experience! A good exhibition isn't always a pretty one. Worthwhile art isn't always easy on the senses; sometimes it challenges you, makes you uncomfortable and makes you think. Many of the pieces on display at Guggenheim do just that.

My museum buddy only took a quick pass through the Kandinsky Gallery, so I'd also love to return to take a longer look at the abstract artist's colorful and energetic work. Fortunately for me, that exhibit is open through Spring 2016.

Following our spin around the Guggenheim, we enjoyed a casual late lunch at Sergimmo Salumeria, an unassuming but undeniably charming deli in Hell's Kitchen. My panini was delicious and the guy behind the counter didn't even give me a hard time when I asked to hold the cheese (ha!). It's New York; he said people have asked for weirder things. I have no doubts.

All in all, a terrific day filled with nature, art and good eats. What more could a girl ask for?

No Comments Yet, Leave Yours!

Blogging tips