There are so many street festivals on in New York during spring, where entire sections of large avenues are closed to traffic, and street vendors selling food, crafts and souvenirs set up shop. Tuesday evening this week was the annual closing of 5th Avenue so 9 museums could fling their doors open for free. We thought we’d head along to two we hadn’t been to before, the Guggenheim and the Museum of the City of New York.
The line to get into the Guggenheim was incredible, we got there about 10 minutes before the free entry started and the line went from 5th Avenue, all the way down 89th Street to Lexington Avenue and then around the corner and on up Lexington Avenue – we joined it by the time it had almost reached 90th Street and I reckon in snaked around there as well. It was just like those movies you see where people line up around the block, this was literally! However when the doors opened it only took 10 or so minutes for everyone to shuffle in.
The museum is not that large and has an eclectic collection of well placed pieces, some art work hanging traditionally, some art ‘installations’ and a few exhibitions involving film or lights and shadows. The museum itself is pretty incredible inside, a lightly campered continuously declining circular ramp leaving you quite dizzy even after walking slowly from top to bottom!
The Museum of the City of New York was also small and quite interesting – lots of old clippings and pictures from early mayors, transport systems and city newspapers/magazines.
It was really amazing to see hundreds of people who didn’t seem to be the regular museum set lining up to go – a lot of locals and their families, rather than tourists and scream school tours.
It was such a gorgeous spring night that we decided not to fight the crowds at one of the larger museums and instead chose to walk through the entire park (as we’ve done once before) – it wasn’t quite dark and we entered 3/4 of the way up at about 95th Street. Everyone was out running after work and the park was bathed in setting sun – it was really gorgeous, especially the reservoir.
We finished the evening with a late dinner/supper outside at Morrell’s.