A Walk To The Met
Going to The Met starts our day and is a highlight of any trip for us to NYC. We have been fortunate to visit many great art museums in our travels and New York City could be considered MECCA for art enthusiasts. Public and private opportunities abound throughout the city.
Today, we have decided to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art (otherwise known as The Met Fifth Avenue). From our hotel we decide to take advantage of the beautiful weather and walk ‘down’ 5th Avenue along the east side of Central Park to The Met. Our goal is to see its current exhibit on Dutch art.
Having recently visited Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum the Hermitage Museum we felt attracted to see what new dutch masterworks we could discover. The familiar names were present throughout the exhibit–Frans Hals, Rembrandt, and Vemeer among the most notable.
While there, we also visited the permanent collection of Impressionism which is very high on our list of favorite styles and a large installation on Delacroix which was a new experience for us. The Met is extremely large so focusing on just a few exhibits will take several hours even at a hurried pace. To make the best use of your time, do a little research on what is showing and choose according to your schedule and patience…and leave time to visit the gift shops if you can!
More On The Met
One additional note regarding The Met. There are three separate Met museums and the entrance fee (for out-of-towners) will get you into all three if you REALLY love art.
The Met Breuer is a recent renovation of a building by the modern architect Marcel Breuer. Besides being a prime example of mid century modern architecture, it is home to 20th and 21st century contemporary modern art from around the world. It is located at 75th Street (not Avenue) and Madison Avenue (not Street).
The Met Cloisters should most likely be a separate day trip to really appreciate the collection of medieval art and architecture. Situated on the northern end of Manhattan, it sits on 4 acres surrounded by medieval gardens and great views of the Hudson River valley.
We are saving both of these Met experiences for another time.
Since the entrance pass is good for two days, I would suggest visiting both the The Met 5th Avenue and The Met Breuer on the first day and The Met Cloisters on the second day. Visit this link for more information on all three Met Museums.
Lots of Photos
Below are just a “few” images of The Met Fifth Avenue’s collections of our favorite impressionist painters and Dutch masters. Also, some Delacroix thrown in for flavor.
A Walk Through The Park
The location of The Met Fifth Avenue on the edge of Central Park is perfect if the weather is cooperative as it was for us. Warm sunshine, the trees in full golden color and plenty of people watching to keep us entertained all added up to an enjoyable stroll in one of the greatest parks in the world.
Our walk took us across the park to the western side past Sheep Meadow and Strawberry Fields. Coincidentally, we walked past the starting point of the New York Marathon which was being run on the next day. By then our Fitbits said we were approaching 15K steps but my legs were starting to feel like we had already run the full 26K (kilometers)…or so I can imagine…
Here are some images of our walk through the park.
Central Park Map
Here’s a map of the park showing locations of The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Breuer.
Once again, Open Table comes to the rescue in making it incredibly easy to make a reservation at the last minute. At the suggestion of Stephanie (remember that local thing?) we make an early reservation at a French restaurant that is close to the theater district. It would normally be difficult on a Saturday night to obtain a reservation so we were pretty lucky since we were able to go early. Going early to dinner proved advantageous later when we decided at the last minute to try and get tickets for Stephanie and Jay to see the play…more on that later.
Cafe Un Deux Trois at 123 W. 44th Street, was perfect for our craving for authentic French bistro fare. The service was impeccable and made us feel comfortable and not rushed.
It's Show Time!
Our second day is culminated by attending the Broadway show Hamilton at the Richard Rogers Theater. This would be the second time we’ve seen a show at this theater and it is becoming one of our favorites. It’s not new and shiny but it gives a perspective on early Broadway splendor. Unfortunately for you, the reader, photographs aren’t allowed during the performances so what I can show you are before and after images. You’ll just have to go to see the “during”. It’s phenomenal and well worth the price of admission.
There are several ways to obtain tickets to shows on Broadway. The normal way is to pay the going rate from companies like Ticket Express, Ticketmaster and StubHub. Those are easy and not very messy ways to buy tickets. The second less messy way is to go to a ticket service location (or on-line) operated by TXTS which has late released tickets. (Note: There are numerous other on-line retailers that may or may not be reliable…use with caution.)
A third but somewhat messier process was the option we used to obtain two tickets for our friends, Jay and Stephanie. (Actually, they deserve all the credit since they endured the process while my wife and I used our pre-purchased tickets.
The process involves getting to the theater at least an hour ahead of when the doors open and wait in a line with other hopefuls for the chance to purchase tickets at a reduced cost. That worked for friends, however, there is a risk of no reward for standing in a line for an hour–or longer. In our case, both of our friends were able to purchase tickets and got in to see the show! I won’t go into all of the details but they both were able to see the show and were glad they could in spite of amount of time it took.
Post Show Celebration
After the show, we all went to The View Lounge on the 48th floor of the Marriott Marquis Hotel at 1535 Broadway. The lounge has one unique feature. It rotates over the course of an hour to give you 360 degree views of the city. At night, it is spectacular. We celebrated with a bottle of Piper Heidsieck champagne and compare observations of tonight’s performance. It was a memorable way to finish the night…New York City style!