The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center may be the most popular conifer in New York City, with 125 million people visiting the tree each year, but it certainly is not the only one. Every holiday season, spruces adorned with colorful lights and ornaments pop up across the five boroughs. The city’s many holiday trees each offer a unique take on the tradition, which began in NYC in 1912 when the first public Christmas tree was erected in Madison Square Park. For those looking to skip the Midtown crowds this year, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best holiday trees, from the origami tree at the American Museum of Natural History to the flotilla of trees in Central Park’s Harlem Meer.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Installation view, The Roof Garden Commission, Alex Da Corte “As Long as the Sun Lasts,” 2021. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo by Anna Marie Kellen
A 26-foot-tall moving sculpture featuring the Sesame Street character Big Bird has been installed atop the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the museum’s annual Roof Garden Commission series. Created by Philadelphia-based artist Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts exhibition includes a blue-feathered Big Bird sitting on a floating crescent moon and holding a ladder, gazing out at Central Park and the massive towers that dot the skyline. The exhibition will open at the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden on April 16 and be on view through October 31.
In early February, the Metropolitan Museum of Art began talks about selling some of its artworks in the face of a $150 million deficit. As the New York Times explained, the Association of Art Museum Directors created a two-year window during which its members could use the proceeds from sales of works in a collection to pay for its own expenses as opposed to just for future art purchases, as was the rule in the past. But a new Change.org petition is calling for the Met’s board members, many of whom are billionaires, to foot the bill instead of selling off its art.
A little over two years ago, the Frick Collection announced it would take over Madison Avenue’s famous Breuer building from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Up until 2016, the brutalist landmark was home to the Whitney Museum of American Art, but when the Whitney moved to its new High Line building, the Met took it over as a contemporary wing. The new move allows the Met to ease the burden of some of its debt while providing a temporary home for the Frick while its permanent home–a Gilded Age mansion on Fifth Avenue-undergoes a renovation. The Frick Madison will open at 25-percent capacity on March 18.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will reopen to the public on August 29, as part of the city’s phase four of reopening. The museum closed all three of its locations in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Met’s Fifth Avenue building will open its doors five days a week, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. While The Cloisters is expected to open in September, museum officials last month announced that the Met Breuer will not reopen at all, with the building instead serving as the temporary home of the Frick Collection.
Anna Netrebko in the title role of Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.” Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
Although the coronavirus has shuttered most of the city, many museums, performance venues, theaters, and famous New Yorkers are offering free (or low-cost) online resources to entertain New Yorkers throughout this difficult period. From virtual storytime with Brooklyn Public Library librarians to live-streamed performances by the Metropolitan Opera to baking classes with Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi to dance lessons from the Radio City Rockettes, support local organizations safely from your home. This list was lasted updated at 10:00 a.m. on April 3, 2020.
February marks Black History Month, a nationwide celebration of African American culture and history. New Yorkers will have plenty of opportunities to honor the contributions made by the black community, with live performances, guided tours, comedy shows, art installations, and more events happening across the city. From the Apollo Theater’s open house celebration to spoken word performances at Brooklyn barbershops, pay tribute to the achievements of black Americans this February, as well as all year round.
Image: City Foodsters via Flickr.
Starting August 2, visitors at Manhattan’s venerable Metropolitan Museum of Art will be able to indulge in a taste of the iconic Lower East Side deli in a pop-up within the museum’s cafeteria, Food & Wine reports. Through the end of summer, hungry culture vultures can choose from turkey or pastrami sandwiches, potato salad, pickles and a selection of Dr. Brown’s soda. “Expert cutters” will even be on-site to serve up the hand-carved platters. The pop-up will occupy a temporary version of the downtown delicatessen, complete with a mini Katz’s lightbox on display. The pop-up will be open Thursday through Monday starting at 11:30 A.M.
When living in one of the most expensive cities in the country, it’s helpful to know the places in New York City that offer discounts and freebies. Thankfully, many of the Big Apple’s world-class museums and galleries offer free admission on some days, from the one-bedroom-sized Mmuseumm in Chinatown to architectural-icon the Guggenheim Museum. Ahead, we’ve rounded up all of the free museum days in NYC to let you pinch pennies and get your culture fix at the same time.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art and 12 other New York City institutions should be free of charge for New York residents, claims one local resident. New Yorker Pat Nicholson this week launched a website aimed at educating the city about the “right” to free admission to museums like the Met and others, as Metro reported. According to Nicholson, a 19th-century law states the Met should offer free admission five days a week in exchange for a rent-free lease on city property.