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Museums NYC

Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 06:37 PM
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Museums NYC

Hey guys,

Anyone have any suggestions for a must see Museum in NYC? I have heard great things about the Tenement Museum, just wondering if this is the one you all would choose if we only got to visit one.

Jennybg is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 06:51 PM
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The Tenement Museum is more like an historic house tour of a preserved way of life. It's a wonderful concept and very well-executed, but IMHO if you go to just one museum it should be the Met.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 07:10 PM
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1. Metropolitan Museum of Art

2. Museum of Modern Art

3. American Museum of Natural History

4. Guggenheim Museum

5. The Frick Collection
Gekko is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 07:26 PM
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I agree with Gekko.
abram is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2008, 07:31 PM
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Why don't you check out the websites of the museums that Gekko has listed and also that of the Tenement Museum and see what appeals to you most?

Important to remember if you decide to visit one of the first three on Gekko's list is that you can't see everything. Pick a few areas to see and save the rest for another visit.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 03:28 AM
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Which museums you will enjoy most depends very much on your taste.

BUT, while the tenement museum is interesting, it is nowhere near the class of some of the major museums in NYC:

The Met - the greatest cultural institution in the western hemisphere

MoMA - if you like modern art this is a must

Ellis Island Immigration Museum - covers some of the same territory as the tenement museum - but in much greater width and variety

American Museum of Natural History - incredible if this is your area of interest - esp dinosaurs, human evolution and gems/minerals

I also find fascinating:

The Frick
The New York Historial Society
The Museum of the City of New York
Many of the exhibits at the main branch of the NYC Public Library

nytraveler is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2008, 04:47 AM
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Gekko has a good list if your interest is mainly art, but the Guggenheim would never be on my list of even mediocre museums. Go only if the special exhibit really interests you and walk by to see the building (even pop in to look up at the atrium). But a great museum it is not.

For my money, if I wanted to see art and had a limited amount of time, I'd choose the Frick. It has a narrow but exquisite collection ... almost everything a masterpiece, and admission includes the Artphone that explains it all for you. For my money, the best small museum in NYC.

The Tenement Museum is worthwhile if you want to know more about the immigrant experience and don't have time to go to Ellis Island, but I do agree with nytraveler that the Ellis Island Museum (often an afterthought for visitors to the Statue of Liberty), is one of the great museums in the U.S. Skip the statue and go on to spend your maximum time on Ellis Island. That is truly worth a half-day.

Of course, take what I say with a grain of salt. My favorite museum in London is Sir John Soane's House.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2008, 04:50 AM
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If I visited one museum, it would be the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Also, consider The Whitney and The Museum of Natural History.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 04:56 AM
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I'm a big fan of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, but as noted above it is not a classic museum. To me visiting the Tenement Museum is almost as much about getting out of the typical tourist areas of Manhattan as it is about the (very well done) museum itself.

Definitely if I were to visit only one museum it would be the Met. My pattern for taking a newbie to the Met is: turn right and enter into the Egyptian wing, back through the Temple of Dendur into the American Wing (Frank Lloyd Wright, Sargent, Homer, Cassatt, Hassam and Washington Crossing the Delaware) [but note this wing is under renovation, I believe most of the galleries reopen in May, 2009], ending up on the second floor, over to European paintings (Titian, Caravaggio, Raphael, El Greco, Velazquez, Goya, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer), then the 19th Century European painting and sculpture (Degas, Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Gaugin) [these galleries have been modified since our last visit and now include early 20th century works by Picasso, Bonnard, etc.], then over through Modern Art (Picasso, Hopper, de Kooning, Klee, O'Keefe, Pollock). That obviously just skims the surface of the collection, but it's an absolutely amazing ride.

In the warmer months when it is open, before you enter Modern Art take the elevator up to the roof garden for an absolutely spectacular view of the city.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 06:06 AM
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Another strategy for a Met newbie is to visit the web site and choose a couple of galleries to visit in depth. IMHO, the Temple of Dendur is the only absolute must-see. One of our own favorites is the hall of armor, and we have a very limited threshold for paintings and other 2-dimensional stuff due to vision problems.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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Thank you SO MUCH for your time to respond. This helps me tremendously. Doesn't the MET or MoMA have a restaurant that gets good reviews? I was thinking maybe we could do lunch after we tour the museum.
Jennybg is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2008, 08:21 AM
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I found the Tenement Museum fascinating (Ellis Island, too), but agree that it isn't a "museum" in the classic sense. I'd call it a "re-creation" similar to Williamsburg or Jamestown Settlement are recreations of a long-ago time.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 09:37 AM
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It's the restaurant The Modern (at Moma). But it's an expensive lunch (i.e., about $50 per person minimum). If you eat in the bar room, it's a little less. You must make reservations.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 10:18 AM
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Gekko's list in that order.

Pick two major exhibits to see at the Met and then get out. One of the docent's there taught me that trick and he is right.

Anything more and you are on sensory overload and a babbling fool.

If I only had an hour or two then I would pick The Frick.
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Old Dec 4th, 2008, 10:59 AM
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For lunch I'd consider a stroll through the Park to eat on the Upper West Side.
DancingBearMD is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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I HATE the Tenement Museum tours. I think they are boring. I also don't like that the apartments are "retrofitted."

I LOVE the Frick. If you love European painting, you will really appreciate this museum. It is small and manageable.

The Met is a great museum, but like the Louvre, you could spend two weeks inside and not see everything. It can be overwhelming in one large dose.

I agree with Doug, the Guggenheim is only good for temporary exhibits. The permanent collection is not that impressive for a New York Museum.

Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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There is a lovely cafe at the Met. Also another wonderful gallery is Neue Gallerie especially to see Klimt's famous work. The Jewish museum has interesting exhibitions eg Chagall, Sarah Bernhardt. Look at the websites or Ne wYork Times when you are there.Of course it all depends on what you are interested in.
northie is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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Cries, what exactly is your issue with "retrofitting"?
DancingBearMD is offline  
Old Dec 4th, 2008, 04:10 PM
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If only one -the Met. It has a wide range of exhibits.

For me for now it's the Rubin Museum.
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Old Dec 5th, 2008, 08:53 AM
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Picking one museum in NYC is liking asking a Mother to pick one child... If you only can visit one, the Met is THE one. If you want to have a lovely lunch nearby, Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Gallery only a few blocks away is great, but will be very busy on a weekend and I don't think they take reservations.

If you'd rather stay in midtown, MOMA is perfect and the Modern bar or the Modern restaurant, both inside it, are terrific but again, reservations are a must.
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