NYC on a Budget: Friday Evenings at the MOMA
Since I've done away with Monthly Wrap Up posts, in which I featured adventures and eats that I think readers will find interesting, a few new series will take their stead. As a native New Yorker, I am fortunate enough to have relatively easy access to a multitude of restaurants, shows, galleries, and entertainment. With my student status, I try to look for the best deals so that I can experience the city on a budget.
My first time at the Museum of Modern Art, MOMA for short, was about two years ago and I've been wanting to go back since. Back then I had managed to get in gratis with my student pass although I can't quite remember the details. However on the museum's website there doesn't seem to be a student discount at all so perhaps they've changed their pricing. Browsing through the website, I noticed that on Friday evenings from 4 p.m to 8 p.m anyone can enter for free! For four hours you can explore the museum without paying a cent, courtesy of Target. I was elated and hopped on the E train with a few friends for an evening at the MOMA.
Be warned, there is a tremendously long line if you want a free ticket. We got to the museum at around 4:45 and the line was around a block and one and a half avenues long. The wait was around 40 minutes per my rough calculations and it was a bit chilly but if you have some friends to weather the wait, it doesn't feel that long at all.
The exhibits change regularly (check the website for more specific details) and I honestly did not do much research beforehand. As someone who is not trained in art aside from some rudimentary art history 101, I couldn't glean as much information as someone more passionate about modern art.
As a suggestion, reading the various blurbs on the walls about the general exhibits and artists helps a lot with understanding what you are looking at. Have an open mind while walking through the exhibits and you will probably have a more fruitful and pleasant time.
Van Gogh's The Starry Night is a permanent resident of the MOMA which was a surprise to me. Being just a few inches away from the textured surface of thick paint was quite surreal. I was taken aback by how little security there was between the painting and the general public as there was quite a crowd around the piece.
The largest crowd was around Edvard Munch's The Scream which is temporarily located at the MOMA until April 29th. In my honest opinion, aesthetically The Scream doesn't quite appeal to me as the pastel reminds me of third grade crayon doodles. Security was much tighter around this piece as the frame is surrounded by plexiglass and a guard is stationed nearby.
I will leave you with a bit of Monet's Water Lilies which grace one of the adjoining rooms on the fifth floor. Whether you like to muse over a few classic, well known works of art or exhibits of up and coming movements, a visit to the MOMA is well worth the trip. The free Friday evenings offer is just that extra bit of encouragement that you might need to get you going.