Archive for the 'New York' Category

New York City – Children’s Adventures: 2

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Great cities reflect great human talent in the realms of vision, conceptualization and ability to create in the real world. All of these can be natural gifts, but we can also foster them in our children. We do this by sharing with them the wealth of opportunity for self-expression and multi-cultural knowledge embodied in the Arts.

New York City is alive with artistic expression and your children can be given a great gift if you share many different art forms with them on your New York visit, whether it’s just for a few hours or for longer workshops.

Children’s Museum of the Arts was founded in SoHo, October 1988, by Kathleen Schneider. SoHo has always been famous as an artsy area of NYC, as has Greenwich Village. It’s one of the oldest children’s art museums in the world. The Museum has an artist-in-residence format wherein teaching artists work directly with children and their families.

At CMA, children and families have access to the creative tools to promote self-expression and self-esteem through the visual and performing arts. It is important to be in an environment which honors the artist in every child. This museum is dedicated to that principle by hands-on art programs taught by trained, working artists and through their on-going collection and exhibition of children’s art.

For young children: Wee-Arts Early Childhood Drop-In Class:
any Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday 10:45am -12pm.
No reservation required! Admission: $22 / family.

For Older kids, in summer only:
These are week-long art colonies, running from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Then, children ages 6 to 12 can explore a broad range of visual, performing and media arts. These classes offer great opportunities for both the budding and more advanced artist, and every class is staffed with at least 3 experienced teachers.

A Senior Programs Manager will be on-site at all times. Maximum size is 16 children per class, and these classes use the city — taking a field trips to a museum or gallery relevant to the class’ topic. Classes will also have guest visits from local artists to inform and inspire. The whole summer of art making culminates in an exhibition of selections from the children’s work at CMA.  CMA Summer Art Colony: One-week Classes: $595

The hands-on Children’s Museum of the Arts is at 182 Lafayette Street.
(212) 274-0986
General Hours:
Wednesday through Sunday, 12pm-5pm, Thursday, 12pm-6pm

Admission: $10/person (1 to 65 years).
Pay as You Wish: Thursday 4 – 6pm
Children’s Museum of the Arts New York

By Subway: 6 to Spring Street; NQRW or JMZ to Canal Street; BDFV to Broadway Lafayette. By Bus: M1 to Centre Street/Broome Street; M6 to Broadway/Broome Street

Prepare some ideas to bring along on your NYC trip:
___ Online Travel art ideas for kids
___ Other ideas: More internet art for your kids at your New York hotel.

___ 1600’s Dutch colonial Dollhouse fun online.

This site from the National Gallery of the Arts will be great for kids to see the type of home that might have existed in early New York City. It requires a fast internet connection; check your hotel has this.

___ Have your own art kit with you at all times, so your children can draw what they see, BUT in art galleries and all museums, only a simple black pencil is allowed — no colored pencils or crayons or marking pens are allowed there, understandably.

Have fun and you’ll make pictures to enjoy your family’s trip to New York City, forever, in a timeless way.

New York City Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

New York City – Children’s Adventures 1

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

New York City may seem daunting to visit with children, but New Yorkers are there with their kids all the time! So, read and also let locals help you learn the ropes. There are so many wonderful chances to enhance your child’s view of the world by coming to The Big Apple, that it would be a shame not to bring your kids (and a grandparents or two, if that helps you feel more comfortable).

In previous articles we’ve discussed child-friendly venues in depth at: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Sony’s Wonder Technology Lab, The Boathouse and Family Guided Walks in Central Park — to name a few. Here are more.

Children’s Museum of Manhattan

First Friday: free admission from 5 – 8pm.
212 West 83rd Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway. Tuesday-Sunday, 10am – 5pm. Closed Monday.
Strollers must be collapsible and must be left at coat-check (except for special needs kids).

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

No food in the museum, at all. You can return after a meal as long as you keep your admission stickers. You can take a deli picnic to Riverside park: 2 blocks west from the museum. Entrance is on 83rd street and it has a beautiful playground with benches.

If needed, there are nearby doctors and pediatricians on call for the Museum every day. Women are free to breast-feed their children in any part of the museum, but the 4th floor is quietest. Wednesday and Thursday afternoons are too.

See exhibits about: Playworks and Little West Side (both for babies – age 4), Adventures with Dora and Diego (ages 2-6), Gods, Myths and Mortals (6 and up). Playworks has Circle Time at 12:30 and 4:00. Kapla Block Party (5 and up). City Splash (open mid-April – mid-October). Special workshops may be available (5 and up); check when you arrive or 212-721-1223.

92nd Street Y:
Cooking with Kids is on the class schedule approx. once a month. 1395 Lexington Avenue (Lexington Av at 92nd St) New York. 212-415-5500. The Y is just north of the museum, above.

Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, Central Park:

Or, after the museum, continue west, to Central Park’s 79th Street and West Drive. For decades, the Swedish Cottage has been a destination for New York City children aged 3-9; there are marionette plays there, daily.

The Cottage, a model schoolhouse, was built as Sweden’s exhibit for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. In 1877, the park’s landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, moved the Cottage to its present site. Since 1973 this small wooden lodge has been the place which brings fairy tales alive for enchanted audiences. The current play is a new version of Peter Pan. During school holidays there may be more performances. Always check ahead.

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: Two performances at 10:30 a.m. & noon.
Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., 12 noon, and 2:30 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays: one show at 1:00 p.m.
Reservations are required for all performances.
(212) 988-9093.
Subway: #1 or #9 to 79th Street; B or C to 81st Street & Central Park West or 6 train to 77th St & Lexington Avenue, entering the park at Fifth Avenue and heading west.
Bus: M79 to Central Park West

You and your children will find this is a magical visit to New York City. Make it a great day together.

New York City Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

New York City – Free Travel 10: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Monday, May 17th, 2010

With all the budget-cutting measures of the current financial crises, things may change, so check when at the museum, but at the moment, the famed Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, always has — a suggested admission — of $20, 15 or 10 depending on your age, and a suggestion means that you really don’t have to pay the full amount.

Don’t be embarrassed in paying even a quarter. New Yorkers on budgets do it all the time.

On their web page, the museum says — to help cover the costs of special exhibitions, we ask that you please pay the full suggested amount. It’s still just asking.

Pay what you comfortably can. We know New York is a very expensive city to tour.

The collection covers 5,000 years of human art, and even houses a huge section of an Egyptian Temple. One of my favorite areas was a room of incredible Persian miniature paintings; I think they were on ivory. Learn online: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History at: Metropolitan Museum of Art

The American Wing 1st and 2nd floor includes: Works by Cassatt, Cole, Copley, Eakins, Homer, Remington, Saint-Gaudens, Sargent, and Stuart. Crafts: Tiffany glass, silver, Period rooms.

European collections include: ancient Roman / Greek, Rembrandt, Goya, El Greco, Matisse, Picasso, Bernini, Rodin and more.

Upon entering the Museum, study your guides immediately and find out about tours.

The Met is housed in a huge, beautiful, classical building, overlooking Central Park, from some rooms. See below where to enter the Met and do use maps, otherwise the place can be overwhelming. Pay attention to floor plans at the Met.

And, for families: pick up special guides and a Museum map just for kids at the Information Desks. Metropolitan Museum of Art – Explore and Learn Guides. Guided tours are free and are in 10 languages.

Please be aware of the Metropolitan Museum’s rules and facilities.
Still photography is permitted, but only for private, noncommercial use from the Museum’s galleries devoted to the permanent collection.

Photography is not permitted in special exhibitions or areas designated as “No Photography”. Works of art on loan from private collections or other institutions may not be photographed. The use of flash and tripod is prohibited everywhere, at all times. Movie and video cameras are also prohibited.

Please note that you may enter the Museum at Fifth Avenue and 81st street or at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street.

Carry-on bags and large backpacks cannot be checked. Don’t bring them.

Wheelchairs may be available at coat-check areas. Dotted lines on the floor plans indicate the best routes through the building for visitors in wheelchairs.

For information about the Museum’s many restaurant choices: Dining at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Every restaurant at the Met welcomes children, but the cafeteria is particularly friendly, with booster seats and high chairs, and special kids’ portions of sandwiches, pizza, and salads.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Museum Hours:
Monday: Closed (Except Met Holiday Mondays)
Tuesday–Thursday: 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 9:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Sunday: 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Take advantage of a special reduced rate Friday and Saturday evenings.
After 5:00 p.m. Audio Guides are only $5, then (usually $7).
Family Audio Guide
Ideal for children 6-12 and their families. This explains 10 easy-to-follow tours of Museum’s permanent collection.

New York City Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

New York City – Free Travel 9: Whitney Museum of American Art

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

It took a long time for the art world to acknowledge American Art. The Whitney Museum in New York City rejoices it, showcases it, and seeks to support new and upcoming American artists. It is a special place in a city which seems to offer more foreign than home-grown art.

You will find The Whitney Museum of American Art at Madison and 75th Street. It has pay what you wish admission on Fridays, 6 p.m.-9 p.m, so it can be FREE or almost so, then. Free docent-led Gallery Tours through the Museum’s current exhibitions are also offered daily. Tour schedules are at the Information desk in the Lobby. Tours meet in the galleries. No reservations are needed.

The Whitney is the leading advocate of 20th and 21st century American art. It was founded by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, a well-regarded sculptress, in 1931. The permanent collection has more than 18,000 works, in a wide variety of media.

The Whitney is the preeminent collection of American art, and it includes major works and materials from: Edward Hopper, the largest public collection of Alexander Calder, significant works by Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Georgia O’Keeffe, Claes Oldenburg, Kiki Smith and Andy Warhol, among others.

This museum places a particular emphasis on exhibiting the work of living artists for its collection. It has long been a venue for younger and less well-known artists whose work is showcased there.

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the museum’s namesake and founder, was a serious art collector. By 1929, she had amassed nearly 700 works of contemporary American art which she offered to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but the Met turned down her gift.

So, Mrs. Whitney used her collection to found the “Whitney Museum of American Art” in 1931, (and also as an answer to the then newly founded Museum of Modern Art’s collection of mostly European modernism and its neglect of American Art).

The Museum’s collections start at 1900 and continue onward to the present. The 5th floor galleries contain art from the permanent collection, 1900 to 1949; the second floor exhibits art from 1950 to now. Approximately only 1% of the works of art owned by the Whitney are on view at any given time.

The Whitney’s signature show, the Biennial, has become the most important survey of the state of contemporary art in America today.

The American Voices audio tour guides you through the museum helping you see the 27 most important pieces, and the museum is wheelchair accessible to all galleries, restrooms.

Wheelchairs are also available free, in the Lobby.

And the temporary restaurant (which offers a great menu, from one of the areas best known caterers). Menu: Restaurant at The Whitney Museum

Kids and Families Program: uses the main collection and special exhibitions as the foundation for learning, a variety of interactive gallery tours and hands-on activities is designed to encourage children and adults to: observe, discuss, explore art together while developing a sense of life-long experimentation, critical thinking, and creative expression.

The museum is also less crowded on weekend mornings. The Artport is an online virtual changing exhibition, and it is a good introduction to the collection. Artport

To arrive, take:
Subway: 6 to 77th St. (walk 2 blocks west to Madison Ave.), Bus: M1, M2, M3, M4 to 74th Street

Phone: 212 570-3600 No photography. No strollers in special exhibitions.

The Museum is open:
Wed – Thurs: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Fri: 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm Friday: 1–9 pm (6–9 pm pay-what-you-wish admission)
Sat – Sun: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday and Tuesday – closed.

New York City Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

New York City – Free Travel 8: Walking Tours of Central Park

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

When the Europeans completely rebuilt Manhattan Island, in their human perspective, it’s amazing that they left any room for nature, as the centuries wore onward. This is shocking, as it did not bode well for any city not to have plenty of green places set aside for spirit, and to acknowledge other life has a place under the sun.

Looking at a map of New York City, I still think there are far too few parks and green spaces on Manhattan. But, New Yorkers are justifiably proud of Central Park. Its 6% of Manhattan’s acreage has probably saved the City, in many ways, many times.

Central Park is one of the urban wonders of the world, the only beautiful green oasis set in the concrete, high-rise landscape of New York City. It is now so naturally a part of the Manhattan environment, that many people do not realize that its 843 acres is entirely man-made.

Boating or watching wildlife on its 150 acres set aside for 7 ponds, walking through its 136 acres of woodlands (with 26,000 trees) or peacefully enjoying its 250 acres of lawns, New Yorkers can hope to have a piece of each day, or a chance on the week-end, to come to enjoy the park.

In fact, 25 million people use Central Park each year, and enclosed in its 6 mile perimeter are a multitude of scenic and spirit-renewing delights. On the walks, you can also enjoy the more than 250 species of birds, including migratory birds, as the Park is a major stopping point on the Atlantic flyway.

If you want to exercise on the Reservoir running track, each circuit is 1.58 miles. If you want to walk the pathways, under some of the 1,700 still-alive American Elms, then consider a free walking tour to scope out the park and find a favorite area.

Every day, Central Park opens 6am – 1:00am, (although I still would not be there at or after dusk!). Discover the history, ecology, and design of the park, on volunteer-led walking tours sponsored by the Central Park Conservancy.

Year-round, the Conservancy offers at least ten different walking tours which highlight several areas of Central Park. The guided walks last about 60 – 90 minutes. No reservation is required for individuals or groups of six or less. Groups of seven or more people must call to schedule a custom tour. Children under 16 must be accompanied by their parent(s) or a guardian. Learn more at: New York’s Central Park Guided Walking Tours.

Here are a few options:

Amble Through the Ramble – passes over streams, under arches, through the woods along a maze of pathways in this secluded 38-acre woodland respite.

The Castle & Its Kingdom – on the 55 acres dominated by Belvedere Castle, high on Vista Rock.

Cross-Park Promenade – see many surprises: a hidden bench that tells time, miniature boats powered by the wind, a magnificent sculpture celebrating fresh water, on this east-to-west walk.

Manhattan Adirondacks – Olmsted and Vaux designed the North Woods to replicate Adirondack Mountain forests’ crystal streams, tumbling cascades, and picturesque pools right in NYC.

A Road Once Traveled – in the American Revolution and the War of 1812, holding the Park’s northern highlands was key because armies could see their enemies approach, sailing on the East River. All who love History will love this tour of the Harlem Meer and its strategic environs.

For visitors seeking peace and tranquility in Central Park, there are six designated quiet zones: Strawberry Fields, Sheep Meadow, East Green (located at the northern end of the Dene), Conservatory Garden, Shakespeare Garden and Turtle Pond.

Alcohol is prohibited in all parks including Central Park. Any questions? Call: 212-360-2726

New York City Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review