Grazia's guide to New York part 3: where to explore

Throw away your guide books, Grazia’s insider look at the city is everything you need to take a fresh bite out of the Big Apple
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Grazia's guide to New York part 3: where to explore

The city is famous for having some of the best galleries and museums in the world, and 2020 is already set to be a notable year for the addition of newbies to the list. Most exciting is the Museum of Modern Art – AKA MoMA (moma.org) – which recently opened after being closed for a huge renovation last year. The original collections (you can still see the world’s most famous paintings, including a variety of works by Matisse, Picasso, Monet, Magritte, Lichtenstein and the gallery’s most popular work: Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh) sit alongside provocative new installations, such as the works and artefacts of social commentator Pope.L MoMA hoodie (a fashion must-have) from the excellent gift shop, before heading across the road to the MoMA Design Store for quality interiors.

For photography-based inspiration, check out new opening Fotografiska 

For more photography-based inspiration, December 2019 saw the opening of the Fotografiska gallery space in Park Avenue South (fotografiska. com/nyc). Launch exhibitions include music portraits by artist Danny Clinch, showcasing iconic images of Green Day, Bruce Springsteen, Nas, and Tupac. An exhibition of Ellen Von Unwerth’s portraits of women includes editorial and advertising shoots that span three decades; expect breathtaking images of Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, Keira Knightley, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna, to name a few. Stick around for dinner at the gallery’s Veronika restaurant, which has started popping up on ‘top places to eat’ lists in the local press. 

ARTECHOUSE is a new 2020 must-see

Also new for 2020 is the out-of-thisworld ARTECHOUSE (artechouse.com/nyc) – a multisensory experience that’s the most technologically advanced art platform in the world. The cross-media exhibitions incorporate photography, cinema and machine intelligence to immerse you in a world of colour, sound and spectacle that will leave your head in a spin.

Head to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where over two million pieces take you on a journey from Greek mythology to Arabic architecture; check out the new In Pursuit of Fashion exhibition, which showcases fashion historian Sandy Schreier’s couture collection, thought to be one of the finest and most extensive in the world.

To avoid queues into The Met and at other tourist hotspots like The Guggenheim, the American Museum of Natural History, The 9/11 Museum and the Empire State Building (the waiting areas here have actually had a facelift for 2020, to provide a more informative experience), purchase your tickets as a New York City Pass for around Dhs485 (citypass.com). If you fancy giving the usually touristpacked boat trip to the Statue of Liberty a miss, then opt for an aerial view courtesy of Liberty Helicopters (libertyhelicopter.com). Established in 1990, the company has been flying locals and visitors alike over the Hudson River, taking in New York landmarks including Lady Liberty for as little as Dhs800. We must warn you, though: once you have travelled with Liberty, no other mode of transport will do the trick! 

Get out of the crazy buzz of Manhattan by stepping into the NewYork Public Library for a little respite and to take in the magnificent architecture of the 100-yearold building, where Carrie Bradshaw famously didn’t marry Big. Or do the opposite and really throw yourself into the mix with a visit to Grand Central Station, standing still on the concourse at peak time to watch one of the busiest cities in the world go about its daily business. One thing New Yorkers love is live music, be it the Winter Jazz Fest (winterjazzfest.com) that took over multiple venues across the city throughout January (highlights included a BBC Introducing session by DJ Gilles Peterson and an appearance by Black Star’s Talib Kweli), or The Governors Ball Music Festival in Randall’s Island Park – this summer’s edition will include performances by Solange and Missy Elliott. For more weekly occurrences, check out Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle Hotel for some incredible live jazz; The Bowery Ballroom in Soho for everything from blues to indie; and dance along to funk and soul with the house band at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village. No trip to New York is complete without some retail therapy. Head to Rough Trade NYC in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Flea Market (reopening in April) in Dumbo or A1 Records in East Village for new and used records. Lafayette, Mercer, Broadway and surrounding streets in Soho will give you your fill of high-end designer (think Balenciaga, Chanel, Gucci and Prada), as well as up-and-coming labels. If the streetwear trend is still ticking all your boxes, then Kith on Lafayette and Concepts on Hudson Street are a must. Fifth Avenue makes for fun browsing at Saks and Bergdorf Goodman, as well as designer names, but for some sneaky designer bargains, head to Century 21 near the World Trade Centre. Also look out for unlikely limited-edition collaborations at Kmart stores and Uniqlo on Fifth Avenue. You’ll never come back empty handed! 

Photos: Garth Pratt for Unsplash, Mark Field Photography, and supplied