Showing posts with label museum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label museum. Show all posts


Free Memberships at 33 NYC Cultural Institutions with IDNYC

Joining museums in NYC can run you hundred of dollars. Heck, just paying admission to a few can cost you half a paycheck. So what if I told you that there's a way to not only get free admission but a full-fledged free membership to 33 cultural institutions throughout the 5 boroughs as well as receive discounts for Mets and Yankees tickets and even grocery stores?

IDNYC is a new program sponsored by the city of New York to provide a new form of identification for all New York City residents. Using it will give you access to city services, allow you to enter public buildings, and enable you to open a checking account. You can also link it to your Brooklyn, New York, or Queens library account--the first time one card has ever been recognized by all 3 systems.

As an incentive for people to sign up, you will be able to apply for free memberships at museums, zoos, botanic gardens, and concert halls throughout the city. All you do is present your card at the box office of your desired institution by 12/31/15, and you receive a gratis one-year membership. Examples of membership options include, but are not limited to:
  • Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo: Free general admission for one adult to the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo with discounts at select gift shops and restaurants. Invitations to Members' Evenings and free e-newsletters.
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Unlimited free admission for 1 and 2 single-time-use guest passes. Admission for member plus 1 guest to all members-only summer events and 10% discount at Garden Shop and Cafe. Library borrowing privileges.
  • Carnegie Hall: "Friends Membership" includes 4 complimentary rehearsal passes; early access to the best seats available; half-price ticket offers on select Carnegie Hall presentations; and invitations to cocktail parties, discussions, & member-appreciation events.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art: Free admission for 1 to the Main Building and The Cloisters museum and gardens; members-only emails with advance notice of exhibitions, programs, events, classes, and festivals; special offers on select ticketed programs; discount on Audio Guide rentals in nine languages; and complimentary guided tours of the collection in 10 languages.
  • MoMA PS1: Unlimited free admission; exhibition opening invitations; special offers for select ticketed events; conversations with MoMA PS1 curators and artists; private receptions at MoMA PS1; and a 10% discount at the M. Wells Dinette and the ARTBOOK @ MoMA PS1 Book Store.

IDNYC card

As you can imagine, demand for IDNYC is pretty high. I signed up for an appointment in January, and had to wait until April to snag an appointment. My shiny new ID came in the mail just this week.

To get your IDNYC, check here that you possess the right qualifying documents, and schedule an appointment at one of the several appointment centers throughout the 5 boroughs. You might have to wait a while, but that's ok--you will be able to claim your free memberships through the end of the year and they will begin the day you claim them. Then you go in and go through a short and sweet interview (just like at the DMV), they take your picture (but oddly you can't smile with teeth), and you should receive your new ID within 2-3 weeks.

The IDNYC website has a thorough list of helpful FAQs that I'd highly recommend you check out if you have any specific questions. So what do you think, will you apply?


Dance Your Artist Heart Out

It's time to party, Brooklyn style. The Brooklyn Museum is hosting the Brooklyn Artists Ball Dance Party next Wednesday April 16 from 10-1, and you are not going to want to miss it.

The event will feature a performance by LE1F and later DJ Brenmar will be spinning some tunes. There will also be a silent auction powered by Artsy and dessert prepared by Amirah Kassem of Flour Shop. Tickets are $100 ($90 for museum members) and today is the last day to buy them!


Increase Your Cultural Heart Rate at The Pulse Party

Need something to do tonight? The Rubin Museum of Art is throwing a pretty awesome party featuring electronic music and multimedia from 6-11pm.

In traditional Tibetan medicine, pulse reading is a complex form of diagnosis which requires physicians to listen deeply to the sound waves and vibrations of one’s heartbeat. In collaboration with Warper Party, the Rubin Museum presents PULSE, a museum-wide multimedia event  that invites electronic musicians and video artists to listen deeply and explore their own beats through inspiration from the new exhibition, Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine.

There will be a happy hour from 6-7pm with 2-for-1 specials on all beer, wine, and well drinks. Also there will be a combination of free and ticketed events throughout the night (see the full schedule here), including a free tour of the new exhibition and tunes mixed by several DJs.


Can't Buy Me 50 Years of Love

Fifty years ago, The Beatles made headlines in America, and the music world was forever changed. If you caught the 2014 Grammy awards on TV a few weeks ago, you witnessed firsthand how much the 2 remaining boys from Liverpool can still rock out. We thought it was pretty awesome!

The wonderful Paley Center for Media is celebrating in it's own way this weekend. They will be presenting two essential programs for the Beatles fan at 1 pm on both Saturday 2/18 and Sunday 2/9. Experience their debut as it happened by seeing the complete Ed Sullivan Show from February 9, 1964, including commercials; and see the behind-the-scenes antics and the hysteria in the city captured in a cinema vérité documentary from the Maysles brothers. You might have seen clips of these shows on TV or YouTube, but now you need to see the Fab Four as big as life on a movie-size screen.

The screenings are free for Paley Center members, $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, and $5 for children under 14.


Roosevelt Remembered

This past weekend I crossed something off my ever-growing NYC bucket list. After visiting the FDR compound up in Hyde Park, NY two years ago and learning that Theodore Roosevelt is the only US President born in NYC, I have been wanting to take a tour of his childhood brownstone to get a glimpse into what life in the 1800's was like ever since. 

I was thrilled to find out that tours of the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site (28 E. 20th Street) are free and given on the hour from 10-4 Tuesday-Saturday (with no tours at noon). I managed to sneak into the last tour of the day with Ranger Sam. Personally, I think it's pretty badass to be a ranger, but to be a ranger in NYC is a pretty unusual feat. Sam led our tour group, mostly comprised of tourists young and old as well as some families, through the house. I was a bit disappointed to learn that this wasn't the original house because after Mr. Roosevelt decided he didn't want to re-buy the house in 1916 when he was President, it was torn down. After he died in 1919, his sisters Anna and Corinne and niece Eleanor decided to rebuild and refurnish to create the historical site it is today. So while the frame is not original, the layout, most of the furniture and decor is.

Teddy Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
Something that definitely struck me throughout the house was the lighting, or lack thereof. Sam told us that even though the house is currently outfitted with electricity, they tried to recreate the amount of lighting the family had in the late 1800s with gas lamps. Needless to say, it was dark, and the dark wallpapers only added to the gloominess of some rooms. However, some of the furnishings were amazing. The original marital bed and furniture set were carved from the most gorgeous wood and the glass-work throughout the house was magnificent. Teddy's grandfather was a glass trader so the family benefited immensely from that, in addition to the fact that the grandfather was fairly wealthy and bought the house for his son (Teddy Sr.) as a wedding gift. Not too shabby right?

First Floor Entranceway 
Fireplace in the Living Room
Teddy's Chair as a Boy
Glass Door in Between Living and Dining Rooms (and Ranger Sam)
Dishes were a Gift from Eleanor Roosevelt Upon Completion of the House
Dining Room
Decor in the Parlor
Chandelier in the Parlor
The four Roosevelt children were raised by their aunt Anna. Suffering from asthma as a child, Teddy's father built him a mini gym in the back of the house that he would have to climb through a window to access. He was encouraged to work out to build his lungs big and strong and to overcome his asthma. The museum has an old medicine ball on display of the likes he used to use. Obviously, we all know this exercise worked out in his favor as we can all recall images of the Rough Rider, cowboy President. Another interesting fact we learned was that as a child, Teddy was really interested in taxidermy. He would collect dead animals he found throughout the city and came to found the "Roosevelt Museum of Natural History" in his room at the tender age of 8. After he father helped found the American Museum of Natural History in 1869, Roosevelt donated his taxidermied works, a tradition that would continue throughout his adulthood in the Dakotas. In fact, a good portion of the animals on display in the museum today (bears, deer, lions!) were killed and donated by TR.

Doll in the Nursery
View to the makeshift gym in the back of the house

The actual crib that TR slept in as a baby
Marital Bed
Roosevelt had a long career in government, elected as the youngest NY State Assemblyman three years after he graduated from Harvard University. He also went on to serve on the US Civil Service Commission and as the NY City Police Commissioner. He was known as a strict leader, vastly reforming what was known as one of the most corrupt police forces in the country. Sam told us he would go around the city late at night and early in the morning, policeman to policeman, and check up to see if everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing when they were supposed to be doing it. He also established the first bicycle police squad and standardized the use of pistols by officers.

Newspaper Cartoon About TR as Police Commissioner
From there he went on to be governor of New York State, then Vice President of the US under William McKinley, and then President of the US after McKinley was assassinated. He is most know for establishing the Pure Food and Drug Act (which eventually led to the FDA), his conservation efforts, and for establishing the Progressive "Bull Moose" Party. I could continue to give you facts, but Ranger Sam recommended reading his biography by Elting E. Morrison, who used the research lab in the historic site to write the book.

If you find yourself with a spare hour in Union Square, I would highly recommend a visit to the TR Birthplace National Historic Site. It's transporting, informative, and just plain interesting. You can follow the historic site on Twitter. So what do you think about our 26th President? Do you think had a pretty plush life growing up in the 1800s? Have you been to the historic site? Are you planning to go?


New York Knowledge (and perks!)

One of the best decisions I made in the past year was joining the Museum of the City of New York as a "Young Member." If you've ever been, you've undoubtedly sampled some of the most superb exhibits in the entire city and (BONUS!) you actually get to learn about your surroundings and how they got that way. You've also oogled at some of the museums collection of furniture and other artifacts from the turn of the century. (And I'm not talking about the one that just happened 10 years ago).

General admission is a suggested donation of $10 ($6 for seniors and students) and that will enable to you see three rotating exhibits ranging from NY State ecological history, original Dutch artifacts from the time of Henry Hudson and classic Life Magazine photographs that defined eras in the city. This is a museum you can get through in about two hours, feel like you saw everything and not doze off in the process. My kind of place.

I joined because of the extra perks. A one-year Young Member's Circle membership is $100 and is available for people ages 21-39. Hosting a new and exclusive event every month, the museum does a great job of entertaining us. In the spring, we were granted access to a behind-the-scenes tour of the NYC Auto Show, which coincided with the museum's exhibit on the history of the car in the city. With artist studio visits and movie screenings (hello, how do you think I got in to see Dinner for Schmucks?), the events are amazing experiences which I would be jealous of if I wasn't already there.

Me "driving" a REALLY expensive car at the NYC Auto Show
In addition to the monthly events, I'm invited to all museum openings with a plus one. Champagne is always a flowing and hors d'ouevers are a plenty. There are lots of the right noses to rub wandering around as well. MCNY's newest exhibit, Notorious and Notable: 20th Century Women of Style, opened to the public yesterday and I attended the opening on Monday night. From what else I've seen at the museum, this is a special presentation MCNY's costume collection. It recognizes women from across the past century and showcases some lovely, stunning and some pretty extravagant ensembles which have been exquisitely preserved. If I knew how to make silk chiffon from the 1920s look good as new 90 years later like they do, I'd be rich. My favorites were a dark purple Dior gown and a 1996 Norman Norell gown for Lauren Bacall.

The red section of the exhibit (Photo courtesy of NY Social Diary)
Lauren Bacall's 1966 gown I loved ( (Photo courtesy of NY Social Diary)
MCNY also has a very very very informative exhibit on John Lindsay, the former mayor of NYC, and the era in which he served. For a relative newbie to the city (2 years and 1 month today!), the history presented through the photographs, videos and explanations gave me a great background to understanding how the city got to be the way it is. All I have to say is that things were just plain crazy here in the 60s and 70s. It's only on view until October 3, so hurry over and make sure you get to check it out.

Another perk for joining, as if you need another one, is you get a book of one of the current exhibits. They make great coffee table decorations and conversation pieces. Lastly, if you're over 39, you can still join the museum and enjoy all the great benefits

It's your city, go learn about it. And then you can impress all of your out-of-town guests with your even larger bank of NYC knowledge.