Every summer, the Upper East Side blocks off 5th Avenue from vehicles and opens the doors to several of the neighborhood’s museums (think The MET, Guggenheim, Cooper Hewitt, etc) for a free night of fun, new friends and awesome exhibits.
Now, you might be thinking, aren’t most of them free anyway? Well, the answer is yes, but this is more than just visiting a museum for free. It’s about community engagement and of course, a vehicle-free 5th Ave!
From 82nd Street up to 105th Street, seven participating museums, are free to the public for three hours (6-9 PM) on a particular summer night.
What started as an initiative to generate interest and support for the arts during a fiscal crisis in the 1970’s, this highly anticipated yearly event is always something to look forward to!
And while you can’t possibly accomplish 7 museums in three hours, some of the greatest aspects of attending the festival are the street crowds and performers that participate along 5th Avenue, along with the camaraderie among fellow New Yorkers and non, alike!
Since I had to choose just one museum to attend (the lines were long!), I chose to go to the Guggenheim, not just for it’s internal exhibits, but it’s architectural appeal as well.
On display was the Visionaries: Creating A Modern Guggenheim exhibit showcasing the private collection of some of the world’s most famous collectors, including Mr. Guggenheim’s own niece and famed art enthusiast, Peggy Guggenheim.
Everything from Picasso to Pollock, impressionist masterpiece to modern marvel, was on display, offering a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy.
It was truly a beautiful, diverse exhibit, with a crowd to match. I will definitely be back and hope to experience some of the other museum’s offerings next year (and of course before that!).
For more information on this cool cultural event, visit museummilefestival.org.