Impromptu date ideas: Date places for a NYC art lover

MeetMoi is all about introducing you to new and interesting people nearby that you can meet up with in person. This is the first in a series of posts to give you hints on where to take your new Intro on an impromptu date.

By Brienne Walsh

If you had to recommend a museum to a tourist who’s never been to New York City, chances are you’d probably suggest a stalwart like the MET, the Guggenheim, or the Whitney. But where do you take an art lover who’s a longtime resident of the city?

We’ve put together a list of our favorite secret art spots, so that even if you know nothing about the art world, you’ll still be able to impress the culture lover you meet on MeetMoi with your insider knowledge.

1.    The Noguchi Museum, Astoria, Queens: Built by the minimalist artist Isamu Noguchi to house his sculptures, furniture designs, drawings, and architectural models, this zen museum is one of the most peaceful places in the entire city. If you go, set aside some time to spend in the outdoor rock garden, which often hosts concerts and poetry readings.

2.    Luhring Augustine, Bushwick, Brooklyn: An outpost of the blue chip Chelsea gallery, this space, located in an old warehouse in an industrial neighborhood in Brooklyn, houses long-term experimental installations. Check out the Charles Atlas video projections currently been exhibited, and then stop by Roberta’s, the famed pizza joint, just a few blocks down the street.

3.    The Museum of the City of New York, Upper East Side, Manhattan: Located on a quiet strip of 5th Avenue, on the
Northern tip of Central Park, this museum has an extraordinary collection of works that celebrate New York’s rich cultural history. Featuring exhibitions of photographs, paintings, costumes, video, sound, maps, and many other mediums, a visit to the museum makes you feel proud to be a New Yorker.

4.    The Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn: The museum itself isn’t much of a secret, but the quality of its programming is consistently underrated. From newly installed period rooms, which feel deliciously haunted, to an exhibition of iconic downtown New York artist Keith Haring, open through the end of the summer, there’s never been a better time to visit the institution.

5.    DIA: Beacon, Beacon, New York: If you can find a date that has an afternoon free—and has a taste for adventure—hop on a train from Grand Central, and follow the Hudson River to DIA:Beacon, a museum in a former Nabisco printing factory. There, you’ll find one of the most fantastic collections of minimalist art in the world.

6.    The Kitchen, Chelsea, Manhattan: A non-profit performance space located in the heart of the gallery district in Chelsea, The Kitchen offers free events including book readings, video screenings, and experimental theater performances almost every night of the week. The perfect place for an intellectual art lover, or anyone who wants a taste of the contemporary avant garde.

7.    The Earth Room, Soho, Manhattan: One of the true hidden treasures in New York, this historic installation by the famed artist Walter de Maria—who designed the ephemeral “Lighting Field” in Western New Mexico—features 250 cubic yards of raw earth in a 3,600 square foot room. It’s totally weird…and completely wonderful.

8.    Hunts Point, the Bronx: A 200-foot strip of desolate warehouses adorned with murals, Hunts Point is an undisturbed canvas for numerous graffiti artists. Updated by both established and emerging taggers at least once a month, this virtually unknown open-air gallery is perfect for a date who loves street art.

9.    MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens: An outpost of the iconic Museum of Modern Art in Midtown Manhattan, this museum hosts programming like “Warm-Up,” a fantastic outdoor music festival held every Saturday throughout the summer. If you can, try to catch the sunset in “Meeting,” James Turrell’s open-aired site-specific installation on the third floor.

10. Gallery-hopping in Chinatown, Manhattan: Forget Chelsea. Chinatown has become the hottest place to open a gallery in New York City. Our two favorites are Allegra LaViola and Reena Spaulings, although wandering down East Broadway, you’ll spot numerous exhibitions open to the public from the street. If your date is into emerging art, this is the best place to take him in the city.


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Filed under Impromptu Date Ideas, Meeting Up, New York

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