As the saying goes, out with the old and in with the new. Though that statement should very much be about my apartment and lack of fall cleaning I’ve done, it’s much more fun to talk about the new Whitney Museum.
The old Whitney uptown closed up shop and packed up its bags to move south, to the
party Meatpacking district. So now you can bounce right from a calm, relaxing Bagatelle brunch and go rage at a museum without stepping foot in a cab (just kidding – don’t do that). There’s been a lot of great chatter about the new Whitney and I’ve been making an effort to take advantage of New York’s more cultured activities now that I am back to being a NYC resident on the weekends. “Artsy Sundays” have come to replace “Brooklyn Sundays” in my most commonly used weekend phrases (for now) so off we went.
Just like the old Whitney, the museum is meant to be enjoyed from top to bottom, literally. You’re ushered into a gigantic lift that takes you to the tippity-top and then you work your way down. As you descend, the art transitions from older to more contemporary pieces. The new Whitney’s greatest addition is the outdoor space. Almost all of the floors have an outdoor area with large abstract pieces and views of the city for days.
Most of the art is meant to be viewed from a distance, but there are a few exceptions…
My favorite part, of course, is the rainbow chairs (no idea what they’re actually called, but I’m sure they have a very fancy official name). The rainbow chair deck can get a bit windy, but never fear, because the chairs weigh approximately 10 million pounds and have no chance of blowing over onto the High Line below. If you are weak, like me, you will need a friend to drag them into your preferred talking/thinking/meditation configuration.
To leave, just keep walking in circles around the dangling lights. They make for quite a cool exit.
Not so best kept secret: I pretend to be an art person, but in reality – even at the renowned Louvre in Paris – the idea usually sounds better to me than the reality. Not the case with the new Whitney. The museum has a great mix of classic work – which the under 12 group/me tend to race through – and contemporary, “fun” art, as I like to call it. The new Whitney rocks.
The museum is located at 99 Gansevoort, just above the southern start of the High Line and dangerously close to the Standard Biergarten (both of which make excellent post-museum activities, along with the Gansevoort Market – which was our next destination because they have tacos). We went around 2pm on a Sunday and there was no line for entry. Hurry on over and pARTy at both the indoor and outdoor exhibits before it gets like this.