Winter has hit New York harder than ever this season and with the lack of sunshine, it’s becoming more and more difficult to find the motivation to leave the warmth of home. But as New Yorkers, we can’t sit inside forever. We crave the streets outside to wander about and find recluse in familiar surroundings. When hot chocolates are no longer enough though, it’s time to find comfort elsewhere out there in the City.
Museum days are the perfect solution. New York City is home to some of the finest art galleries and exhibits in the world, and we New Yorkers are lucky to have access to these establishments at almost any time of the day right here in our backyard. It’s time to put the winter woes behind you and seclude yourself in indoor hideaways! Whether you’re visiting the City for the first time, or a life-long New Yorker, museums are a wonderful way to lift your spirits.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (better known as The Met) is everyone’s favorite museum. It’s especially enjoyable when visiting alone, as you have only yourself to entertain and your thoughts to occupy your day as you walk along each gallery hall. Take advantage of the early afternoons as the crowds are smaller and less noisy (try to avoid weekends if you can, too), plus you’ll have more time to get lost all day winding in and out of the eye-opening galleries. Another note to be made about The Met: “suggested donation” which means you can pay as little or as much as you want at the ticket booth. To score an even better discount, show them a school ID and get a lower price on admission.
So, where do you go to find some peace and quiet once you get inside? Well, the first floor itself is a maze of wondrous and bizarre artifacts from around the world. Some “must see” sections on this floor include the Greek and Roman Sculpture Gardens lighting the room in pristine white, immediately filling the room with a calming atmosphere. Be sure to also keep your eyes peeled for private fresco rooms reminiscent of ancient life. Follow artists’ timeline to the hall of Christian Art in the Byzantine era and Medieval ages where a giant church gate dissects the room and stained glass windows recreate scenes of the bible. If you enjoy looking into a culture’s past, dive into the New Guinea tribal room where prehistoric stone sculptures will guide your eyes up to just about every nook and cranny of the space. Don’t miss the armory exhibit where soldiers and warriors are recreated in real-life size, leaving you fascinated with tales of battle. Though The Met would not be complete without its modern art collection. The cubist paintings of Picasso are always a fan favorite, so be sure to see some of his earlier work here.
It’s easy to spend an entire day at The Met but if you’re in search for a few hours of solitude, the first floor is a perfect starting point as it covers almost all the bases for your artistic engagement. Numerous quiet, secluded, dark rooms remind you why this museum is so beloved. It is also easily walkable – where getting lost at other museums can be stressful, here it is actually enjoyable and provides something uniquely discoverable at every turn. With so much to pick and choose from, The Met is a prime choice to fostering a pleasant leisurely day. As a bonus keepsake, save those museum pins!
On your way out take a look back at the massive entrance and take the time to smile at the incredible sights you just experienced.
*All images provided by author