The BIG Road Trip ~ New York City 1
If you’re new to The BIG Road Trip – all the information can be found on this page. Curious how this series came about? Find the ‘why’ in this first announcement post. All BIG Road Trip posts can be found archived here. If you want to submit a guest post about your state, or if you want to share state-related art, stories, inspiration or links, email me at bigroadtrip[at]maritspaperworld[dot]com
Start spreading the news….
We’re [virtual] leaving today!
Each journey starts with taking the first step and I’m ready.
Let’s get on that plane then shall we?
Fasten your seat belts.
Our first stop is
“I’m going to make it by any means
I got a pocket full of my dreams…”
~ Empire State of Mind – Alicia Keys ~
Pfew, are we there yet? It is quite a long way.
My butt hurts from sitting in that plane chair for so long.
Woooww, do you see that city skyline? I recognize it from the movies!
We’re about to land…
hold on… here we come….!!!
And heeeey, look who’s here to pick us up from the airport…
I bet most of you know that smiling face – this is Seth Apter from The Altered Page and he’s all eager to show us around in ‘his’ city. I let him do the talking then – take it away Seth!
~ Guest post by Seth Apter ~
Welcome to New York City! Over 8 million residents. Over 50 million annual visitors. 13,000 taxis. 5 boroughs. One 843 acre park. And my home for the past 30 years.
There are not enough adjectives to describe the wonder of being an artist in NYC. Not a day goes by when I am not inspired by all it has to offer and the inspiration comes by simply walking out my door. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, there is competition. And yes, there is relatively little graffiti to be found anymore. But the pros by far outweigh the cons. And the cultural excitement, visual stimulation, and artistic opportunities that can be found here are incomparable.
I am frequently contacted by artists and art lovers who are planning a visit to NYC for recommendations of places to see and things to do. Over the years I have compiled a list of my favorites – a list that includes my must-sees, my must-dos and hopefully a few surprises. I have tried to make this list an insider’s guide and have mostly included places that a visitor might not know about.
So while a visit to New York would not be complete without a stop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it is not on my list because I know it is already on yours!
So grab your journal, find your Pitt artist pen, and get ready to complete your itinerary. I bring you, in random order, the completely biased, ever changing, incomplete, always open, Manhattan-centric, and cannot miss list of must sees and must dos for every artist and/or art lover ~ from the eyes of Seth Apter and The Altered Page…
Not nearly as large as it had been before high rises took over and not a place to find bargains, but well worth a visit. On two levels of an indoor parking lot in Chelsea, only open on the weekends, and with free admission.
Hint: look for the many vendors that take over random outdoor parking lots in the surrounding blocks.
Guarantees a jaw-dropping experience the first time you walk in the doors. Actually, make that every time! The main floor is like walking into a world bazaar – but make sure you hit the other. While the items they sell are beyond incredible, it is the constantly changing displays that are mind blowing. In the Flatiron district.
Hint: make sure you go to the home store at 888 Broadway rather than the carpet store across the street.
All things Chinese and surprisingly reasonably priced. Having expanded a number of years back, this SoHo store contains a million and one things ranging from art supplies to kitchenware to Buddha statues.
Hint: look at their extensive selection of food products for packaging to add to your next collage.
You never know what you might find in this East Village shop subtitled Antiques & Oddities. It is small but packed floor to ceiling with all those strange things that you didn’t even know you wanted but once seen are now must haves.
Hint: get a sneak peek of what you are in for by watching the television show Oddities on the Science Channel that focuses on the shop.
The place to find any and every artist book and zine – over 15,000 of them in fact. These are not the type of books you will find on Amazon, however. This Chelsea store/gallery is filled with unique, one of a kind, small edition, and handmade publications from artists that you are likely not to find anywhere else.
Hint: check to see if they happen to be holding an event during your visit.
This neighborhood is wall-to-wall galleries. There are over 400 galleries in Chelsea, mostly between 10th and 11th Avenue from West 14th to 29th Street. On any day you can see a range of art that covers the entire spectrum from old masters to the most contemporary. And it is all free.
Hint: do not be intimidated by the prospect of entering a gallery in NYC. Contrary to popular belief, many of the gallerists are quite welcoming.
Who knew abandoned railroad tracks could be so enticing. This is New York’s newest attraction. Running from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street, it is a public park built on an elevated rail line. But like Central Park, it has become both a place to step outside of the craziness of the city and a way to see New York from a completely different perspective.
Hint: make sure not to miss the extensive public art that winds its way through the High Line.
Has to be one of the most luxurious (and expensive) stores not only on the Upper Eastside but on earth. However, it will cost you nothing to look at their display windows which surpass every other shop window I have ever seen. Their Christmas windows are legendary.
Hint: head up to the 5th floor to see their ever changing exhibitions of art and to the 7th floor for a spectacular selection of gifts, antiques, books and the like.
This Soho shop curates their selection based on location. Their rotating stock includes items from one country at a time, such as Japan, The Netherlands, Portugal, Iceland, Sweden, and many more. Their items are focused on products that you could typically only find as a local.
Hint: hunt down the many utilitarian items that they carry. They tend to be beautiful in design and affordable in price.
There are many art supply shops in NYC but my favorite hands down is Pearl Paint. Five floors are filled to the brim with every supply you could imagine. You can find materials for fine art and for crafts, and from the basics to the unusual.
Hint: do not miss the small room selling handmade paper. It is a must visit.
Stands for South of Houston. Those of us who remember the gritty days when SoHo was breaking ground as the newest art district in NYC may not really love its transformation into what sometimes seems to be a big outdoor mall. However, if you have never been it is a must see. From the cobbled brick streets, to the cast iron architectural buildings, to the many trendy stores, SoHo is a bustling and exciting neighborhood to visit.
Hint: head their weekday mornings for a calmer visit and all day Saturday to see the crowds and a zillion artists who set up shop on the sidewalk selling their art on West Broadway.
If you like trims, buttons, notions, ribbons, and beads, head to this shop in the garment district for a huge selection. And look around the neighborhood, as there are many, many, many other shops that sell similar items as well.
Hint: if you are a Project Runway fan, Mood Designer Fabrics is just around the corner.
This West Village shop carries over 10,000 sells rubber stamps and a whole lot more related to both art and craft. The selection couldn’t be any better and the staff couldn’t be any nicer. Just one question: How do they get so much into such a small place?
Hint: ask about their art workshops that are held year round.
This museum-like shop sells both one-of-a-kind, indescribable objects and designer jewelry. It is truly like walking into a full size cabinet of curiosity, with display design equal in grandeur to the items that sell.
Hint: while there are two locations, the one in SoHo is the one to visit.
The Museum of Art and Design has become a destination to visit without even needing to see what exhibitions are scheduled. MAD explores the overlap of art, craft and design in themed exhibits that are always inspiring and often times quite unusual.
Hint: make sure to stop on the open studios to see artists at work.
Thank you so much Seth! You showed us a hell of a lot fun and inspiring places. We will be wandering through NYC all week and share our experiences next Monday.
Hey, fellow travelers! Now it’s your turn! Do you have New York inspired art to show? Photos maybe? A story to share? Or are you going to make something new? When you see the ‘inspiration logo’, it means that there will be some tips to spark your imagination. It will often be music (as songs were the trigger to start the road trip) but as this blogpost-series grows, I might come up with other tips.
Songs about leaving home:
Songs about airplanes/flying:
Songs about New York City:
Email all fitting art, tips, stories and links for this blog series to bigroadtrip[at]maritspaperworld[dot]com
I’ll make a selection off all submission and next weeks post will be filled (I hope…) with YOUR art, photos, stories, links and tips. I hope to see that email box gets filled in the next days!
New York inspired stuff needs to be in by Saturday.