New York City, USA

Take to the streets and museums of New York City

The trees are bare, their graphic branches stretching across blue sky and frosty concrete and shiny glass amidst a forest of skyscrapers. New York City in winter has a stark beauty. But its frenetic energy is slightly softened, the constant buzz a bit muffled and every-thing seems to glow. Your breath puffs out in a big cloud as you crunch through Central Park in Manhattan. On the Upper East Side, the swish of ice skates at Wollman Rink mingles with the omnipresent hum of traffic on 5th Avenue. On the other side of the park, a short walk from Columbus Circle, people gather and take selfies at the “Imagine” memorial to John Lennon.

The Lower Manhattan skyline and street art near One World Trade Center. The "Imagine" mosaic memorial to John Lennon at Strawberry Fields on the Upper West Side of Central Park . Photos by Barb Sligl

There’s an introspective quality to the city in winter. Take to the streets and just walk. When it’s time to warm up, duck in to one of its more than 100 museums. On 53rd, the newly expanded MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) is a Midtown escape (starting February 9th is an exhibit on renowned photographer, Dorothea Lange).

Brave the chill again and walk west and then south, from Midtown into Chelsea, on the High Line—a 2.3km-long elevated greenway and rail trail—amidst outdoor art and the canopy of that forest of sky-scrapers. At the south end of the High Line, another museum beckons, the recently relocated Whitney Museum of American Art, where you can immerse in the iconic works of artists like Andy Warhol.

RIGHT Looking up at the skylight within the ribbed structure of the Oculus at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Photo by Barb Sligl

From here, it’s a few more blocks to Lower Manhattan. Take the subway to One World Trade Center, where emerging into the station will bring a different kind of chill. Millions of daily commuters pass through its sculptural entryway, called the “Oculus,” which opens up dramatically to the sky. Brilliant white and suffused with light, it’s as if you’re levitating in the space. Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, says of the retractable skylight, “…we are framing a piece of Manhattan’s sky.” Sunlight projects onto the floor in what he calls the “Way of Light,” and at 10:28am on September 11th—coinciding with the time of the second tower’s collapse—it illuminates the central axis of the interior.

Exhibit at The Whitney Museum (left). The exterior of the Oculus by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, meant to reference a dove in flight (right). Photos by Barb Sligl

Outside, perched atop Ground Zero, the steel-and-glass structure takes the form of 350-foot wings—a bird-shaped reference to a dove. It’s sobering but up-lifting—and somehow brightens even the darkest days of winter.—Barb Sligl

[GO] January 21 to February 9 is NYC Restaurant Week, NYC Broadway Week and NYC Must-See Week: three weeks of prix-fixe meals and two-for-one tickets.

More info: nycgo.com

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