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25 February 2011, 4:00 pm 3 Comments

I Love New York

This post was submitted by Ben K.

Lincoln Center photo by Robert Mintzes

Lincoln Center

I had the pleasure of spending a full week on a culture vacation in New York City this month. While an escape from winter certainly sounded nice, the allure of hiding from the cold in New York’s museums, theaters, and cultural institutions won me over in the end. I can’t recommend highly enough a culture vacation alone or with a companion, and while such a vacation can be done in many cities, if you can do it in New York, you must do it.

Being a big fan of Broadway, typically I hit up as many shows as I can, but this time there was only one show that I just had to see, La Cage Aux Folles. To hell with that Spiderman disaster, I wanted to see some drag. And let me tell you, get yourself to New York and see this fantastic revival of Jerry Herman’s classic musical. I had the opportunity to see Kelsey Grammer as Georges and Douglas Hodge in his Tony-winning performance as Albin/Zaza on their final weekend before Jeffrey Tambor and Harvey Fierstein (who wrote the book for the musical) took over. This scaled-down version of the musical explodes onto the stage with such vibrancy and joy that there is no way that you can leave without a hum in your voice and a smile on your face.

Instead of opting for more Broadway shows, I decided to spend two nights in the magnificent Lincoln Center, one night seeing the New York City Ballet’s production of Swan Lake (beautiful) and the other seeing the Metropolitan Opera’s production of La Bohème (fulfilling my Moonstruck fantasy). Please, I implore you, see something, see anything at Lincoln Center. Just standing in the plaza by the fountain in the middle is an amazing experience.

I originally wanted to hit up as many museums as I could, but ultimately decided to make the most of my time and hit up the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Believe it that you could spend a whole week at the Met alone with its vast collections spanning thousands of years of civilizations. I battled the crowd at MoMA to take advantage of their free Friday night admission, and it was beyond worth it. To see everything from Picasso to Warhol for free is an experience not to be missed.

I can’t tell you enough how fulfilling and enlightening it was to take a culture vacation. Whether it’s in your own city, one nearby, or one far away, there are countless ways to experience the best in arts and culture. It was a vacation to be remembered.

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