At last I visited a place known to most of New Yorkers: MoMA PS1 (and decided to celebrate my birthday here!). It’s a quintessence of New York itself. It’s surrounded by concrete and steeped in art. It’s full of fashionable, smiling people, enjoying their drinks and dancing to the rhythm of new bands. Maybe it’s not exactly how New York streets look like, but… In fact, all of the elements listed above can be easily seen on the streets of Manhattan on any given day (with the possible exception of people drinking out in the open). At MoMA PS1 you can feel a whiff of the new – and that’s the chief characteristic of New York.
MoMA PS1 is one of the biggest cultural institutions in New York City. It was born out of the need to present contemporary art to a wider audience, outside of the boundaries of the traditional museum. Established in 1971 simply as PS1, it’s been joined with Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) since 2000.
The MoMA PS1 building is located in Long Island City, in Queens, a couple of stops away from Manhattan. It’s here that the annual parties take place throughout the summer, under the name MoMA PS1 Warm Up Party. They start every Saturday at 3 PM, end at 9 PM and enjoy great popularity.
The party takes place at the open square belonging to the building, with a work of art usually located at the center of the space (every year there’s a competition that chooses the best one; you can read about this year’s winners here http://www.codapartywall.com/). You are free to enjoy beer, water and snacks. Inside the building there’s an exhibition that is best seen after having a couple of drinks. There’s also a bar inside, serving drinks other than beer. In front of the building there’s a stage where various musicians present 45-minute sets. People are chilled out, dressed in a way both fashionable and nonchalant, always remembering that a hot summer has a dressing code of its own. The closer to 9 PM, the bigger the general joy: no one pretends that it’s all about art, having great fun instead. As usually is the case, we dance and we appreciate the fact we’re inside a cultural institution, but in fact we’re scanning the dance floor and look at other people in perpetual search of our very favorite, lovely work of art.
The final party takes place in the first week of September.
Address: MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave. at 46th Ave., Long Island City. Subway , Court Square Station (follow the crowd upon leaving the train). Entrance fee: $18 in pre-sale, $20 at the day of the party. http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/venueSearch.jsp?venue_id=8970