NYC isn't the only place to see great art-escape the five boroughs for eye candy that's easy on your wallet.
Mon May 10 2010
Roboworld at Carnegie Science Center
By plane: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1 hour 30 minutes from NYC)
Begin your immersion in the Steel City's burgeoning art scene by touring some of its most famous cultural institutions. First stop: the Carnegie Science Center (1 Allegheny Ave; 412-237-3400, carnegiesciencecenter.org; $9.95--$22.95), where you'll find Roboworld, a large-scale permanent exhibit that examines the role machines play in the lives of humans; it's not just about seeing C-3PO bumble his way through the Star Wars movies (though you can get your picture taken with the uptight android here).
At The Andy Warhol Museum (117 Sandusky St; 412-237-8300, warhol.org; $8--$15), peep more than 500 works by the Pop artist (and Pittsburgh native), including iconic pieces like Silver Clouds, an installation featuring helium-filled silver balloons that drift and bob around a room. Once you've crossed those biggies off your list, head for some of the smaller spots downtown, like Wood Street Galleries (601 Wood St; 412-471-5605, woodstreetgalleries.org; free), which showcases the work of new-media artists. "They're so far ahead of their time," says Veronica Corpuz, public-relations director at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. "They're edgier, and new masters in technology." Wood Street's latest show, "Claudia Hart: Empire" (through June 20), incorporates computer animation, videos and music. Meanwhile, pop-culture fanatics can get their fix of comic and cartoon art at the six-month-old Toonseum (945 Liberty Ave; 412-232-0199, toonseum.org; $3--$4). Anime geeks can check out more than 70 animation cels and production artifacts from the cult Japanese film Akira, until July 18. There's even a creative vibe going on at the husband-and-wife-owned Gypsy Caf (1333 Bingham St; 412-381-4977, gypsycafe.net), which, in addition to serving Mediterranean and Eastern European fare like dill-almond pesto salmon ($18), hosts events such as the Pittsburgh outpost of Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School.
The Caribbean-themed Parador Inn (939 Western Ave; 412-231-4800, theparadorinn.com) offers an egalitarian deal: Each of its eight guest rooms is priced at just $150 per night, whether it's the 328-square-foot African Tulip room (outfitted with paintings of parrots and an antique vanity) or the 869-square-foot Lady Palm suite, which has its own separate living room and a private bathroom.