Chelsea certainly puts the art in the heart of New York. The neighborhood is home to dozens of galleries with the best free art in NYC on view—from Gagosian to David Zwirner galleries—and the newly minted Whitney Museum of American Art, one of the best museums in the city. Once you've had your fill, head to the High Line to lounge on tree-lined paths with views of the river, then head to one of the best Chelsea restaurants or bars, like Del Posto and the NoMad. The sky's the limit in this neighborhood!
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To untimely rip and paraphrase a line from Macbeth: Our eyes are made the fools of the other senses, or else worth all the rest. A multitude of searing sights crowd the spectator's gaze at the bedazzling and uncanny theater installation Sleep No More. Your sense of space and depth---already compromised by the half mask that audience members must don---is further blurred as you wend through more than 90 discrete spaces, ranging from a cloistral chapel to a vast ballroom floor. Directors Felix Barrett and Maxine Doyle, of the U.K. troupe Punchdrunk, have orchestrated a true astonishment, turning six warehouse floors and approximately 100,000 square feet into a purgatorial maze that blends images from the Scottish play with ones derived from Hitchcock movies—all liberally doused in a distinctly Stanley Kubrick eau de dislocated menace. An experiential, Choose Your Own Adventure project such as this depends on the pluck and instincts of the spectator. You can follow the mute dancers from one floor to the next, or wander aimlessly through empty spaces. I chose the latter, discovering a room lined with empty hospital beds; a leafless wood in which a nurse inside a thatched cottage nervously checks her pocket watch; an office full of apothecary vials and powders; and the ballroom, forested with pine trees screwed to rolling platforms (that would be Birnam Wood). A Shakespearean can walk about checking off visual allusions to the classic tragedy; the less lettered can just revel in tRead more
Jane Ursula Harris’s visual essay of a show contemplates contemporary society’s headlong rush toward self-destruction and the remnants that may be left behind. The sculptures and photos from a range of artists provide examples both literal and otherwise. Christian Holstad’s The Road to Hell Is Paved (Walgreens) is a drooping, soft-sculptural shopping cart that seems to sag under the weight of unchecked consumerism as it hangs on the wall. It manages to channel both Claes Oldenburg’s humor and Kiki Smith’s allusions to abjection. Michael Ashkin’s color prints find pathos in a world choking on refuse. One image features a pink speedboat abandoned on shore like a memorial to happier, wetter days. The most poetic moment comes courtesy of William Eggleston’s 1972 photograph of an oven interior. Through Eggleston’s lens, this mundane space becomes the alchemical intersection between raw and cooked, wild and cultured. Within the context of Harris’s show, it also depicts a threshold: an entrance into the maw of overconsumption that will eventually lead us to ruin.—Jennifer CoatesRead more
What's behind the mask? Well, at this exhibit featuring traditional masks from regions like Siberia, Japan, northern India and North America's Pacific Northwest, the mask itself matters. Each specimen differs greatly from the next, depending on the culture it hails from. The samples have been used in communal rituals, shamanistic practice and even ancient theatrical performances.Read more
Get decked out in your kinkiest gear—or at least don't show up in an ironic tee and orange Pumas, hipster—for the city's biggest weekly fetish bash. Barbers will be there to help you achieve that sexy buzz-cut look, and bootblacks will keep your kicks glossy as you chug cheap beer. Acceptable attire includes leather, rubber and uniforms. Check the website for more extensive info. And don't fuck it up—the doorman's decision is final.Read more