1. Lower East Side Bowery
New York City has gone through huge changes in the past several decades, nowhere more so, perhaps, than on the fabled Bowery. Just a generation ago, it was Manhattan’s Skid Row; today, it’s home to pricey condo towers and art venues that include two major museums.
For this tour, take the B, D to Grand Street and walk one block west to the corner of Bowery, where you’ll find Simone Subal Gallery (131 Bowery, 917-409-0612, simonesubal.com). This second-floor space specializes in emerging and mid-career artists, many of them from Europe. Expect conceptual-oriented work with a refined aesthetic vibe.
Next, head north three blocks north until you reach Andrew Edlin Gallery (212 Bowery, 212-206-9723, edlingallery.com), one of New York’s premier showcases for Outsider and Visionary art. Walk one more block in the same direction until you arrive at the New Museum (235 Bowery, 212-219-1222, newmuseum.org), the most cutting edge museum of contemporary art in the city. It boasts a ground floor project space, three main gallery levels, a theater, a café and roof terraces. Just a few more doors down, there’s Salon 94 (pictured; 243 Bowery, 212-979–0001, salon94.com), a handsome below-street space with surprisingly high ceilings that give each exhibition an expansive feel.
Head down the street, where you’ll find Sperone Westwater (257 Bowery, 212-999-7337, speronewestwater.com), which originally opened in Soho in 1975. Today, it sits in an eight-storey, purpose-built showcase designed by starchitects Foster + Partners. One innovative feature of the place: a moving exhibiton hall—actually a 12-by-20-by-13-foot elevator that can be connected to any one of the floors to extend the viewing space.