Weeks after Gov. Cuomo invoked PAUSE, most of us are ready for some new sights and sounds.
By Suzanne Charlé
New York Botanical Gardens Cherry Walk, take a spring walk through the cherries. . . . . . . . . . . . .
Luckily, New Yorkers are inventive, and though we can’t rush through the doors of our favorite museums and sit next to other patrons at the Philharmonic or a favorite jazz venue, we can still enjoy the arts, with some help from Silicon Valley. Even the city’s great gardens are on view, in all their spring glory.
Here are just some of NYC’s virtual delights. (You may have to RSVP for live events, especially those on Zoom—be sure to check beforehand.) Who knows, you might experience more in a week than you did before! In all cases, be generous and donate to the causes suggested.
Right now, you can take an online stroll through the New York Botanical Gardens, enjoying the crabapples, spring’s latest stars. If you missed earlier entrants spring delights, join their Journey Through Spring. There are also lessons: how to grow the best veggie garden, ways to capture botanicals in watercolor, and more.
Want more birds? Visit the Bronx Zoo, where you can watch aquatic penguins and ducks feed every day at 12:30 and 3:30 each day on live cam. (You can catch the sea lions being fed earlier, at 11 and 3, and they perform!)
The Met presents ETHEL and Friends—at home—every Friday starting at 5 pm. . . . . . . . . . . . .
All the city’s museums are shut during PAUSE, but they are determined that New Yorkers (and the rest of the world) won’t forget them.
The American Museum of Natural History, celebrating its 150th anniversary, offers guided tours of their various halls and live watch parties several days a week. There are also videos that will take you literally out of the world, following the Apollo Mission landings or tracking meteors and meteorites (you’ll learn the difference). And of course, you can travel way back in time, via the museum’s prized dinosaurs.
Across Central Park, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is also celebrating 150 years. There are videos of past exhibitions, curator talks, dance and music events; you can take tours of the museum’s many collections. And on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, there are live streaming events, including conversations with curators about specific works of art, exhibition previews. And, you can enjoy a glass of wine every Friday from 5 to 5:30 as the quartet ETHEL and Friends play—not at the Balcony Bar but at home.
Working at home: Ephrat Asherie Dance performing UnderScored, their upcoming Works & Process at the Guggenheim. Photo by Robert Altman. . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Guggenheim, meantime, continues to its not-to-be-missed Works & Process program, which is usually takes place in the Frank Lloyd Wright Building. Every Sunday and Monday at 7:30 pm, a new work is premiered—offering an intimate and in-depth view of exactly how dancers create commissions—now, at home via Zoom. Recently, the at-home audience got a behind-the-scenes look at Ephrat Asherie Dance working on their commission. Coming up: May 3—Michael R. Jackson; May 4—Nora Brown and Caleb Teicher. (In case you missed it live, parts of the dances are archived on the website.)
Also on Sunday nights: The Shed’s Up Close, a series of commissions exploring what it’s like to make art in these times. The first was The HawtPlates, a family trio. Sheltering in the Bronx and Indianapolis, the member join online to rework their songs. On May 3, Revelation of Proverbs, premiered—Reggie ‘Regg Roc’ Gray and the D.R.E.A.M. Ring dancers performing street dance from the confines of home.
Firelei Báez online at James Cohan until May 10th. . . . . . . . . . . . .
Art galleries are still opening new exhibitions—in some cases you can even “walk” through the gallery. Some are even offering live artist talks and even concerts. Head to: James Cohan for videos of their most recent exhibition. Pace Gallery hosts weekly conversations with its artists. Lévy Gorvy current online art exhibition, Our Love Is Here to Stay features works drawn in March and April. Hauser+Wirth just made its debut of virtual reality world-wide this week. (All the galleries listed are donating a portion of the sales to various groups working to respond to COVID-19.)
Longing for music? Join the New York Philharmonic Plays On every Thursday at 7:30 via Facebook, when they post a video of a past performance (Leonard Bernstein was in the lineup!) The last two weeks of April, they celebrated Mahler’s New York, dropping works from the recent and distant past daily. In all NY Phil Plays On offers over 150 hours of concerts.
Opera lovers are in luck: The Metropolitan Opera offers a different opera, previously staged, every night at 7:30. The stream is available until 6:30 pm the next night.
Jazz devotees can head to Jazz at Lincoln Center, where Wynton Marsalis hosts conversations with jazz masters each week on Mondays at 9 pm on Skain’s Domain. The Zoom livestream musicians from around the world talking with Marsalis about specific types of jazz (for instance, the links between American ragtime and Brazil’s choro), playing not from high above Columbus Square site but from home. The smart insights and excellent performances add up to evenings that are as joyful as they are informative. (Even Marsalis learns something!) Other online programs include: Wednesdays with Wynton on Instagram Live, Wednesdays at 12:30 pm and a great mix of previous performances, on Youtube (including the music of another New Yorker, Miles Davis) by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. On Dizzy’s Club facebook, @DizzysClub, on weekends and many week nights, jazz singers and musicians take over on Jazz at Home.
. . . . . . . . . . . . Got some favorite online activities? Let us know—we’ll be adding more ideas in the future. Email our art director, Susan Huyser at firstname.lastname@example.org. . . . . . . . . . . . .