The Metropolitan Museum of Art's four-block-long building, located in Central Park, functions as a time capsule, preserving hundreds of thousands of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts that collectively demonstrate mankind's finest achievements. Founded in 1870 to bring fine art closer to the general public, the Museum has since become a means of exploring worldwide cultures through art.
With more than 400 galleries open to the public, seeing all the Museum has to offer is more of a lifetime achievement than an afternoon commitment. Paintings by preeminent artists such as Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh draw huge crowds, but unexpected treasures await those willing to dig deeper. One collection of galleries features the world?s most comprehensive collection of American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts. Another, equally compelling?and newly reopened?collection is devoted to intricate Islamic artwork from as far westward as Spain and Morocco and as far eastward as Central Asia and India. It's also impossible to overlook the galleries of Egyptian art and its approximately 26,000 artifacts, making it the largest collection of its kind outside Cairo.
The Met?s collection is so expansive that it cannot fit entirely in its Fifth Avenue location. Travel to Fort Tryon Park in northern Manhattan, and you'll find the Museum's collection of reassembled cloisters, which opened to the public in 1938. These beautiful medieval structures currently house around 2,000 manuscripts, tapestries, and stained-glass artworks largely dating from the 12th century through the 15th century. Three of the cloisters even feature gardens planted in accordance with medieval tradition.
NYC Gangster Tours walks crime-curious tour groups on expeditions to the stomping grounds of New York's most notorious gangsters, sharing stories of their illegal dealings and violent ends. Tours traverse the East Village, Little Italy, and Chinatown neighborhoods, stopping in at historic social clubs, cafés, and alleyways where deals and whackings took place. Along the way, groups learn the tales of infamous gangsters including Charlie “Lucky” Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and John "Teflon Don" Gotti, so named for his invention of the nonstick fedora.
At 3rd Ward, Brooklyn's brightest and boldest creative professionals come together for an array of gallery openings, performances, and other showcases of right-brain brilliance. The center hosts more than 100 classes and courses in a myriad of mediums, with curriculum available for budding Botticellis, Brontës, and Brett Ratners alike. Push your picture taker to new artistic heights with Learn Your Digital Camera ($65 for non-members), give lonely members of the Apoidea family a couch to crash on with Rooftop Beekeeping 101 ($100 for non-members), or turn your next tailgate party into a tasting with the beer brewing class ($35 for non-members, with no additional materials fee). Other classes cover writing, sculpture, filmmaking, bicycle mechanics, and how to make a piñata with scrap metal, among numerous other topics. The value of this Groupon can be applied toward the value of 3rd Ward's more intensive courses, as well.
As a polyglotte tour guide, Alex Gabriel Kanze has served as a New York City tour guide in its many different forms, from double decker bus rides to private tours. With Alex's Tours, he taps into his deep bank of knowledge to lead groups along enjoyable and informative walking tours. Alex specializes in Prohibition tours that add a spirited element to history. During the tour, guests will visit New York's hidden speakeasies and taverns as Alex waxes poetic on the history of prohibition and New York's place in it, with tidbits sprinkled throughout concerning history, culture, and the fact that the Statue of Liberty's torch was originally a martini glass.