Some of the best views afforded visitors by the Empire State Building can actually be found on its second floor. That's where NY Skyride's virtual skyline tours take place. Guests gather upon a large, moving platform that drifts in sync with footage projected onto an 18-foot high definition screen. The experience brings visitors up close to the highest peaks of architecture the city has to offer. The virtual tour explores three dozen famed landmarks within 30 minutes, while narration by actor Kevin Bacon points out interesting facts about each sight, such as its historical significance or how many degrees away from it he is.
From a stone mosaic that lined the floors of a 5th-century synagogue to the final rhyme spit out by a Jewish hip-hop artist, the span of the Jewish Museum's collections is as diverse as it is expansive. What began in 1904 with 26 artifacts has blossomed into a collection of 27,000 paintings, sculptures, and multimedia exhibits that together present a collage of art and Jewish culture from across centuries and continents.
The centerpiece of the Museum is Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, a permanent exhibition teeming with artifacts, videos, and art that collectively celebrate Jewish identity and the culture's ability to persevere through sometimes tragic circumstances. Artists—from 20th century French master Édouard Vuillard to contemporary American painter Kehinde Wiley—enliven the galleries in rotating exhibitions.
Interactive exhibits such as the Archaeology Zone bring kids within earshot of ancient times as they don ancient costumes and weigh, magnify, and analyze vessels just like anthropologists or careful ancient housewares shoppers. Family activities include holiday-themed art classes and workshops, and The Wind Up series invites adults into the Museum for an after-hours menagerie of cutting-edge music, film, and theatre. After a day of soaking up history, attendees can nosh at Lox at Café Weissman, a certified-kosher café whose stained glass windows shed light on the edible portion of the Jewish journey.
As the recession deepened, Metro Art & Frame owner Bo Okuyan found that demand never slackened for one market of art collectors: parents. Mr. Okuyan's business savvy caught the attention of the New York Times' Michael Winerip in 2010, who noted that a steady supply of finger paintings and crafts had caused Bo to rethink his definition of art. “All kids are artists, that’s how we look at it now,” he said. Whether upgrading fridge-hung stick-figure portraits to a permanent gallery or framing a more traditionally priceless painting, Mr. Okuyan and his staff begin with a complimentary consultation, tailoring each project to fit home or office aesthetics and personal style. Metro Art & Frame's acid-free mats center photographs, oil paintings, or post-modern puddles of spilled milk in an ornate, gold-leafed frame or elegant black one. Five types of glass and two flavors of plexiglass guard sensitive paintings from light damage with UV protection, and the shop's selection of contemporary and classic prints lets patrons fill in the gaps in their home galleries.
Eastside Art Gallery's skilled frame-fitters prepare photos and artwork for eye-catching display with hand-finished wood and metal frames. They pride themselves on helping visitors to customize an ideal frame style to match their home décor, and they strive to protect valuable prints from deteriorating, fading, or spontaneously combusting by using acid-free backing and UV glass. In addition to their fastidious framing services, they maximize customer satisfaction by regularly offering same-day turnaround and free pickup and delivery within the neighborhood.
Although buying pottery pieces in a store is easier than making your own, it isn’t nearly as satisfying. At Supermud Pottery Studio, it’s this impending satisfaction that leads students aged 3 to adult toward creating their own mugs, vases, and bowls during interactive classes and children's summer camp. Pupils learn the basics, such as hand building or wheel throwing, from experienced teachers as they shape blocks of lifeless clay into utilitarian pieces or sculptures with actual heartbeats. Finished artwork may even reside in the studio's gallery, which displays inimitable ceramic works by both renowned artists and Supermud alumni.