The Municipal Art Society (MAS) is a non-profit organization which aims to make NYC more livable. It focuses on many aspects of NY life including planning and zoning but also runs exhibitions, programmes and tours on architecture, public art and the cultural development of NYC. The MAS has its own galleries with rolling exhibits on NY-based themes, many of which are unique to the organization. These run for 6-8 weeks at a time and info can be found on their website: www.mas.org The tours are especially great for tourists though, particularly if you've been to NYC before and have seen all the usual sights already. They take you to little-known districts where expert guides show you around and offer fascinating information on places you might not think of going otherwise, like Harlem, the Bronx, and various areas of Brooklyn and Queens. The Grand Central Station tour is the most popular and runs every Wednesday at 12.30 from inside the terminal. The schedule changes all the time so you'll need to check their website to see what's going on when you visit, but you can just show up at the street corner and join the tour without booking. Prices are very reasonable; make sure to get there early. Tours leave promptly and are often hard to track down once they're under way.
The Municipal Art Society of New York 457 Madison Ave (btw/ 50th & 51st) NY 10022 T: 212-935-3960 W: www.mas.org Subway: B, V, F, D to Rockefeller Center 6 to 51st & Lexington
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