The Whitney Museum was designed by Marcel Breuer and contains a large collection of American art from the nineteenth century to the present day. Sometimes however it shows special exhibitions and that can restrict the range of work on display. This is a pity since many visitors to New York will want to see a representative selection of work from the Whitney's entire collection to gain an insight into the nature and range of American art, rather than concentrating on the work of select figures.
However the Whitney is well worth visiting especially if, in future, it makes a more generous selection of its main collections available than was on show this season. There is also a good bookshop.
945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street. www.whitney.org Subway lines 5 or 6, at 77th St and walk towards Central Park.
New York's Greenwich Village has an international reputation as the city location where many artists and writers lived and worked from the middle of the Nineteenth century onward, through to modern times. Yet, paradoxically, while the United States celebrates many of its historical sites, parts of the Village remain shabby and run-down in appearance.
The traffic races through its main thoroughfares, while the quiet back streets are disfigured with garbage bins or heaps of building materials. The romance and associations of the place struggle against this neglect. It is still well worth a visit, however, and it may be that in time discreet improvements will be made by the city authorities: improvements which retain the battered elegance of the place but recognise its significance in the history of American art and literature.
Subway to West 4th Street, Washington Square
We're normally people who cringe at the idea of organised tours but after a couple of days touring the city by foot and subway, it was nice to let someone else do the work.
It's impossible to get a true handle of the neighbourhoods in an open top bus but it's a good way of getting your bearings and snapping some good photos.
The guys selling the tours are polite but really just after the sale so don't really offer much in the way of explanation or advice. I don't think English is often their first language but that's no reason to to be fearful as all the tours are totally legit.
I do recommend the Brooklyn Tour. Although the photo opps are less than in Manhattan, we were entertained for a good couple of hours by the guide (Mr Siegel, didn't catch his first name). A true Brooklynite, he regaled us with his own family history and his own upbringing outside of The City. It was refreshing to have someone combine the official tour script with his own political opinions, his feeling about Manhattan and his hatred of the LA Dodgers! Make sure he serenades the bus with the Frank Sinatra song or ask for your money back!
Get on the main city tour and then hop off at the South Street Seaport to get your connection. Watch your timing as the last tour to Brooklyn starts about 3pm.
Get on at 8th and 49th, or 45th and Times Square.
Connection at South Street Seaport.
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