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The Not Your First Time, 24-Hour Stint in NYC

New York is always a good idea. When given a layover in New York, why not turn it into a 24 hour layover to get some good stompin' around town in? Central Park, Empire State, Statue of Liberty, the Met -- check, check check aaaand check. This is not my first time going to New York. Already have got the biggies covered, typical tourism at its finest.

Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney Museum in New York city by architect Renzo Piano with the High Line in the foreground.

Photo of Whitney Museum by Nic Lehoux

Portrait by artist Robert Henri of art collector Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (c. 1916)

There are a few reasons why I'm so excited to see the Whitney. Designed by architect Renzo Piano, opened May 1st, 2015, and situated between the High Line and the Hudson River, it is a piece of Architecture, with a capital A. That proximity to the highline is basically a 2-for-1, check out the museum's architecture, it's insurmountable collection of 20th and 21st-century American art. Also, my brilliant and talented coworker worked on the project, he continuously uses the drawing set as a reference (insert heart eyes) and now I'm basically obsessed.

The museum is home to over 22,000 works, emerging from Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney's personal collection of 600 works. What a rad woman to have know, collecting art and commissions of emerging American artists throughout her lifetime (1875-1942).

Painting by Robert Henri of the Whitney Collection

New Museum

Tokyo-based architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York

Photographs courtesy of the New Museum of Contemporary Art

Off and on over the years, I often have said the work of Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA is my favorite of contemporary architecture. With thorough obsession over their quality and purity of diagram translating into meaningful, programmatically driven architecture, I could not be more excited to see-- no, experience, one of their projects for the first time.

“It was complicated to organize the architecture around all of the desires, We knew we could not maximize the entire site with solid architecture, we had to reduce the building’s mass somehow to create space between it and the perimeter. The solution of the shifted boxes arrived quickly and intuitively. Then through trial and error we arrived at the final, ideal configuration. Now we have a building that meets the city, allows natural light inside, gives the Museum column-free galleries and programmatic flexibility, and expresses the program and people inside to the world of New York outside.” - Sejima and Nishizawa

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Photographs courtesy of AD Classics

A spread from the catalogue for the "Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim" exhibit.

It doesn't take a background in architecture to recognize the Franks (Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright). The Guggenheim by Frank Lloyd Wright (c. 1959) is an icon of New York, Modern Architecture with a capital A, and Frank Lloyd Wright himself. I've heard many dizzying critiques of the lack of orthogonal floors, how do you hang art on a curved wall, et cetera, but doesn't change that it's a classic. And what perfect timing too! Currently on exhibition is "Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim" featuring Calder, Kandinsky, Pollock, Mondrian, Picasso... the list goes on. Be sure to check out the catalogue for the exhibit if you aren't lucky enough to see it in person.

Spread from exhibition catalogue Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim

New York is the rendez-vous point for my sister, Anastasia, and I as we embark for our Spanish adventure (more on that to come soon). This 24-hour aggressive plan to see three museums (and the highline while consuming much pizza and bagels as possible) is the result of an overnight layover. Like I said, New York is always a good idea.



Samantha is an avid traveler and architecture addict. TRAC, the Travel Record of Architecture and Culture, came about when planning the next great adventure and she wanted to find a resource with modern and historic architecture in one place, mapped out. By day, she's living the dream, working at an architecture firm in downtown San Francisco.  

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