Review: Chihuly at the New York Botanical Garden

Review: Chihuly at the New York Botanical Garden

Whether you know the name Chihuly or not, you’ve probably seen his glass sculptures on display somewhere, whether a chandelier hanging in a lobby or his glass blown flowers coating the ceiling at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. He’s actually been on my radar for a few years. Just last month I checked out the Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg, Florida.

So when I saw Chihuly’s works were coming to the New York Botanical Garden through October, I had to go. And it’s an absolute must if you’re in NYC.

 

New York Botanical Garden

The NYBG is actually located in the Bronx, accessible via Metro North from Grand Central or a subway ride + a walk. The garden itself is gorgeous and HUGE. I barely even scratched the surface as I was on a time crunch so I focused only on the Chihuly pieces. It can be done in an hour but at least a half day is preferable. There are restaurants and food trucks (or you are permitted to bring your own food on the grounds) so you really can spend the whole day there.

 

Haupt Conservatory

I started with the Haupt Conservatory. Chihuly’s Citron Sun greets you before you even enter the conservatory. The bright neon green glass swiggles stand out against the white-and-glass building. Even with other tourists around, you can get some great shots and views of the work.

Once inside, you go from work to work with great directional signage leading you from one work to another. You can expect glass flowers in water, water droplets splashing from the gardens, and even glass leaves that blend in with their natural surroundings.

In addition to Chihuly’s well known styles, the exhibit includes the new Koda studies using colored panels which create gorgeous reflections in the water, and a neon work I can’t wait to go back and see at night.

Koda panels

Reflecting Pool

Next up is Red Reeds. My photos don’t do the work justice as the red pops so much, plus it was tough to get a photo without a tourist in it. The press photo from NYBG is below so you can really see the beauty of it.

Photo from NYBG website

Native Plant Garden

You’ll first find a boat filled with colorful glass orbs. Further along the water you’ll find two different colored panels which gave me one of my favorite shots of the day. The whole area is incredibly calming with small waterfalls and green everywhere.

 

Arboretum

The blue Sapphire Star is next, on its own in a grassy area. It’s an incredible work that reminisces of a bright blue eye.

 

Mertz Library Art Gallery

Outside, you’ve got a great old vs. new with Blue Polyvitro Crystals in the fountain next to weather faded sculptures. Inside you’ll find Chihuly’s early work, drawings and a film.

I went in expecting to a see a couple of Chihuly’s works and was blown away with how they seemed to pop up everywhere. It’s an incredible exhibit by day and special nighttime events throughout this summer show the works lit up at night. It’s definitely a must see and I can’t wait to go back to check out the rest of the New York Botanical Gardens.

 

CHIHULY is running now through October 29th at the New York Botanical Gardens. Admission is $23 on weekdays and $28 on weekdays. The grounds are free on Wednesdays but you can pay $13 for access to the Conservatory.

Pinterest graphic Chihuly pinterest

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How to Get into NYC Museums for Free (or close to free)

How to Get into NYC Museums for Free (or close to free)

Always free:

The New York Public Library (free guided tours at 11am & 2pm Monday-Saturday and 2pm on Sunday)

Brooklyn Botanic Garden (weekdays December-February)

 

Always suggested admission:

American Museum of Natural History

American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History

The Brooklyn Museum (and completely free first Saturday)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (including the Cloisters)

The Museum of the City of New York

 

Bank of America Museums on Us (free first weekend on month with BofA card):

Cooper-Hewitt

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Washington Crossing the Delaware at the Met
Washington Crossing the Delaware at the Met

Whitney Museum of American Art

Barbara Streisand at the Whitney
Barbara Streisand at the Whitney

Monday:

Federal Reserve Bank – free tours at 1pm and 2pm

 

Tuesday:

9/11 Memorial & Museum (5pm-close, the Memorial is always free)

9/11 Memorial
9/11 Memorial

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Federal Reserve Bank – free tours at 1pm and 2pm

 

Thursday:

Museum of Arts and Design (pay what you wish 6pm-9pm)

New Museum of Contemporary Art (pay what you wish 7pm-9pm)

 

Friday:

Frick Collection (first Friday of the month from 6pm-9pm)

MoMA 4-8pm

Andy Warhol at MoMA
Andy Warhol at MoMA

New York Historical Society pay what you wish 6-8pm

Benjamin Franklin at the NY Historical Society
Benjamin Franklin at the NY Historical Society

Saturday:

Brooklyn Botanic Garden (10am-12pm)

Brooklyn Museum (first Saturday of the month)

Cooper-Hewitt (pay what you wish 6pm-9pm)

Guggenheim (pay what you wish 5:45-7:45pm)

 

Sunday

Frick Collection (pay what you wish 11am-1pm)

 

My Stay at the 21C Museum Hotel in Durham

My Stay at the 21C Museum Hotel in Durham

I first came across the 21C Museum Hotels in Louisville, KY. I was visiting a friend of mine there who suggested we check out the art gallery in the hotel. An art gallery? In a hotel?! 

Outside the 21C in Louisvil
Outside the 21C in Louisville

It. Was. Awesome. The exhibit was modern with a mix of all art mediums including video. My favorite was Peter Sarkisian’s Puddle, which included video and audio.

Since then, I’ve always wanted to stay at a 21C Museum Hotel, located in select cities (Louisville, Cincinnati, Bentonville, Durham, Lexington & Oklahoma City). So when the Durham location was one of my company housing options in Durham, I had to stay there.

 

The Hotel

The hotel itself is super groovy. Housed in an old building designed by the same architects as the Empire State Building (more on that later).

The mascot
The mascot

The room is comfortable with soft lighting (and fantastic “entry”, “master” and “bedside” switches). The bathroom is black and white with purple lighting and Malin + Goetz products.

Duckie in the shower
Duckie in the shower

Best of all, the hotel is PET FRIENDLY. Which means Bruno was very welcome. For a one time cleaning fee of $150, your pet can stay no problems.

 

Art Gallery

The exhibits rotate and there were a few pieces that I remember from the gallery in Louisville. Again, there was a mixture of video, sculpture, and paintings. Here are a few of my favorites:

Elastic Empire State by Alexandre Arrechea - transformation of the Empire State Building, designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, the same architects of the building that is currently the 21C Durham
Elastic Empire State by Alexandre Arrechea – transformation of the Empire State Building, designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, the same architects of the building that is currently the 21C Durham
Memorial Flag by Dave Cole - made out of 18,000 plastic toy soldiers
Memorial Flag by Dave Cole – made out of 18,000 plastic toy soldiers
Felipe by Adriana Duque
Felipe by Adriana Duque

I highly recommend this small chain of hotels and can’t wait for my next stay with them!