Panthers Around The World: Trip to New York City

Sara Paredes, Feature Editor

While many 16-year-olds celebrate their birthdays by throwing an elaborate party or receiving a brand-new car, my 16 was sweet in its own way. From Oct. 5 to Oct. 9, I traveled to New York City and spent the weekend with my sleepaway camp friends, art and the sights of New York — my mother’s birthday gift to me. 

I am currently taking AP Art History, and as soon as I heard some of the 250 pieces listed in the curriculum were on display in various museums around New York, I jumped to make a list of where I could find them around the city. 

Art: The Museum of Modern Art

Walking into the MoMA after arriving in NYC, my intentions were very clear. After meticulously planning and mapping out where pieces such as #120: “The Starry Night,” #126: “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” and #145: “Woman 1” could be found, I spent around an hour and 30 minutes hunting down these famous pieces that I will eventually study during the school year. 

While lists six APAH pieces kept in the museum, only the three listed above were on display during my visit. Even so, seeing one of the most famous art pieces in the world in real life, “The Starry Night,” was an unforgettable experience. 

Art: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

While the MoMA contains solely modern art, the MET’s 2.2 million square feet of art, architecture, sculptures and so much more can leave one wandering the galleries for hours on end. 

For me, visiting the MET on my first day in NYC meant continuing the hunt for the APAH artworks that call New York home. These included: “New York Kouros,” not on the list but is still discussed in class, #25: “Lamassu from the citadel of Sargon II,” #21: “Kneeling Statue of Hatshepsut” and #109: “The Oxbow (View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, After a Thunderstorm).” 

While I had put a total of seven pieces on my art-hunting agenda, unfortunately, we had gotten there too late and the museum was nearly closing. As of now, the MET also holds #202: “Shiva as Lord of Dance,” #66: “Annunciation Triptych” and #119: “The Burghers of Calais.”

Art: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

My third art museum stop was spontaneous and outside of my APAH hunt. Known for the iconic rotunda-style interior, the Guggenheim Museum is the permanent home of various Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, Manet and Cezanne impressionist art pieces. At the time of my visit, the first, third and fourth floors were undergoing an installation process, but my visit to the Guggenheim, while short-lived, was still a pleasant experience.  

Following my art hunt around Midtown, my second day in NYC was spent in the Lower East Side and SoHo — mostly thrift shopping. 

Shopping: Beacon’s Closet

At my first thrift store stop, the line down the block proved to be seriously worth it. Despite the moderate to high price range, Beacon’s Closet was probably some of the best thrifting I have ever done. With an expansive selection of shoes, clothes and accessories of every style, I spent around an hour perusing the store’s racks and walked out with a bag chock-full of clothes. 

Shopping: Buffalo Exchange

While Beacon’s Closet was a bit more of an organized experience than this overwhelming thrift stop, Buffalo Exchange had its own flare of organized chaos. The store also had an extremely wide variety of options — even a section dedicated to Halloween costumes. I spent less time in this store but walked out with a pair of deep red corduroy pants and a white fringed jacket. 

Buffalo Exchange and Beacon’s Closet both emphasize their buying and selling systems in order to preserve their sustainable take on shopping, which contributes to thrift stores gaining popularity in New York City and around the world. 

Shopping: MoMA Design Store

This location was probably my favorite shopping destination from this trip. With three locations throughout Midtown and Downtown Manhattan, the MoMA Design Store contains all kinds of out-of-the-box items. From funky kitchen utilities to grade-A sound systems and eclectic furniture and room decor, I could not resist making purchases in this store. 

While I visited two of the three Design Store locations in Manhattan, the SoHo location was by far the most impressive, with its two floors and a much wider range of items than the store located across the street from the MoMA museum in Midtown.  

On top of my shopping and art hunt, a visit to NYC would not have been complete without a trip to some of the popular landmarks and sightseeing attractions. During my time in the Lower West Side, I also visited the Vessel — a 150-foot tall structure and popular tourist attraction — in Hudson Yards. I walked the Highline, a one-mile-long elevated park constructed on a former New York Central Railroad in Chelsea and visited the Stonewall Inn in the heart of Greenwich Village, a historical landmark and the site of the 1969 riots that triggered the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement.