Thursday, August 18, 2011

Temporary Closings: Various

As I have been researching things to do in NYC, I have found a few things that folks should be mindful of when they want to visit a new-to-them location.

First, check the website of the location the day you plan to visit.  Yes, you might think that checking the week of or even the day before may be sufficient, but you would be wrong.  I have researched locations (like the Tibet House and the Swiss Institute of Contemporary Art (which is moving to 18 Wooster from 295 Broadway)) the day or the week before visiting only to find that it is closed for a new art installation the day I went for a visit.  Ok, sometimes the website won't be updated even on the days a location is temporarily closed (like the Austrian Cultural Forum's 2-week-long closing for a new installation) but really, the only way to avoid such a disappointment would be to call ahead on the day of your planned visit.

Second, if you are really interested in visiting a place and it is currently closed (like The Grange (Alexander Hamilton's house), the New York Historical Society, and Edgar Allen Poe's cottage), consider joining the mailing list so that you are informed as renovations or changes to a re-opening schedule may be updated.

Third, you might think that most places would be open most days and you just have to keep in mind reasonable operating hours, but there are very odd hours for some of the less-visited sites (like the Bartow-Pell Mansion, which is only open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays) or locations that have reduced resources at various times of the year like the Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, which does not offer gallery tours in July and August).

Finally, while some websites and online articles may rave about a certain tour or public offering (like the tour of The Plaza Hotel), if you really want to be sure something is still available, you should call ahead.  The internet is a huge benefit to disperse and share information, but if it not updated regularly, it can cause a lot of confusion and disappointment.

Hope you are all taking advantage of all that NYC has to offer.  Don't get discouraged when trying to visit the smaller hidden gems in NYC.  Many of them are well-worth the extra effort.

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