Thursday, May 26, 2011

NYC Part 3: What We Did: McQueen Exhibit, The Music Hall of Williamsburg, the Brooklyn Flea Market & Artist & Fleas

Doesn't look like much from
the outside

Besides eating and my sister’s dress viewing, I did manage to do a few other things in New York City. I also did lots of shopping. But I’ll get to that in my next entry.

The Music Hall of Williamsburg
On our first night in New City School, we took the L line to Bedford and headed up to the Music Hall of Williamsburg to see the CSS/Sleigh Bells. I’ve seen both of these bands before but their Williamsburg show put those previous shows to shame and I think the venue/its crowd played a big role in that.

Holding just under 500 people, the Music Hall is sort of like a two level Lee’s Palace but more spacious and with cleaner bathrooms. It has this great “lounge” sort of area in the basement while there’s a lobby space just outside the actual hall where you can grab a drink (only $6), browse the merch tables or just stand around, all while being able to hear and see the band.

While the show was sold out, it never felt sold out and the only times we ran into lines was at the bar (which was short staffed) and of course in the bathroom at the end of the night (though that moved surprisingly quick).

I know that Williamsburg gets a lot of flak for being the hipster capital of the world but the crowd at the CSS/Sleigh Bells show had nothing on what you see in Toronto. The crowd was really, really into both acts and pretty much everyone was moving though they stayed within their “dance bubbles”.

I would definitely attend another show at this venue and if you have the chance, you should too.

(Also, anyone want to open a similar-type venue in Toronto with me?)

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty – The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Just like Alexander McQueen’s clothes, this show at the Met isn’t for everyone. But if you like beautiful and sometimes dark creations as well quality workmanship and creativity, you’ll probably like this exhibit.

Pretty dresses!
The exhibit does a great, and extensive, job of showcasing McQueen’s career from his graduate show until his death last year. While his clothing designs are of course the focus, the show also contains plenty of accessories and is surprisingly successful at incorporating McQueen’s often highly theatrical runway shows (yes, the Kate Moss hologram is featured).

The one negative about it was that it was absolutely packed. The front desk woman warned us that we’d need our “elbows ready” and she wasn’t kidding. But despite the crowds, this show was worth it.

If you do go, make sure to pick up the exhibition guide. At $45, this gorgeous, full-colour book is a steal. Plus it has a fun hologram cover.

The McQueen show is covered in the ticket cost to the Met, which, while supposedly is “by donation”, will likely cost you $20. (Though if you have an AGO membership card, you’ll get in free.)

The Met itself is packed with amazing artefacts and pieces of arts and if you have the time, I do recommend that you check as much of it as you can out. But be warned, the place is like a massive maze and finding key areas like the over-priced cafeteria or an exit can take half-an-hour.

Brooklyn Flea Market (Williamsburg Location)
I touched on the Brooklyn Flea Market in this blog post, where I talked about Ovenly. But Ovenly wasn’t the only tasty vendor at this market, held every Sunday by the East River, between 6th and 7th street (on Saturdays it’s held over at Fort Greene).

Before the rain started
While the rain kept away many vendors, and shoppers, when we were there, there was still several dozen booths set up and many of them were selling food, including items such as grilled cheese sandwiches, tacos and roasted corn that could enjoyed right then and there.

There were also plenty of craft/jewellery vendors, someone selling refurbished furniture and even a few vintage clothes sellers.

If you’re into crafty things, a trip out to the Brooklyn Flea Market is probably worth your time, especially if you pair it with a trip to Artist & Fleas.

Artists & Fleas
This art/jewellery/craft/vintage clothes market is entirely inside, meaning that rain doesn’t scare away vendors or shoppers. When we were there the place was pretty busy but not uncomfortably packed.

What I really like about this place is that it’s home to some really wearable, and affordable, accessories. It also has proper changing rooms (not those unstandable, stand-alone ones that you see at The Clothing Show) so that you can easily and comfortably try on any clothing items that catch your eye (and if vintage clothing is your thing, there is a lot to choose from here).

There’s no food items here but you can always do what we did: Have lunch at the Flea Market and then head over here to Artists & Fleas.

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