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The Ultimate 48-Hour Art and Culture Itinerary

Curated by Jennifer Famery-Mariani, Curator and Founder of TribecaArt+Culture Night
New York, U.S.A.

With this curated itinerary, guests of Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown can explore lower Manhattan’s extraordinarily rich arts and culture landscape – from visual arts adventures to live performances and much more.

As Jennifer states, “Downtown’s cultural landscape is so rich and unique, that it was challenging to select only a few spots for the itinerary. In my selection, I’ve tried to crystalise how vibrant and diverse the arts scene is downtown by including a wide range of experiences and venues from high-brow museums to insider’s art spots across the spectrum of the arts.”  

Night One:

  • Take advantage of a less crowded Whitney Museum of American Art. If you are ready to throw yourself out there as you soon as you arrive in the city, you may want to take advantage of special nights and extended hours offered by selected museums and experience a typical New Yorker’s Friday night. It’s less crowded and open until 10:00 pm. Before or after your visit, you may want to make a stop at Untitled, the Museum’s restaurant, and/or take a stroll on the close by High Line. If you cannot make in on Friday, the museum is also open until 10:00 pm on Saturdays.
  • Alternatively, unwind with a special night at the Rubin Museum in Union Square. Cocktails, music, films and more! Sip a cocktail while discovering the museum’s exquisite special exhibits and permanent collection dedicated to the arts and culture of the Himalayas and neighbouring countries.
  • Get a little weird at the underground House of Yes. If you are looking to go out, “OUT” – the House of Yes will hit the spot. This funky Brooklyn venue/club/bar space show cases dance, circus, theater and cabaret and aerial performances in a former ice warehouse. I recommended to book in advance and dress up.
  • As you head back to Four Seasons, if you still have some fire in you, it might be worth making a stop to Tribeca’s Dream House. This experimental space features a sound and Light installation by composer La Monte Young and visual artist Marian Zazeela, which will, no doubt, ease you into sleep. It’s open until 2:00 am and requires a donation.

Day One:

  • Start the day with a gallery hop. The Tribeca Arts District in only a 10 minute walk away from Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. Book a curator led-tour and discover lower Manhattan’s new and upcoming art scene. Tribeca now counts more than 80 spaces dedicated to the arts. This tour will take you off the beaten path and expose you to a diverse mix of emerging and highbrow art spaces. The highly prized tour is limited to eight people allowing for a personal and intimate experience.
  • Discover one of the only museums dedicated to drawing. Located just a block north from Canal Street, The Drawing Center (TDC) is one of the art jewels of Lower Manhattan. Founded by Martha Beck, former assistant curator of drawings at the Museum of Modern Art, TDC offers world-class exhibitions featuring the work of emerging artists as well as historical and contemporary drawing based work.
  • To continue exploring lower Manhattan’s iconic art non-profits and museums, just walk across the street to the Leslie Lohman Museum and/or take a stroll through Soho heading towards Bowery and Prince Street to visit the International Center of Photography. This is the world's leading institution dedicated to the practice and understanding of photography and/or the New Museum located on the same block. A couple feet away, you can also check out the artist on view at the Houston Bowery Wall.
  • If you are looking for a place to take a break from the hustle and bustle, before or after you visit those museums, Elisabeth Street Gardens is the place you are looking for. This community garden located on Elisabeth and Prince Street is a local delight. Sit on one of its benches for a conversation, a hot chocolate, lunch bite or a read.
  • Discover local cultural gems: unique book and poster collections. Only a few blocks away from the Hotel, you’ll find the Mysterious Bookshop, the US’s biggest and oldest shop specialising in crime fiction, detective novels and espionage thrillers. Almost adjacent to the bookstore is the Poster Museum, which holds the largest US collection of posters.

Day Two:

  • Visit the National September 11 Memorial - a tribute of remembrance and honour the 2,977 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. While in the Financial District, look at the outstanding permanent and temporary art installations scattered all around the neighbourhood. Just a couple of minutes away from the memorial, you will come across dozens of large-scale sculpture and public art, including works by Dubuffet, Koons and Noguchi.
  • Take the ferry to Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The museum is located in the Main Building of the former immigration station complex on the island and offer a vibrant testimony of the history of New York Immigrants with exhibitions and talks.
  • In the mood for a movie? Take a cab to the Lower East Side to catch a screening at the
  • Metrograph, a movie theater devoted to screening archive-quality 35 mm prints and new films in state-of-the-art digital projection. If you are into classic or independent American and foreign films, the Film Forum in Greenwich Village is the place for you.
  • Private exhibition walkthrough with Director of Taittinger Gallery - sip a glass of champagne as you enjoy a walkthrough at Taittinger Gallery. The gallery Director will take you on an in-depth tour of the exhibition on view including the private lower gallery space, which show cases a curated exhibition of the gallery artists and top blue chip secondary market works.