arts 10.2.07

Hidden Corners

Here are three jewels in the city's cultural crown — in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens — and we bet you haven't been to all three of them.

Bargemusic, Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn, 718.624.2083, is the unlikely combination of first-rate classical music, small-town setting, and spectacular views of Manhattan. It's the best place for chamber music in New York.

Olga Bloom has run this enterprise since 1977 and her touch is all over it. Ms. Bloom and her late husband both played violin, she under Stokowski, he under Toscanini. When her husband passed away, Ms. Bloom, who was born in Boston and always lived near water, decided to provide an intimate atmosphere where people could come together to play and listen to chamber music.

So she did what anyone would do: she set up shop on an old barge in the East River.

Once inside the wood-paneled barge, it's hard not to fall under its spell, especially when you listen to the musicians who, since there is no stage, perform nearly within arm's reach. The barge tends to sway a bit, sometimes in tempo, usually not.

With no fanfare, no signage, no entrance fee, no gift shop, no Acoustiguides, a white building in Long Island City is the site of one of the best museum-going experiences for contemporary art in New York. Part of what makes it such a joy is another thing it doesn't have: crowds. The last time we were there, there was hardly another soul to interfere with the company of the paintings and photographs.

And what company you're in! Works by Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Francesco Clemente, Robert Rauschenberg, Kiki Smith, Peter Hujar, Willem de Kooning, Chuck Close, Matthew Barney, Gregory Crewdson, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist….

This exceptional experience is at the Fisher Landau Center for Art, 38-27 30th Street, LIC 718.937.0727. Emily Fisher Landau, whose collection of more than 1,000 works from contemporary artists of the past four decades this is, wanted to see her collection in one place — thus the FLC was born. The 25,000 square-foot building, originally a parachute-harness factory, was for a number of years open by appointment, but now welcomes visitors Thursday through Monday, 12-5.

Our vote for prettiest place in the five boroughs? It's in the Bronx.

Wave Hill, W. 249th and Independence Ave. 718.549.3200, was home to, among others, Mark Twain, Teddy Roosevelt, and Toscanini. But it's the 28 acres of gardens, lawns, woodland, and views of the Hudson that are so enchanting.

You'll find a wild English garden, a conservatory, a greenhouse, an herb garden, an aquatic garden, and a trail that makes its way through 10 acres of woods. If more people find out about it, it could completely blow the Bronx's tough-guy image.

"You are a New Yorker when what was there before is more real and solid than what is there now."
Colson Whitehead

yo, dog, that was da bomb…your broccoli, ready for a closeup


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