Aha, yes, tonight. Fifth Avenue shut down to traffic from 82nd Street all the way up to 104th Street. You’d never know this was Fifth Avenue in my photograph around 94th Street. This is Museum Mile. Starts with your world famous Metropolitan Museum, heads up past the Guggenheim to the Jewish Museum and ends up at the Museum of New York (with others in between). With a marvellous vista across Central Park, this is a beautiful part of New York. Ordinarily spoiled by buses, lots and lots of buses, cars and taxis all crammed into this one way street, but tonight was special, no vehicles allowed.
It is the night of the annual Museum Mile Festival. I don’t remember this from last year, passed me by, but this year we turned up at 6pm to wander down the whole length from 104th Street down to 84th Street. It was great. Lively, full of families with kids drawing all over the road with ‘sidewalk chalk’. Various kids entertainers doing their thing, with an escapologist wowing the crowd with his amazing fire tattoos and ability to escape from chains and a strait jacket. How lovely to wander down Fifth Avenue and not watch for the traffic; let your toddler wander along the road, confused because he can cross when the red hand is showing, rather than waiting for the regular white person to declare ‘it’s our turn to cross’.
And every museum and gallery along the way was open for free to the public. The lesser known Neue Gallerie on 86th Street was doing a roaring trade. It is hosting an exhibition on degenerate art from Nazi Germany and it is proving to be one of its most popular shows. People were queuing down the block for free entry to this one.
Just another lovely part of New York life.