First of all, there are two NYC tips in this post: 1) there are good museums in New York outside of Manhattan — I’ll let your brain process that for a second — and 2) the best might be the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Located in the northern end of Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum is already pretty damn beautiful from the outside. The building was opened in 1897, but recent renovations add a modern touch to the design. Brick walls with full-length glass windows? Victorian columns with new age furniture? So hip it could only be in Brooklyn.
At the same time, the museum itself isn’t gigantic, but the diversity of its exhibits makes it seem like it holds just as much art as its Manhattan counterparts. Huge pre-Independence American murals are just down the hall from the “WTF is this?” contemporary art gallery. Life-size models of Dutch houses in 19th-century Brooklyn are on the same floor as this amazing Kehinde Wiley gallery blending modern African-American culture with religious art. Oh, and there’s a 400-foot Statue of Liberty replica in the parking lot.
Because the more popular museums in the city attend to the more predictable crowds (read: tourists), it doesn’t take long to realize the Brooklyn Museum attracts more “real” New Yorkers — those willing to take the 20-minute ride on the 2 train to Eastern Parkway. You’ll get it when you see it.
The museum also has suggested donation prices ($6 for students), but if you don’t like feeling guilty for giving only $1 to the cashier, try out a Target First Saturday — essentially a huge party inside the museum throughout the night, complete with drunk Brooklyn hipsters and children breakdancing. Actually, please go. Thank us later.