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Key to the City

One New Yorker on the Fine Art of Museum-Going (with Snacks!)

Key to the City BY aleksa brown 10/12/2017

As a resident of New York’s Upper West Side, Ariana Boussard-Reifel is pretty museum rich. “I’m within walking distance to dozens of world-class institutions,” says the jewelry collector-turned-designer. She knows her way around the best in the area—big and small—and, despite her spoils, is even willing to borough-hop to get her fix (especially when promised a good tequila drink).

 

FOR SERIOUS VERSAILLES VIBE


“Set in a beautiful old mansion on Fifth Avenue, The Museum of the City of New York always has interesting exhibits. They just opened a show on silver comparing masterworks from their archives to newly commissioned pieces. I’m in love with silver as a material, so it’s great to see a whole show about it. I like to pack a picnic and take it to the Central Park Conservatory Garden across the street to smell the flowers.”

TO DIVE INTO DRAWERS OF DREAMY JEWELRY


“Years ago, The Museum of Arts and Design exhibited one of my sculptures, so they have a real special place in my heart. I go there often for their incredible archive of art jewelry. I love seeing the technical details other artists have used—especially when I’m trying to figure out a closure. The restaurant on their top floor, Robert, is expensive, but it’s great for a cocktail and a bird’s-eye view of Central Park.”

FOR SOME UNCROWDED INSPIRATION


“I like slipping into The American Museum of Natural History during off-hours to cruise through the South American gold room. That’s where I first saw the Mayan pectoral that inspired my Despina cuff. After the museum, I go to Han Dynasty, which serves awesome Szechuan food in a fun atmosphere.”

 

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TO DANCE AND DECOMPRESS


The Rubin is amazing for its otherworldly collection of Himalayan art, and the ambiance is incredible as well. They have a beautiful color palette and a Tibetan shrine room—I swear it even smells nice. On Friday nights, they have a DJ and a bar. It feels very naughty to have a party in a museum, but I love it.”


FOR A BITE-SIZE VISIT (PAIRED WITH MARGARITAS)


“Long Island City has so many good museums, but The Noguchi Museum is my favorite. Noguchi used materials in such an unexpected way, and I find it so inspiring that he can shape marble to look soft and serpentine. It’s a small museum, so there’s always time for Casa Enrique afterwards. They just got a Michelin star, and they serve up some mean margaritas.”

 

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