As the novel coronavirus brings the world to a standstill, millions are forced to hunker down at home. The announcement of a complete lockdown in several parts of the world has disrupted the travel and tourism industry globally. The best way to stay safe in the current crisis is to stay at home. But does that necessarily mean that the opportunities to explore the world have come to an end? Not really. What if someone could bring the best of New York City right to your living rooms? From Broadway shows to art museums, here’s how you can have the quintessential NYC experience virtually.
Be it The Met, MoMA or The Frick Collection, NYC’s major museums are all offering virtual tours through their collections and exhibitions right from the comfort of your couch. In collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, The Met Online lets you browse through their entire collection, covering 5,000 years of art history. Their online exhibit called ‘The Art of Music Through Time’ even includes audio of the curators offering insights on the historical instruments on display.
One can find some 129-odd modern masterpieces from the Museum of Modern Art on Google Arts and Culture which include Van Gogh’s 'The Starry Night' and Rousseau’s 'The sleeping Gypsy'.
You can also try out the street-view tour of the Tannhauser Collection at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum which displays some significant works of Impressionism and Early Modern Art.
From the streets of New York
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If graffiti and street art is more your calling, Google Arts and Culture has got you covered. The virtual tour offers a 360 degree view of NYC’s most vivid murals including Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra’s most prolific works. The art tour also includes the murals of Banksy and his Hammer Boy on the Upper West Side. Other street art destinations include the Bowery Graffiti Wall on Houston Street, Freeman’s Alley on the Lower East Side and the Graffiti Hall of Fame in Harlem.
What's on Broadway?
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Looking to catch a break from Netflix? How about a dose of some Broadway musicals in your living room? Artists and performers have taken to online shows to entertain their audiences amid the coronavirus outbreak. BroadwayHD, a theatre streaming service is bringing plays, musicals and ballets from all over the world on one platform. From romantic musicals like ‘The King And I’ to classic tales like ‘Peter Pan’, these virtual concerts are ideal for those looking for a 'culture fix'. You can also log on to Broadway.com, a New York-based theatre community that posts daily updates on Living Room Concerts.
The comedy scene
Believe it or not, comedy is a serious business and so are comedy clubs. Ground zero for many of the best comedians today, New York’s comedy clubs are iconic for all the right reasons. Amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, many of these clubs have shut shop. However, hosts are still holding virtual versions of their sets. While Caveat is live streaming its shows, New York Comedy Club is releasing digital content and will also be rolling out the NYCC Premium Access digital content through the lockdown.
Films and beyond
Making it to the Tribeca Film Festival this year might be a bit of a far-fetched dream. With the fest being postponed and the alternate dates still in the air, it seems like a dead end. However Tribeca finally has a solution up its sleeve—a virtual festival. The virtual reality focussed immersive programme will release 15 of the VR short films that had been selected to be part of the 2020 fest. The online version aims to bring new work from incredible storytellers to an eager audience. The 19th annual Tribeca Film Festival is the first and only festival to introduce a curated immersive experience for cinephiles.