Perhaps the greatest sign of New York City’s ever-increasing prosperity is the fact that now, even the gritty, grimy Bowery (birthplace of the term “bowery bums” for the homeless people who used to swarm its cheap bars and bunk in its missions) now has a museum. And a bright and shiny one at that, a massive steel and glass tower. As with much of the art of the moment, the exhibits range from the sublime to the silly (I was stopped dead in my tracks at a recent exhibit by a cardboard box and a big plastic bag among all the sculptures—was it art, or the container the art came in? I knew the answer intellectually, but my heart kept crying out: Recycle that bag and box, and do something useful with it!). Wall text is hard to find, so buttonhole one of the gallery guides wearing big “ask me” buttons; sometimes their explanations will be more interesting than the art itself.
- Pauline Frommer