New York City on a Budget

by Aaron Barker


Picture This
Chelsea's fringy upstart galleries can be hit-or-miss (you might stumble into an art school's senior thesis exhibition), but the district's established anchors double as free museums. Aperture Gallery has brought in larger-than-life daguerreotypes by Chuck Close, and a survey of vintage photos by Lisette Model and her successors, including Diane Arbus and Bruce Weber, is on display through Nov. 1, 2007. And you'll often find boldface names at Matthew Marks (Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky) and PaceWildenstein (Jim Dine, Jean-Michel Basquiat). After hitting up the biggies, troll through the area—W. 24th St. is a good place to start—to take in the wacky but sometimes wonderful work of tomorrow's stars and today's also-rans. Openings are usually held on Thursdays; check the calendar at www.chelseaartgalleries.com to take advantage of the free wine and the chance to eavesdrop for tips from industry players.

All That Jazz
If you're culturally inclined, you'd rather get in a shark tank with Damien Hirst than shack up in a bland chain hotel. So book a room at the funky Gershwin Hotel (pictured), an artsy hodgepodge that has artists, photographers, poets in residence (they stage events in return for gratis accommodations) and whose walls are hung with Warhol prints. The hotel also supports charities such as Fractured Atlas, which serves struggling artists and art organizations. The 150 rooms are light on amenities (no room service, for starters), but the throwback pricing—relatively spacious doubles start at $200 on high-season weekends—more than compensates.

Aperture Gallery
547 W. 27th St.
Tel: 212 505 5555

545 West 22nd St.
Tel: 212 989 4258
534 West 25th St.
Tel: 212 929 7000

Matthew Marks
522 W. 22nd St.
521 W. 21st St.
526 W. 22nd St.
Tel: 212 243 0200

Gershwin Hotel
7 E. 27th St.
Tel: 212 545 8000

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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