A Summer Without Manhattan

by The AFC Staff on May 27, 2015 A Summer Without Manhattan


Welcome to summer. Manhattan is about to smell like pee and dead fish. Its museums will soon be tourist central—we wish you luck trying to see any art over the selfie sticks. Good news, though: New York is big, five boroughs big. You don’t actually have to go to Manhattan to see art. While Manhattanites swelter in the subway, we head to the outer boroughs—where museums and art spaces show the type of art we like: weird and wonderful shit.

Over the next three months, Art F City plans to publish weekly posts on the less-trodden art spaces in the Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens. The moment is ripe for greater recognition: We already know that more people live in the outer boroughs than in Manhattan (according to 2014 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, 1.6 million people live in Manhattan, compared with 2.6 million in Brooklyn and 2.3 million in Queens), the city council’s forthcoming cultural plan has aims to focus on boroughs outside of Manhattan, and directors of longstanding nonprofits have voiced their concerns that “Manhattan has been turned over to developers.”

Today we debut our Bronx coverage.

To paraphrase Benjamin Wallace-Wells, part of the Bronx’s intrigue is its lack of semiotic association in post-gentrification New York; “The Bronx” doesn’t quite conjure a loaded, complete mental image the way the terms “Brooklyn” or even “Staten Island” do. What does it stand for? It is in many ways the borough that is the least distinguished from neighboring Manhattan while simultaneously being the most removed in terms of socio-political reality. Wallace-Wells concludes that this proximity/disparity defines the Bronx’s uncertain identity as one of aspiration: if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

If you have any shows, events, or activities happening outside of Manhattan, let us know (tips@artfcity.com).


Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: