Guest Blog – Whirlwind tour of NYC, DC/Chi goes Urban Explorer

So for those of you who regularly read this blog, you know that our very own Urban Explorer just went to NYC and shared her observations (and great style choices I must add). Why then would she be once again posting about the Big Apple, does she have no new content or adventures to share? Of course not! Instead, in efforts to revive two fellow blogger’s posting efforts, she has given us (Jess and Erika of DC/Chi Life) the opportunity to guest blog about our own urban adventures. So here for your reading pleasure is our 26 hour tour de NYC.

After taking the DC2NYC bus (without movie as only we were the only passengers interested in watching Eat Pray Love, unspiritual co-bus takers..) we arrived in the Big Apple (Jess’s second tour, Erika’s first). After locking away our precious belongings in a shady alley building promising to be a luggage storage center the city lay before us. What did we decide to do first? Shopping of course. We expertly traversed the subway lines (thanks in part to JJ’s previous knowledge and google maps…but mostly google maps) and made it into the shopping mecca of Soho. As you can imagine we hit up the top sites including Madewell (Chicago has sadly not yet been graced with Alexa’s presence), Topshop and the disappointing Uniqlo.  While we were inspired and impressed by the shops and shoppers, Uniqlo was a total disaster.  Fleece wrap skirts (picture a fleece kilt)…really?  REALLY? Not ok.

Following our shopping adventures we were taken out on the town to tacos and nightlife in Brooklyn thanks to our gracious host, but the main reason Jess offered us a place as guest bloggers was to discuss what we did Sunday morning (something she herself is upset she did not add to the Urban Explorer’s personal agenda) the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Now I cannot give us too much credit as in reality this idea came about thanks to our host for the evening. You see, we had our mind set on the MOMA, but as it was a Saturday, our bus was leaving at 3 p.m. and we had obviously had a slow-moving morning, Parker came up with this alternative, less crowded, more-new yorker idea.

Of course the exhibit did not disappoint. Entitled, “Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera” the exhibition showcased how the famed American illustrator utilized photography to bring his pictures to life. In what was one of the more unique exhibits we’ve ever seen, the illustrations were presented side by side with the photographs that helped create them, helping museum-goers get a real sense of how Rockwell saw and built each piece of work.

Rockwell acted as a director, staging the photographs and had his photographers take multiple shots piecing together the perfect image; a hand from one photo and a slight smile from the other. Once combined the images created Rockwell’s uncanny ability to bring Americana to life through illustration.

Now while neither of us were smart enough to take photos throughout the entire trip, we will borrow this example from the Brooklyn Art Musuem’s website to give you a sense of what the exhibit offered:

If you happen to be in NYC before the end of April, we highly recommend you make this museum and exhibit a key point of interest on your extensive tourist to-do list. (Plus the museum even has mummies which obviously is just cool–or scary if you ask the 7-year-old girl who was forced to view the mummies by her father).

Although the trip was short, we’ve already fallen in love. 26 hours was not enough and don’t worry NYC we’ll be back (and hopefully be back as avid bloggers on our own site as well).


Erika & Jess of DC/Chi Life

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  1. thank you dc/chi life! this exhibit sounds so insightful. growing up, i had a big rockwell poster book i would peruse and get lost in another time. i always appreciated the honesty and humor in his art, and the vulnerability of his subjects that make them so relatable. “Girl At Mirror” was my favorite as, well, a girl:

    i might need to make a trip back to nyc before this closes! thanks ladies!

  2. Girl at the mirror was one of the pieces in the exhibit, you definitely must go back! Rockwell added the magazine in the illustration at the last minute (it wasn’t in the photographs) as he thought it brought the whole image together.

    Thanks for letting us guest post!

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