"Hidden Museum" St. Patrick's Cathedral Tip by danchatman
St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City: 5 reviews and 10 photos
Most people don't know of this place, but across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral is the Onassis Cultural Center, which holds major museum-quality art exhibits related to Greece and the Mediterranean region. Their resources are top notch: major American and European museums, university holdings and private collections. And the art is always significant, with the accompanying information detailed and thoroughly explanatory (which isn't always the case in large museum shows). It's never crowded, and admission is free.
In addition, at the entrance to the gallery - next to a sign in sheet - is usually a stack of books on the exhibit (again, with detailed information and excellent photography). Feel free to take one; that's what they are there for.
The proper address is 645 5th Avenue, but you can only enter on 51st or 52nd Street (between 5th and Madison Avenues), in the middle of the block. The building's awning is labelled "Public Atrium", and the Onassis Center is located inside, down the stairs.
While the museum is open daily from 10am-6pm, the Atrium is open from 8am-10pm; amid the interior waterfalls and the casts of the Parthenon friezes (worth a visit themselves if you haven't been to the British Museum in London) you can grab a seat at one of the tables. I think there is a small cafe there too, as I often see people eating and chatting.
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