A Photo Essay: Roof Garden Cáfe and Martini Bar at The Met

It is sad to admit, but it took me 9 long years as a New Yorker before I finally went to the Roof Garden Cáfe and Martini Bar at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met). Visiting the Roof Garden was always on my to-do list, but it just never happened. 

Imran Qureshi's Roof Garden Installation in 2013

In August of 2013, after reading about the Roof Garden Installation by Imran Qureshi, I decided I had waited long enough. I stopped by the museum on an overcast weekday and I was delighted to find that I was one of only 10 people up on the expansive roof top that afternoon.

The position of the Roof Garden within the perimeter of Central Park is truly unique and special. As an artist, can you imagine the opportunity to have the Roof Garden as your canvas with one of the most famous parks in one of the most famous cities on this planet framing your work? A very special opportunity to say the least.

Imran's installation was sublime especially given the contrasting green hue of the trees reaching up toward the Roof Garden and the towering cityscape beyond. The installation represented Imran's emotional response to decades of global violence and his hope for lasting peace and regeneration. On the day of my visit, when the place was quiet and mostly void of people, the roof top eerily felt like a murder scene surrounded by a still and silent city whose residents had fled the city streets for a safe haven.

Beyond the emotions triggered by the installation, the Roof Garden was an amazing way to take in the breathtaking view of the tree tops of Central Park and the city beyond the park's perimeter. I kicked myself for waiting so long and I knew I won't wait another 9 years before my next visit.

More pictures of Imran's installation from August 2013:

This August, I went back on a gorgeous Friday evening for drinks with visiting relatives. It was something I wanted to share with them as the views of NYC are second-to-none. I was hopeful that a good sunset was in store for us. 

The installation on the Roof Garden had changed (Dan Graham) as well as the size of the crowd. This time, I was one of two hundred plus. The weather was perfect, the mood was upbeat and festive, and the views were priceless. The energy of the crowd was only matched by the fiery colors of the sun and the sky as the sun approached the horizon.

August of 2014

Old Glory flying in front of the sunset

I will certainly be back as fall takes hold and transforms the color palette of Central Park.