by Adam Kuban, 07/16/2013
Courtesy, Socrates Sculpture Park
Museums and Sculpture
Astoria is home to three venues that draw arts and culture lovers from throughout the City. The Museum of the Moving Image is the only institution in the country dedicated to the art, technology and social impact of film, television and digital media. It is home to the largest collection of moving-image artifacts in the US and features hundreds of screenings a year. Astoria is an apt place for it, too; the neighborhood was one of America's early centers of filmmaking and is home to Kaufman Astoria Studios, located next door to the museum, which dates to 1920. In fact, the museum and the studio sit squarely within the recently designated Astoria Arts District. Within walking distance (about 20 minutes, nearby bordering neighborhood Long Island City) is the Noguchi Museum, which celebrates the life and work of sculptor and artist Isamu Noguchi. Time your visit to take advantage of the free 2pm tour that the museum offers every day it's open (Wednesday through Sunday). After visiting the Noguchi, take a stroll though nearby Socrates Sculpture Park, which is practically across the street. Created by sculptor Mark di Suvero in 1986, the park is a 4-acre outdoor museum with a pleasant view of the East River and Roosevelt Island. Curators organize several large-scale exhibitions here each year as well as educational programs and community events like outdoor movie screenings and farmers' markets in the summer.