Socrates Sculpture Park
32-01 Vernon Blvd. Long Island City, NY 11106
Socrates Sculpture Center is New York City’s only public area dedicated to giving artists the chance to exhibit large-scale creations. Huge banners stand beside enormous statues or long, winding pieces. The park is located at the banks of the East River, giving the air a slightly salty aspect and fantastic views of Roosevelt Island and Manhattan’s Upper East Side, including Gracie Mansion, where the mayor lives.
The center was actually an abandoned landfill that had become an illegal dumping site. In1986, a group of artists and local activists reclaimed it. Today, it hosts outdoor movies, an annual kite-flying extravaganza, a circus, a bicycle parade, Saturday workshops, and other activities.
Inside scoop: Socrates is only one block from the Noguchi Museum and across the street from the Mansard-Roofed Clock Tower. This L-shaped tower is atop a building that once housed the Sohmer & Company piano factory, which was built in 1886, when the area was spotted with piano factories. The building was designed in the German Romanesque Revival style.
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