Mamma Dia!

Dia: BeaconCall it your last arts getaway for the summer.

As exciting as the arts in our lovely five boroughs are, sometimes you just need a break from the city.  This past weekend, I headed to Beacon, NY to check out Dia’s Riggio Galleries.

Though leaving the city can be daunting, this trip is surprisingly easy.  Metro-North‘s Hudson River line (which you can catch at Grand Central or the station at 125th and Park Avenue) takes you to the Beacon stop, right across the street from Dia.  The trip lasts an hour and a half, barely longer than it takes me to get to CU from my Brooklyn apartment – and the river and mountain views from Metro-North sure beat anything you see underground.

Dia is unlike anything you find in the city.  The building (a converted Nabisco factory), has an expansive open layout entirely lit by natural light.  In fact, with all of the incredible installations by artists that were part of the land art movement, I barely remembered I was indoors. I was dwarfed while wandering in and out of Richard Serra’s massive sculpture series,  and almost felt compelled to jump into the  chasms in the floor of the building created by Michael Heizer’s negative space sculptures.

With the upper level enveloped in light, it was only appropriate that the basement level is pitch black except for the neon glow of Bruce Nauman‘s sculptures.  I even took a piece of art home, thanks to an interactive installation!

Even if you’re not a “museum person,” Dia: Beacon is an awesome interactive experience. Afterwards, make a day of it by wandering around town, exploring its many restaurants, shops, and art galleries.  If you flat-out refuse to go anywhere the MTA doesn’t service, Dia also runs some unique and fascinating sites right here in the city.

The next time you’re feeling weary of our metropolis, remember that it’s actually easy to leave!  Take advantage of the last two weeks before classes start by taking a few day trips.  Whether you’re a brand new Columbian or you’ve been here for three years and counting, we could always use some more-ientation to all the culture available to us in NY.   If you have any neat ideas for arts outside of the city, comment and let us know!  I think we all want one last hurrah as a final farewell to the summer.


Kimberley Mackenzie Roode
Teachers College ’11

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2 Responses to Mamma Dia!

  1. Ben says:

    The Beacon stop is on the Hudson River Line (to Poughkeepsie) not the Harlem Line (which runs to Wassaic). You can get both at either GCT or Harlem-125th, but it is imperative that you get on a Hudson River Line to Poughkeepsie.

    • cuarts says:

      Thanks for clearing that up, Ben! I was a little confused because the MTA map splits up their train schedule into two categories- East of Hudson and West of Harlem, and Beacon is in the latter group. Glad you caught my directionally-challenged error, which I’ll correct right now.


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