I felt a bit flattered upon walking into the Austrian Cultural Forum and being greeted by the tour guide, asking if I’d like the tour in German or English, thinking, “I must be exuding European tourist vibe today!”–but since my German is a bit rusty (read non-existent), I went ahead and opted for English. When in New York, eh?
This gem of a cultural center is nestled between the busy 5th Avenue shops and bustling office buildings in Midtown, its central location making it perfect to utilize all the perks of the center. I, for one, can’t wait to start taking advantage of all this great Austrian culture we have in our own backyard.
Every Wednesday at 4pm, hour-long free tours are given of the Forum. It’s a great way to get acclimated with everything the Forum offers, and also learn more about the architecture of the building and the past and present artists on exhibit. Tours can be led in either English or German.
Fun tour fact: walking through the Forum, you’ll find the main color scheme to be shades of grey and silver. There’s gold only two places in the entire building: the inscription on the piano, and on the doors leading into the Forum. The architect’s idea behind this is that everyone walking through the doors should be treated like gold. Cute, right?
Rotating a few times a year, there’s always an art exhibit to be seen at the Forum, featuring artists from the region. Free to walk in and view, anytime! 3. Experience A Free Cultural Event At The Theater
From literature to film, dance to panels, art openings to musical performances, the Forum hosts a wide array of cultural events throughout the year. Best part is? They are all free. The latest schedule is posted here.4. Sit In The Quietest Library In All Of NYC
If you’re interest is piqued in learning more about Austrian history or architecture, the library at the Forum is certainly your best resource for research in NYC. But beyond utilizing it for solely the books, I also love that this library is so quiet and tucked away from the rest of the world, it’s an ideal place to bring your book or freelance work and enjoy some uninterrupted solitude.5. Write A Free Postcard
In the lobby of the Forum there’s a rotating postcard rack, featuring postcards from the current artist’s work on display. You are welcome to take some (yes, they’re free!) and share the Austrian love with family and friends near and far.
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