This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



Met visitors are invited to walk through Tomás Saraceno’s engaging environment of the future, “Cloud City” (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden
1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
Tuesday – Sunday through November 4 (weather permitting)
Recommended admission: $20 adults, children under twelve free
cloud city slideshow

Two years ago, Met visitors were invited to walk inside Doug and Mike Starn’s environmentally friendly rooftop installation, “Big Bambú,” a junglelike pathway made of bamboo. This year people can enter a much more futuristic construction, Argentine artist Tomás Saraceno’s space-age “Cloud City.” Sitting atop the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, “Cloud City” is a geometric environment of walk-in modules made of mirrors, transparent acrylic, steel, and cords that give visitors a warped, fascinating view of the world around them, playing with their perception of reality and physical space. Like a house of mirrors, sometimes what should be in front of you is behind you, or what should be beneath you is above you. Where you should see east is west, or north becomes south. Part spaceship, part mechanical creature, and part airborne apartment complex of the future, “Cloud City” changes with the seasons; in the summer, it was filled with light and the green of the trees, but as the cold fall weather takes over, it is far more colorless. In order to enter the biosphere, visitors, who must be at least ten years old and four feet tall and weigh less than four hundred pounds, need to pick up a timed ticket on the fourth floor and store their bags and cameras in a locker. Each person gets about twenty minutes to navigate the stairs, platforms, and cool obstructions; women might want to avoid wearing loose skirts or dresses, as people below can watch you wander through the different modules (and photos are allowed outside of the structure). In honor of the installation, which is part of Saraceno’s continuing “Air-Port-City” project, the Met has even created a special Cloud City cocktail, made with dry ice, that you can order from the rooftop bar.

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