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HomeBuildingsBlizzard Season Over, Avoiding Crowds at ‘Our’ Museums

Blizzard Season Over, Avoiding Crowds at ‘Our’ Museums

Metropolitan Museum should charge admission, if only to curb the crowds.

Visiting the Metropolitan Museum on a sunny weekday afternoon is not a recommended activity for agoraphobes. And on a sunny weekend afternoon?  Don’t even try if crowds make you apprehensive/annoyed/unhappy.

(Above photo is of Elephant and Groom at Met’s “Age of Empires” exhibit.)

Of course, our Upper East Side museums are not exactly ‘ours.’  Taxpayers help support most of them as do member/donors domiciled far and wide.  New York City owns the Met’s building and contributes $26 million a year to the budget.

Charge required admission fee to curb crowds

One possible remedy for both overcrowding and fraught finances is for the Met to charge admission to out-of-towners as opposed to suggesting a contribution. We like the idea with the following reservation:

Separating New York City residents from the rest of humanity would be a strange process.  What sort of ID would be required and how easy would it be to obtain it under false pretenses?  Furthermore, would creating two classes of visitors offend the class forced to pay?

As a reality check, city taxpayers bear only 8 percent of the museum’s $332 million annual budget. So requiring New Yorkers to cough up would not be a grave injustice.

Experienced East Siders know that there’s no better crowd control at their museums than a blizzard.  We put on boots and mush our way over.  Others don’t even try.

Concerning crowds, wouldn’t requiring all to pony up for the privilege improve the experience if it discourages those who don’t care enough? And if everyone had to pay (except members, who’ve already done their bit), then perhaps the museum could lower the suggested admission price, currently $25.

(As for museum crowding, one way to avoid it at the Met is to book a private tour before it opens. At the Guggenheim, you can av0id lines at the admissions counter by buying tickets in advance.)

Experienced East Siders know that there’s no better crowd control at their museums than a blizzard.  We put on boots and mush our way over.  Others don’t even try.

Of course, the season of no snow and a zillion tourists is upon us, leaving an admission charge as perhaps the best means of curbing crowds, as well as helping the Met’s finances.

 

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Froma Harrop

Froma Harrop

Froma Harrop is a syndicated columnist, contributor to CNN Opinion and editor of This East Side.
Froma Harrop