The Isamu Nogushi Museum in New York

The other day I picked this print up at the frame shop, and I immediately had to dive into my (yet not quite sorted) folder of images from our US-trip last year. See, I bought the print (brilliant red ink on almost transparent washi paper) in a very special place....

On a sunny day in June, I left my family to their own devices, and hopped on the subway to go visit a place in my own slow company: The Isamu Nogushi Museum in Long Island City - just a few stops from bustling Manhattan, but an oasis of quiet and beauty. The Japanese-American artist Isamu Nogushi designed the place himself, and it is created as a place where he would sum up his life's work in a small, intimate exhibition building and sculpture garden. There is so much to say about both Nogushi himself, and the exquisite museum space he created - I will lead those curious for more on to these sources:

It landed on my top ten list (I think, actually!) of breathtakingly beautiful architecture, I have had the good fortune to see, here or there. Seen as a whole, because you could not remove one sculpture or pine tree from the garden, or anything. It is perfect. Everything in balance, and warm, welcoming, sensual and approachable in every detail. Just wow.

On the last image you see his characteristic initials, on a stone fountain in the garden. 

The practicalities: Take the yellow N/W subway line and get off at the Broadway stop. It's a nice half hour walk from there, and you may want to check out the Socrates Sculpture Park, or other interesting things in this rather cozy and very down to earth neighborhood.

The museum has a café (and a really nice shop selling - among other things - the lovely Akari lamps) - BUT if you are hungry, I have one really hot tip for you. I had lunch in this diner on my way to the museum, and it was just the best eggplant parmigiana sandwich with an ice cold Coke on the side, I have ever had!

The Bel Aire Diner is on the corner of Broadway and 21st Street. Much recommended!

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