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Posted: Nov 28, 2017
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By: Whitney Meers

Date Ideas To Pay Homage To Your Favorite NYC Artists

Every day, thousands of artists, performers, and musicians embrace their creative expression within the backdrop of NYC. Many of the featured artists below moved to the city with no more than some talent and a dream. They've all gone on to have careers far beyond what they ever imagined, becoming icons along the way. From the lifeblood of Studio 54 in the Warhol era to street life inspiration for a young Notorious B.I.G., the city is bursting with memories of a bustling artistic past.

Below, we’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorite NYC-based artists of the past and present, and tracked down date spots inspired by their relationships with the city.

01

Patti Smith x The Bitter End

147 Bleecker Street, Manhattan

01

A New York icon, the legendary “Because the Night” singer recounted her experience as a young bohemian in NYC in her 2010 memoir, “Just Kids.” In the book, she paints a picture of her life with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, detailing their stint at the Hotel Chelsea and their memories in the back room at Max’s Kansas City, among other New York artist hangouts.

While many of her old haunts no longer exist today, one iconic place to honor Smith’s New York is to catch some live music at the The Bitter End. Smith performed there as far back as 1975 and recalls it as the place where she first met Bob Dylan.

02

Keith Haring x Club 57 Exhibit at MoMA

11 West 53 Street, Manhattan

Keith Haring x Club 57 Exhibit at MoMA

Most longtime New Yorkers are astutely familiar with Haring’s works, which depict colorfully creative line drawings and cartoonish imagery. Unlike many artists of his time, Haring’s vision was to keep art accessible to the masses, a promise he kept to the New York community by drawing throughout the subways and selling his work for very affordable prices. Though Haring passed away in 1990 due to complications from AIDS, his legacy lives on through the Keith Haring Foundation, which supports AIDS organizations and children’s programs.

In the late 1970s through the early 1980s, Haring served on the founding curatorial staff of Club 57, a performance space in the basement of a Polish church on St. Mark’s Place. New York’s Museum of Modern Art is hosting an exhibition paying homage to this experimental theater through April 1, 2018, making it a great date opportunity to pay tribute to Haring’s legacy.

03

Andy Warhol x New York Public Library

New York Public Library, 476 5th Avenue, Manhattan

Andy Warhol x New York Public Library

New York Public Library, 476 5th Avenue, Manhattan

No list of New York artists would be complete without a shout-out to Andy Warhol. Famously known for his bright Campbell’s Soup cans and celebrity portraits, Warhol was a staple in the nightclub scene in the 1970s. He frequented the legendary Studio 54, and also ran an experimental workshop called The Factory, a foil-decorated workspace where a collective of artists would produce silkscreens and screen tests around the clock.

There’s plenty of documented evidence that Warhol drew inspiration from the New York Public Library’s Picture Collection, which features more than one million prints, photographs, posters, postcards, and more. That makes it a great date spot for artsy types looking for some Warhol-esque inspiration of their own.

04

Notorious B.I.G. x Junior’s Cheesecake

386 Flatbush Avenue Extension, Brooklyn

04

Brooklyn-born Christopher Wallace, a.k.a. Notorious B.I.G., was a gifted hip hop artist who became a prominent figure in the feud between East Coast and West Coast styles of hip hop music. Though he only released two solo albums before his tragic death in 1997, he remains a prominent figure in the genre’s history.

Notorious B.I.G. is said to have been a regular at Junior’s, where he liked to order strawberry cheesecake with a Coke. Celebrate date night there in his memory, and take note of the photo of him and fellow hip-hop artist P. Diddy that still appears on the wall today.

05

Madonna x Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal, 4 S. Street

Madonna x Staten Island Ferry

The original “Material Girl” moved to New York City in 1977 for her dance career but went on to become the best-selling female recording artist of all time. NYC’s eccentricity allowed her to explore her creative pursuits, and her fashion choices defined the ‘80s. Like Warhol, she was a regular at New York’s Studio 54.

Though New York sets the stage for much of Madonna’s work, one notable way to pay homage is to grab a drink and watch the sun set over the Statue of Liberty on the Staten Island Ferry. Part of the video for “Papa Don’t Preach” was shot on the ferry. Video director James Foley, who is from Staten Island, jokingly suggested she shoot there so he could show off his achievements among his high school friends from his Staten Island community. She agreed, and that video is now a part of her legacy.


06

Beastie Boys x Adam Yauch Park

Adam Yauch Park, 27 State Street, Brooklyn

Beastie Boys x Adam Yauch Park

Adam Yauch Park, 27 State Street, Brooklyn

Formed in New York City in the 1980s, the Beastie Boys were one of the longest-running rap groups with hits like “No Sleep till Brooklyn,” “Sabotage,” and “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (to Party!).” The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, just a month before group member Adam “MCA” Yauch passed away from cancer.

The following year, a Brooklyn Heights park called Palmetto Park was renamed in Yauch’s honor. Take a trip to this lovely neighborhood and enjoy a stroll in the park with your partner while remembering Yauch’s contributions to the city’s music scene.


07

Jean-Michel Basquiat x Washington Square Park

Entrance, 5th Avenue & Washington Square North, Manhattan

07

Basquiat rose to fame in the streets of the Lower East Side as part of the graffiti duo SAMO, alongside artist Al Diaz. His works infuse social commentary, his Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage, and abstract styles. Basquiat went from homeless to selling a single painting for $25,000 in just a few years before his tragic death at only 27 years old.

While Basquiat traversed around New York’s Lower East Side, his first home base was Washington Square Park. It was there that he first met Diaz and other influential members of the art scene during that era, many of whom would inspire his later work. Honor his memory by visiting the park and doing something creative — write, draw, slow dance — do you.


08

Cyndi Lauper x “Kinky Boots” on Broadway

Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302 W. 45th Street, Manhattan

Cyndi Lauper x “Kinky Boots” on Broadway

Astoria-born Lauper spent her first years in the New York music singing covers before damaging her vocal chords. After doctors told her she would never sing again, she worked with a coach who helped her regain her voice. She’d go on to sell more than 50 million records and 20 million singles.

In 2013, Lauper won the Tony Award for her work in writing the score for the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots.” The musical also won five other Tony Awards that year (including the award for Best New Musical) and is still running strong as a wild date performance.

09

Lou Reed x St. Ann’s Warehouse

Currently Showing “People, Places & Things”, 45 Water Street, Brooklyn

Lou Reed x St. Ann’s Warehouse

Currently Showing “People, Places & Things”, 45 Water Street, Brooklyn

One of the city’s most iconic musicians, Reed built a reputation for himself as the lead singer of the underground rock band The Velvet Underground. The band, which performed a stint as Andy Warhol’s house band at The Factory, disbanded in the 1970s, but Reed continued to make music as a solo artist until his death in 2013. The Velvet Underground remains on of the most influential rock bands in history.

One of the most notable performances of Reed’s post-VU career took place in 2006 at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, where he performed his critically-panned “Berlin” album all the way through for the first time since around its release more than 30 years before. Relive the spirit of that experience with a date at St. Ann’s Warehouse, a beacon for wonderful and beautiful experimental theater.

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