By Aydan Aslan
Everything in New York City costs money – except the Museum of Modern Art on Friday nights.
For those who don’t know, MOMA opens its doors for free every Friday after 4pm. I went with a friend last Friday and expected small crowds. We thought we were the only clever people who knew of this free event.
Apparently, everyone – young, old, tourists, locals, kids- has heard of Target Free Fridays because the lines to get inside snaked around the building.
If you’re planning on going to MOMA on a Friday evening, the first thing you should make time for is – time. My friend arrived at exactly 4pm and waited more than an hour to get our tickets. When I arrived at 5pm, the line was crazy and crowded as if they were giving away free bread.
A MOMA employee was trying to control the crowd, yelling routinely – go back outside and join the line like everyone else- to your right! You could tell she and every other MOMA employee was exhausted and tense.
I began to wonder if the line would ever end or if we would still be standing at 9pm without a ticket.
It didn’t help that hoards of people kept walking inside, so the line never seemed to wind down.
But that was the end of the pain. When we finally got our free tickets, it was like a radiance from above. I almost forgot how tired I was when the cashier handed us our free tickets.
With our tickets, we walked right in through the revolving doors.
The first exhibit we entered was on the Contemporary Art floor. The room was empty without people but probably because the art was full of disjointed, harsh images. There were videos on repeat of a woman screaming and keeling over.
The next room was entirely dedıcated to nude colored panty hose strung up from floor to ceiling.
But the fifth floor is what I really wanted to see. That is where Dali, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh were waiting for me. When I entered the room and saw Monet’s paintings, I felt his existence.
So was Free Target Fridays worth the wait? Tickets are normally $25 and with a student ID, you can get tickets for only $14. I guess it depends on how you value your time.
For me, it was such an enriching experience to see MOMA and I will definitely go again to explore more of it. But next time, I’ll spend the $25 and give myself more time to appreciate all of the art inside the MOMA.