For most folks who know and love MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, a reference to the museum’s rooftop likely brings to mind James Turrell’s quietly awe-inspiring Meeting. However, a new rooftop bar brought to you by the folks at M. Wells and a stunning view ensure that PS1’s rooftop proper will become a must-see part of your museum experience this summer.
This weekend’s trip revealed that the roof has been being used for practical purposes too, specifically for growing vegetables and herbs for M. Wells Dinette located downstairs at PS1, a kind of mini Brooklyn Grange. And in recent weeks, the M. Wells team set up a small bar cart, offering mostly beer and wine to accompany the aforementioned beautiful view. A smattering of table seating invites museum goers to relax and take their time in this urban oasis.
The PS1 rooftop, open in the past for exhibits (though not in my recent memory), is a treasure which also includes a large alcove housing a small scale work by the more typically epic Richard Serra. His thin track of metal cut into the floor, part if the museum’s permanent collection, makes you wonder about valuable things hidden in plain sight.
And ultimately, the PS1 rooftop is all about sight, the unspoiled view of everything around it, Manhattan, Queens, the Queensboro Bridge. With Long Island City changing so rapidly, and residential towers shooting up left and right, one wonders how long we will have to appreciate this great view of the city around us. But then museums make an existence of balancing the permanent and the temporal, so they will adapt, and so, I imagine, will we.