Interior designer and “market warrior” Bob Richter has an excellent eye for design and art. The life-long antiques collector has called New York City home since 1990, when he moved here to attend New York University. In addition to its gold mine of antique finds, Richter quickly honed in on the city’s vast supply of cultural events. “From the day I arrived, I filled my calendar with as many things as I could soak up,” he said. “I wanted to take advantage of everything New York had to offer.” We gave Richter free range to select his Top Ten culture spots in NYC, and per usual, he came back with some incredible gems.
Richter can be seen on the new PBS series Market Warriors
on THIRTEEN, Mondays at 9 pm.
The Museum of the City of New York was one of the first places I visited when I moved here. I saw “Within Bohemia’s Borders: Greenwich Village 1830-1930” and since I was living in Greenwich Village, it gave me a wonderful historical perspective on my neighborhood. Since then, I have been a frequent visitor to this intimate Beaux-Arts museum. They curate incredibly detailed New York-specific exhibitions that always teach me a thing or two (or three or four).
If you make the trip to visit the Museum of The City of New York, then you must hop across the street and visit this majestic arm of Central Park. Entering through its impressive iron gates, it feels like you’ve found a true oasis, especially in the spring when the tulips are in bloom. It is lush, lavish, well-manicured and has the feeling of an old European garden. The sculpture, fountains and greenery make it easy to get lost for an afternoon…and in a city as busy as New York, it’s a welcome change of pace.
The Neue Galerie houses an impressive collection assembled by Ronald S. Lauder
. The building alone is a treasure, which was designed by Carrère and Hastings, the same architects who created the New York Public Library. I admire Lauder very much. He speaks so passionately and humbly
about his collection, which he assembled piece by piece over the years. He created the Neue Galerie to showcase early 20th-century German and Austrian artworks, which I’m also attracted to…perhaps because of my roots. My favorite painting of his is the “Portrait of Karl Zakovsek” by Egon Schiele
…it’s so haunting and soulful. Schiele is probably my favorite artist of all time, and since he only lived to the age of 28, his work is rare. I feel fortunate to have some of his best work nearby. Plus, the gallery’s lovelyCafe Sabarsky
has the best Viennese cuisine outside of Vienna.
Underdogs taking on “the man” is a storyline I can always appreciate. The “Newsies” take on that theme is a toe-tapping spectacle that left me smiling from ear to ear. Jeremy Jordan, whom I loved in “Bonnie and Clyde,” shines with a great ensemble cast. The dancing is pretty incredible, but the costumes hit a real note with me. I felt like I was watching half of my wardrobe emerge on stage. I guess you could say my fashion sense is very “Newsies.” I wear the boots, the cap, the vintage shirts, pants…and yes…when I’m out hunting for flea market treasures, my vintage newspaper carrier’s bag.
I used to go see classic double-features at a magical place called Theatre 80 Saint Marks. As a young journalism student, I even got to interview the owner, Harold Otway. It is no longer a film revival house, but the names and footprints of Hollywood royalty like Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, Gloria Swanson, and Ruby Keeler remain in the cement outside the door. The next best thing now is Film Forum. I spent last New Year’s Eve watching Otto Preminger’s “Laura” there. It properly showcased the stunning Gene Tierney and the gorgeous sets, lighting and cinematography. While I watch a ton ofclassic films on TV, nothing beats the big screen.
A miracle is really just a shift in perception. One of our biggest challenges in this great city is space, and the genius minds behind the High Line created a new and wonderful urban parkway unlike anything else in the world. I love the gritty feel of the old railroad tracks married with lush grasses and trees. It is the perfect spot for an after dinner stroll, or people-watching. As an entrepreneur, I appreciate that it has helped the small businesses in the area. As a health and fitness enthusiast, I’m glad it provides an incentive for people to walk.
Closed for several years for renovations, the American Wing is new and better than ever. For those seriously interested in antiques, this area provides the finest examples of American art pottery, glass and silver. As an antiques collector and designer, this place has it all. I can take inTiffany’s beautiful floral columns from his Oyster Bay estate, or a turtleback-tile encrusted fountain from his retail store. I can stand in silence in a Frank Lloyd Wright room and understand the profound simplicity of his work. I make this a regular stop in my life and its treasures never fail to evoke utter awe.
I’m a huge supporter of small businesses, probably because I came from a family that ran one. As such, I shop them whenever possible, and the Chelsea Market houses a great deal of them. Housed an old biscuit factory, the market is filled with fun, gothic architectural elements that feel very “steampunk” (i.e. a bench with a stone pillow, iron torches, a pipe that doubles as a waterfall).
For the best and most diverse dance troupes, The Joyce is a wonderful venue to keep on your radar. From classic to interpretive to outlandish, this place offers up something for everyone. The Art Deco signage outside always appeals to me, and is a great part of the urban landscape in Chelsea. It’s a true gem for those who are serious about dance, or just want a fun and different evening out on the town.
I’m a proud “Angel” and member of the Leadership Council of Broadway Cares. I lost my brother John to AIDS-related pneumonia in 1985, and my work with this organization is done in his honor. There is still so much left to do to find a cure, and to provide services for those living with HIV and AIDS.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations, and since 1988 has raised more than $195 million for essential services for people with AIDS across the U.S.
Broadway Cares taps into the Broadway community and creates wildly popular events such as “Broadway Backwards,” “Broadway Bares,” and the “Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction,” which is coming up in September. It gives fans the chance to snatch up memorabilia owned by Broadway stars, many of whom are on hand that day to volunteer and give autographs!