The New Amsterdam Circle Benefit

By: Alex

8:00pm, Thursday, May 11th – Museum of the City of New York

A fitting herald to the spring social season, the New Amsterdam Circle Benefit was hosted at the Museum of the City of New York.

Ascending the steps towards the main façade of the museum, facing Fifth Avenue, we arrived at the benefit to see the cocktails flowing and the music in full swing.

The dramatic façade of the Museum of the City of New York

The dramatic façade of the Museum of the City of New York

Upon entrance, we noticed the foyer filled with crowd comprising young, city professionals dressed in gala attire. As many of the guests seemed to share similar interests and occupations, the atmosphere was a harmonious one, with animated conversations permeating the venue; as such, it was easy to make friends and meet fellow young New Yorkers.

On the main staircase, against the Starlight installation suspended above the Rotunda

On the main staircase, against the Starlight installation suspended above the Rotunda

The first floor was open to guests for the night; bookending the foyer were two hallways, each terminating in a bar, replete with varieties of wines, beers and spirits, with mixologists at the ready.  Fitting of an event celebrating the past, present and future of New York, the bars appropriately featured Brooklyn Lagers, New Amsterdam gin and vodka, and distilled water from Saratoga Springs.

A mixologist serving New Amsterdam gin, amidst the backdrop of New Amsterdam centuries ago

A mixologist serving New Amsterdam gin, amidst the backdrop of New Amsterdam centuries ago

In one corner, guests lined up for caricatures quickly sketched by artists from Drawn Together NYC. In another, some danced to the sounds of Armo, a contemporary Afrobeat band.

Armo, a lively accompaniment to the sights and sounds of the benefit

Armo, a lively accompaniment to the sights and sounds of the benefit

There were two exhibits available for guests. If the guests, comprising young rising professionals, could be said to be New York’s present and future, then these exhibits were a fitting complement, serving as a window into New York’s storied past. Notably, the New York at Its Core exhibit showcased 400 years of the city’s history, with artifacts and memorabilia from past decades.

One such projection quickly transitioned into a modern-day depiction of Broome Street

One such projection quickly transitioned into a modern-day depiction of Broome Street

The other exhibit featured scenes from centuries past projected onto an entire wall – only to have these long-forgotten cityscapes transition into their modern-day equivalents before our eyes.

Guests leaving the benefit at the eleventh hour

Guests leaving the benefit at the eleventh hour

As the benefit wound down, I found it remarkable how many of the guests had become fast friends. Indeed, the atmosphere of cordiality extended onto the terrace even as the party came to a close; as I was about to hail a cab, a friendly smile from a lingering guest precipitated a new conversation, and soon I was engaged with her in talk of careers, aspirations, and our mutual love of the city. All this happened in the time-span of about five minutes, and then we were off on our separate ways - I can think of no better testament to the kindly spirit of New Yorkers than that.

We were guests of the Museum of the City of New York, however, the opinions are our own. The museum hosts unique exhibits year round. To learn more visit mcny.org. 


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