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Climbing Big Bambu At the Met

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday June 2, 2010

Now that it's really hot and summery, a little altitude might help to cool things down. A climb 110 feet above Central Park can be yours for the price of admission to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where Doug and Mike Starn's Big Bambu is installed in the roof garden.

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Photo left: Peggy Roalf. Right:Big Bambú installation view; photos by Doug and Mike Starn, copyright 2010 Mike and Doug Starn / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

If you get there at 9:15 you're likely to be first in line, as I was the other day; on weekend mornings, you might want to get there a little earlier. Enter the Uris Center for Education at ground level opposite 81st Street. Just form a line at the door and at exactly 9:30, a tour guide will escort you to a special area designated for Big Bambu. Tours are also offered Tuesday through Sunday at noon, with additional tours on Fridays and Saturdays at 3:30; afternoon crowds are definitely larger and at some point the limit is reached.

Be sure to read the information page on the Met's website; you must wear shoes with non-skid soles and be prepared to stow all your stuff - including cameras and mobile phones - in a locker.

Once you ascend the bamboo walkway, 360-degree views of the city unfold. I was almost hoping the pathways would be really springy and a little scary but there is so much bamboo lashed together that the structure, while somewhat bouncy, feel quite steady underfoot.

Doug + Mike Starn: Big Bambu continues through October 31st at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. 212.535.7710. Enter the Uris Center at Fifth Avenue opposite 81st Street for guided tour tickets.
Read the Guided Tour Guidelines and Restrictions.
See the video about its construction on YouTube.

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