Introducing the Friday Social! NY Gallery Tours

Drums and fanfare, please! Welcome to the first ever Friday Social here at A Desi New Yorker! Yay!

What is the Friday Social and why should you care? Well, thanks for asking!

The Friday Social is a weekly post informing you of awesome new things to do or places to check out in NYC. Had a miserable week at work? Want something fun to do this weekend besides get plastered? The Friday Social post is here to get you motivated and inspired.

Secretly, though (as I chuckle as mischievously as C.M. Burns), I’m looking to rev up your dating life. No more excuses! Get out of your apartment, HAVE FUN, and hey, you never know what might happen.

New York Gallery Tours

To inaugurate this special occasion, I’m starting off the Friday Social series with New York Gallery Tours. I discovered this tour in 2010 through a social network in NYC that I belonged to. It was founded and is currently still led by Rafael Risemberg, Ph.D. a former arts education professor who started NY Gallery Tours as a hobby about a decade ago and loved it so much that he decided to quit his job to pursue this full-time. Such a bad ass!

What I love about it is that you don’t have to be an art expert to enjoy the tours. I consider myself to be art-challenged: I don’t “get” most of it. But what Rafael does really well is that at each exhibit we visit, he explains a little bit about the artist’s background, how the pieces were created and what the artist was trying to accomplish. Sometimes we’ll even show up to an exhibit where the artist is present so we can have our questions answered directly.

Once we met an artist from Cuba who made installations using iron hooks that he also created depicting his Cuban perspective of the US:

Ocean with hooks

Photo by Priya Marie

All of that positive space is filled in with tiny metal hooks. The experience gave me goosebumps for so many reasons – his talent, struggles, and risk. I was in awe. With the context Rafael provides, I finally get the missing piece for art to make just a little more sense to me. Sometimes the exhibits are just fun, they make you feel happy…and there are times when they don’t make sense at all, but that’s fun, too, because it won’t make sense to anyone else, either and you find comfort in numbers 🙂

Speaking of numbers, his tours are popular so there’s always at least 30-40 people. It feels like a hundred because we’re constantly piled up in these small galleries. What I love about the crowd is that it’s diverse and open-minded and their comments are generally thought-provoking.

More importantly, this is not an obvious singles scene like a happy hour bar or speed dating event might be. Also, you avoid the noise pollution those venues breed and get to enjoy an atmosphere where you could easily strike up a conversation without the, “WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” nonsense.

New York Gallery Tours has events almost every weekend from September to May. My favorites are the Chelsea “Best Exhibits”  and Lower East Side tours. They are $20 but if you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll get a $5 discount code each week for that weekend’s tour. At the end of the tour, you get a points card with a stamp for your first visit. A new stamp for each tour you complete and ten stamps wins you a free tour.

**I have no affiliation with New York Gallery Tours**…aside from being a fan!

Give it a try, come back and post a review below! Or you can email me at priya@adesinewyorker.com because I’d love to hear from you.

Happy exploration!


This is the first post in the Friday Social series

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