Interview with Nick Gray from Museum Hack
Glitz. Glam. Old vs New.
Lifestyle in the Upper East Side is unique. Even though not the oldest part of New York City, it thrives with history among the uber rich. This is the area where the 19th century old family wealth built country mansions (think Vanderbilts) and some where never even lived in. That’s right, up to 17 bedrooms – never saw life. Today, this is where new money also resides. Think, Madonna, Woody Allen and Gossip Girl.
The Upper East Side brings class, beauty and museum lovers. From the Ralph Lauren style to Museum Mile. A world larger than the average life to hidden stories behind closed doors.
Museum Mile and mansions, parallel. Starting with the former home of Andrew Carnegie, welcome to the Cooper Hewitt Museum. The Neue Galerie, now a museum that focuses on the German and Austrian Arts, was built in 1914 and former home to the Vanderbilts. The Upper East Side scandal? Since Cornelius Vanderbilt III married Grace Graham Wilson against his father’s wishes the newlyweds were pushed out of the family. The gorgeous brick house became Cornelius’s when his uncle, George Washington Vanderbilt, left it to him. According to Sotheby’s, one of the last privately owned mansions is located on Fifth Avenue and as of early 2015 it went on the market for a record breaking 80 million dollars. If sold, becoming the most expensive mansion ever sold in the city, reported by the New York Daily News.
Walk North along Fifth Avenue beginning where the famous Breakfast at Tiffany’s movie started out in Scene one at Tiffany’s and you will come across stunning mansions on your right and beautiful parks on your left. The obviously beautiful Central Park which opened in 1857 and standing on 843 acres, holding the most colorful arcade under the bridge located at Bethesda Fountain, which is across from the classy Boat House – where you can paddle boat after your fancy brunch. A park where no two bridges were designed the same and a reservoir was named after the glamourous Jackie O.
Moving a little more north, directly on Fifth Avenue is the hidden and most stunning Conservatory Garden, also the only formal park in Central Park. One would think they were in France or Italy, forgetting they are in New York City. The formal gates to these magnificent gardens once stood at the entrance of the Vanderbilt mansion on 5th Avenue and 58th Street, a site now occupied by the fashionable Bergdorf Goodman’s.
When looking to move into this glamorous part of town, it would be amazing to not only purchase a stunning 18 bedroom mansion but to also receive a private tour on your new neighborhood. Owning New York does this for you – bringing you the lifestyle you have craved and now earned, whether it be a fashionable style icon, history and foodie buff or museum fan. As a branch of Corcoran, Owning New Yorkshows you the districts hidden historical facts, the local businesses and more in order to quickly become a local in the know while discovering where your new favorite spot will be. They not only sell to the buyer but educate them as well. For example, in the Upper East Side on Museum Mile – they will show you the 10 museums you have accessible at your fingertips. Speaking of museums and hidden stories exposed – for the Museum experts and graceful lovers, have you taken the gripping and different tour that shares the gossip instead of reading the panels next to the object? Well, welcome to Museum Hack. Museum Hack consists of passionate tour guides that introduces the museum to you in a way like you have never seen before. They focus on the incredible works hidden in deep dark corners and share their secrets, with you!
Similar to many young people who might not gravitate to the museum on their day off, Nick Gray was in the same boat as this group. Making his way to a third date with a lovely and curious woman, she proposed they visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art for their Saturday night out. As a good sport, Nick agreed, having no idea his life would actually change on this night. Upon entering the museum, his date introduced him to an entirely new side of the museum with story after story. Peeking his interest so much that he went home and every weekend after spent his days off in or researching about the Metropolitan Museum of Art and their pieces of work. Eventually giving his friends tours and writing about all the new juicy facts he found – he had fallen onto the most brilliant business idea, ever. Now you are able to discover on your own the all true stories discovered by many more people that are on Nick’s team. As the business grows more museums in different cities are being added.
In conclusion, as Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”. Try not to sprint through the museum, or place a bid too fast on an apartment that you barely know. Instead, get to know the lovely pieces of art in the museums by way of hidden and deeply researched stories with Museum Hack. Get to know your neighborhood with an exclusive private tour with Owning New York first. Know what you love, the lifestyle worth having and be passionate about it. This way, when you are questioned on your choice – you have a clear thought out and exciting answer!