Me and a piece of art at MoMA

In a too often negative world, Bwog Love rises heroically to shine a warm and gentle light on the simple joys that we Columbia students often overlook. In this edition, staff writer Jack Treanor tells of his love for Columbia’s Passport to Museums.

I love museums and New York has the best museums. We all said we’d go to them when we decided to come to the city for college. Columbia surprisingly isn’t neglectful when it comes to our desire for museums. Our Columbia IDs gets us into a pretty substantial list of free museums. From the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum to MoMA there is something for everyone.

An important thing to note is that compared to other NYC schools our list of free museums is very extensive. Our list is about three to four times as long as NYU’s list of free museums. Last weekend I was hanging out with a friend from the New School and we decided to go to the Met Breuer, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s museum in the Whitney’s old building. My friend and I both showed our ID to the ticket cashier. She nodded knowingly at mine before turning to my friend and asking, “How much would you like to pay?” It was totally free for me. While the Met is a pay-as-you-wish institution, and in theory I could pay one cent even without a Columbia ID, with it I don’t have to make my stinginess quite so obvious. This same scenario has repeated itself multiple times. There is something truly amazing about watching your friend from Princeton fork over five dollars at MoMA PS1 when you have to pay nothing. There is a unique power in a Columbia ID and that power happens to be to go to free museums.

We should not only appreciate our free museum privilege, but also take advantage of it. The museums that Columbia gets for us are very diverse, spanning four of the five boroughs (you weren’t going to go to Satan Island for a museum anyway). The free museums also makes the holy grail, leaving campus and coming back having spent $0, possible. This is achievable as there are many amazing museums within walking distance that are part of the Passport program. I definitely recommend walking to the Studio Museum in Harlem or to the Museum of the City of New York. They are both really good and very close. Even the Met isn’t too far to walk if the weather is nice. Be committed to being stingy. Go to a museum with pockets full of Ferris fruit. And you just might be able to leave campus without spending any money at all. I’ve done it, all thanks to Columbia’s Passport to Museums.

Photos via Bwog Staff