Thursday, August 11, 2011

Art City Tour

San Jose has an ART blow-out every couple of months, called the Art City Tour - on a Wednesday evening, from 5 to 9, museums and art galleries are open to the public (free entry!).  In addition, the GAM puts together several routes that folks can follow.  They organize tours by bus, by bicycles, or on foot, with helpful people on hand to answer questions and relieve anxiety :-).

We kept missing these tours, until (yay!) this last one - we met some friends downtown, and we all trooped around gawking at art and museum exhibits.  We signed up in advance for one of the bus tours - SIX stops in FOUR hours!  It turned out that it is much looser than I expected - people were changing routes, bus-hopping, and generally playing everything by ear.  The buses leave each venue every 10 minutes, and are easy to find.  You can stay on the bus if you want to skip a gallery, and you can walk between different places, change the order, go to a museum that is not on your original route... It's a free-for-all!  And a lot of fun! (and exhausting!)

We ended up walking between a couple of places, then skipping a couple.  We'll definitely go back for a longer look at the National Museum. 

We saw a fun dance exhibit at the Alliance Française - especially interesting was the one man dancing with two women - one woman was blindfolded.  It was a very interesting way to tell a story, as well as exciting to watch as a dance.

As we walked between a few other venues, we overlapped the bike route - there were probably two dozen bicyclists, and they just took over Avenida 7.  It reminded me a bit of the Critical Mass rides in San Francisco.

When we go again (and we will), here's what I would do:
- still sign up for a bus route, but just not worry about sticking to it.  I think signing up in advance helps the organizers, but it's not critical to follow it to the letter.
- bring snacks (and not just candy) and water
- expect to drop out here and there, and take a load off; "museum strolling" is hard on your feet and back!
- don't worry about seeing *everything* in the museum; expect to return another time
- leave behind any anxiety about following a plan, and just go with the flow!


Liz K said...

How fun!!! Do you know when the next one is? I think my husband and I would love to do this!

Julie said...

Hi Liz - the next one should be in October, probably the 5th or 12th. Keep checking back on their website (it's in my post). Usually info shows up about a week and a half before the event. If you're on Facebook, they have a page you can join/like/whatever.

Frank Zweegers said...

Interesting read!

Frank Zweegers said...

Thanks for the info!

Julie said...

thanks! Hope it helps folks who want to go, but have that little "wall" to get over. :-)

John Decker said...

This is a great article and I love the pictures. My family and I visited Costa Rica last summer and it was amazing. Every good thing we heard about Costa Rica was 100% true. The food was amazing and the people were so friendly. We really felt welcome and like we belonged. Before the trip I wanted to plan some fun activities for us to do, so I researched Costa Rica Tourism on the internet and I found a lot of great options. I think our favorite places we visited was Chirripo National Park, Montezuma, and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Each place was so unique and had amazing views. Although we did not visit San Jose and do the art tours, we still had a wonderful time.