Another Year, Another Armory Show Survival Guide

Here it comes, a marathon week, when the Armory Show and other art fair exhibitions descend upon New York City–some people love it, to others it is a professional duty and a physical endurance test, to be survived as best as possible.

As a freelancer, over the years, The Armory Show has turned into quite an event for me. The Armory Show is New York’s premier art fair (it welcomes over 65,000 visitors annually) and a definitive cultural destination for discovering and collecting the world’s most important 20th and 21st century artworks. Staged on Piers 92 & 94, the fair features presentations by leading international galleries, innovative artist commissions and dynamic public programs. This time of year, it is also freezing cold and windy on the piers; most years, I just pray for decent weather & endurance.

While attending the Armory Show is a great time, it also an event to mentally prepare yourself for. Here is my list of Armory Must Do’s – it will help you get the most out of your day of art overload.

  • Have a decent breakfast before you head out to the shows…don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing time of the year, but it’s long and you need to know it’s not the type of thing you do for an hour and then move on. Which brings me to my next rule…
  • Wear comfortable shoes. I know you see people fashionably arriving to the show and there is nothing wrong with looking good, but trust me, if their heels are over 3 inches, they are not serious. Chances are you are planning to visit other art fairs during the day – New York is an asphalt jungle and nothing will take you down faster than trying to traverse the art fairs in cute heels.
  • Know when to break for a meal; lack of food will cause you to forget just about anything, even if it is great. Personally, I keep granola bars and fresh pressed juice in my bag for quick power snacks.
  • Have patience. The crowds can be overwhelming. The Armory Show takes place across 250,000 square feet of exhibition space. Just remember that everyone wants to see everything – a near impossible feat. Friday is less crowded than Saturday; Sunday is a tossup. The contemporary side (Pier 94) is always the hot ticket, so expect some shoving and long lines for the coatroom.
  • Over the years, my appreciation for art has truly grown. You may not understand it or get what the artist is trying to convey, but you can still appreciate it, and in the end that’s all that matters, because art is not about understanding, but more of a feeling.
  • Most of all, know when to call it quits. If it all starts to blend, you have probably had enough for the day. Save some for tomorrow or even next year – shut it down – go have dinner & drinks and pat yourself you the back and call it a wrap. You survived.

Another Year, Another Armory Show Survival Guide


Piers 92 & 94
711 12th Avenue, New York, 10019


Thursday, March 2: 12–8pm
Friday, March 3: 12–8pm
Saturday, March 4: 12–7pm
Sunday, March 5: 12–6pm