There are bigger problems in the world, but the process of tracking down and mastering a core set of apps for your Apple or Android phone can be overwhelming, especially in the center of the cultural universe that is New York City. For getting directions (Google Maps) or grabbing dinner (Yelp, Urbanspoon, Seamless) there’s a pretty clear consensus on the best choices, but when it comes to finding art or music shows, working out bike routes that won’t get you killed, or… deciphering the colors of the Empire State Building’s lights, it’s not nearly as obvious where to look. Here’s a list of apps that should satisfy the cravings of nearly any smartphone-wielding, culture-loving New Yorker.
This is probably the best general-purpose art-listings app out there, a steal at $1.99. Sort current exhibitions by NYC neighborhood (with separate lists for individual streets in Chelsea) or media (from video installations to furniture to ceramics to prints), view a Most Popular list, or see which exhibitions are closest to your current location. The app covers an impressively wide range of venues, from the Guggenheim to smallish Bushwick spaces.