A Day at the Whitney with Curator Marcela Guerrero

By Angela Montefinise.

Marcela Guerrero—the newly-named DeMartini Family Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art and curator of the renowned exhibition no existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria—has spent plenty of time in and around the Meatpacking District and West Village during her six years at the museum. The first Whitney curator to specialize in Latinx art and artists, Guerrero is now sharing which coffee carts, restaurants, quiet spots, and other neighborhood haunts are her favorites, to help visitors plan a perfect day at the museum at 99 Gansevoort Street. Below are a few of her suggestions.

Marcela Guerrero. Photo by Javier Romero

Plan your perfect day soon, to see Guerrero’s exhibition no existe un mundo poshuracán—the first survey of Puerto Rican art at a major U.S. art museum in fifty years—before it closes on April 23rd. Advance tickets are recommended; kids and teens are always admitted for free at the Whitney, and Friday evenings are pay-what-you-wish for adults.

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Favorite place to eat when it’s a nice day to walk outside: Los Mariscos

“I lived in Los Angeles for three years, where you can find top-notch Mexican food. In New York…you have to search for it. Just a stone’s throw away from the Whitney is Los Mariscos. This hole-in-the-wall restaurant serves Tijuana and Baja California tacos, aguachiles, and cocteles. My favorite is the enchilado taco. Pair that with a michelada and you’re set for the rest of the day.”

Favorite bar to go to with a group of friends from work: Automatic Slims

“We have a tradition at the Whitney—after we’re done installing a show, we go somewhere to celebrate and wish the exhibition a good run. When we finished installing no existe un mundo poshuracán, I invited the art handlers and registrars to Automatic Slims for drinks. We had a great time, largely thanks to the staff who were so chill and accommodated our big group. Shout out to Maleek, who was the kindest!”

Favorite coffee: Ali’s coffee cart outside of the Museum

“I’m a no-frills coffee drinker. I like it black, no sugar, and with a kind person on the other side handing it to me.”

Favorite stroll: The High Line

“I don’t necessarily have a favorite spot, but I love when I have the time to walk from one end to the other. In addition to the art displayed across the High Line, the chaise lounge chairs always catch my eye. I love seeing people relax and sunbathe. It’s a reminder to slow down and appreciate the small things.”

Favorite quiet spot at the Whitney: no existe un mundo poshuracán

“These days, when the museum is closed to the public, my favorite quiet space is my exhibition. I love seeing people in the space, but when I’m there by myself, I feel like I’m in communion with the artists and the ideas reflected in the show. I can also see all of the hard work that went into putting it together.”

Favorite music to listen to while wandering the galleries: Bad Bunny

“While we were installing no existe un mundo poshuracán, we often had Bad Bunny playing in the galleries. Yes, Bad Bunny is my muse and I’m proud to admit it.”

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