Opinion

Things You Could Do Instead of Waiting in Line for the Rain Room

This photo that Dominique Ansel tweeted of a cronut held up inside the Rain Room captures the insanity of summertime trend waiting. (photo by Dominique Ansel on Twitter)
This photo that chef Dominique Ansel tweeted of a cronut inside the Rain Room captures the insanity of summertime trend waiting in NYC. (photo by Dominique Ansel on Twitter)

Sure, the Rain Room at the Museum of Modern Art sounds cool — it’s a space filled with falling water that stops when it senses a human presence. But is it really worth waiting in line for 13 hours to see? That’s apparently what some people did this past weekend, says Gothamist, topping the installation’s previous high of 12 hours in London.

Since we can’t bear the thought of waiting that long for a nifty effect, and since our bad backs won’t allow it anyway, we spent our time thinking of other ways you could spend your time. Here are a few:

  •  Watch Andy Warhol’s films Empire and Sleep back to back. Empire is a slow-motion, continuous shot of the Empire State Building that lasts 8 hours and 5 minutes; Sleep is his film of poet John Giorno sleeping for 5 hours and 20 minutes. Combined, that’s 13 hours and 25 minutes, which is only about a half-hour over the wait from this past weekend and probably at least how long it’ll be on Sunday, the Rain Room’s last day, when MoMA extends visiting hours (for just that installation) to midnight.
  • Watch the Ring cycle (nearly). Wagner’s famous Der Ring des Nibelungen is comprised of four epic operas. The whole thing took him roughly 26 years to write, and it clocks in at about 15 hours, according to Wikipedia — only two hours longer than it takes to get into the Rain Room! And watching the Ring cycle probably involves more comfortable conditions than standing on a blazing New York City sidewalk (easier access to a bathroom, for one thing).
  • Walk the entire perimeter of Manhattan. Join the Great Saunter, a walk that covers the 32 miles of the island’s shoreline. New York Magazine estimates it at 12 hours — perfect!
  • Drive to Montreal and back. We’ve done this drive many times, and the actual number of hours it takes varies drastically depending on whether you’re in a car or on the bus, how often you stop, the crowd at the border, etc. But the trip is 370.7 miles, which Google Maps estimates could take as little as 5 hours and 48 minutes. So we figure you should have time to drive to Montreal, buy a bagel, and then eat it on the way back.
  • Run a 50-mile ultramarathon. Just when you thought marathons were enough … you discover ultramarathons. They’re real, and they generally come in increments of 50 or 100 miles. If you train properly, the former should take you between 10 and 14 hours. A little crazy maybe, but way better than standing around.
  • Travel back in time and wait in line three times to see Christian Marclay’s “The Clock” at MoMA, or wait one and a half times to sit across from Marina Abramović. These were the two big, previous MoMA extravaganzas, and their wait times barely came close to that of the Rain Room. On its final day, the wait for Marclay’s collage film “The Clock” was only 4 hours, and rumor has it that the longest people waited to stare into the grandmother of performance art’s eyes and cry was 8 hours. So you could go do those things again — and we daresay you’d probably get more out of either one.
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