The Beaux Arts style Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art gets me every time. Go on a Friday or Saturday evening around 7pm and you will be instantly swept off your feet by the live music gently echoing through the Great Hall. The ambiance is magical. You can even stop at the pop-up cafe (where they serve only drinks and hors-devours) and enjoy the classical music and a bite to eat before heading into the galleries.
I can't quite figure it out why it's always so quiet and uncrowded, but weekends at the MET are incredible. The MET is my happy place here in New York City, and it's definitely at it's best on Friday and Saturday evenings.
You can dine at one of the restaurants at the MET before or after you explore the museum, and if you make it to one of the cafes or restaurants that stays open late (you have to get there by 8:45pm before the museum closes), you get to enjoy your meal and then meander slowly to the main exit with the galleries all to yourself! Well, the guards guide you along a set path and you can't really stop, but it's still pretty amazing to have the place to yourself as you make your way back to 5th Ave. It's the perfect date night or NYC evening out with friends.
These images were taken back in March, but I still think they're lovely, out-of-season cherry blossoms and all.
Have a wonderful evening, and if you're in the path of Hurricane Sandy, be safe!