As if living in New York City for the summer wasn't enough of a trip into Dreamland, this blogger's trip to Williamsburg's Dream Machine sealed the deal. This New York exclusive interactive art installment opened its doors on April 5th of this year. Although their website alludes their doors will be closing on September 9th, Dream Machine has unannounced intensions to remain active until the Halloween season comes to a close. Be sure to watch their Today Show feature on Tuesday to hear the official statement. But you heard it here first!
Tickets run from $28-$38 depending on what time your reservation is booked, and the entire exhibit is guided by "Dream technicians" in blue warehouse jumpsuits who are eager to assist in photo taking and inspiration. Your time in each "dream" is closely monitored, so you better hope that camera is fully charged and ready to rapid shutter. But no stress. The exhibit takes about one hour to complete which is divided between 9 installments. In an attempt to not spoil the experience for anyone looking to take a dive into a dream themselves, I'll just give my top three highlights.
1. Pool Party
There's nothing like summer in the city. That statement stands true on both ends of the spectrum. Is there any other place you can experience the vibes and freedom of a New York City night ? Of course not. Is there any other place you can feel like you are catching fire from the inside to the out while simultaneously extinguishing the fire with your own sweat, surrounded by the stench of urine, rotting garbage, and street meat? Of course not. Thankfully, Dream Machine has given us the dream all of us New Yorkers have been wishing on shooting stars for: a Pool Party in the AIR CONDITION! This installment falls about halfway through the entire experience and is timed to two minutes per group of about 8. The blue room is complete with a ball bit and ambiance lighting. Thanks to the safety step, I never fell into the deep end too hard, but trying to pull my way out was another story...
2. Tunnel Vision
If you're like me and have always dreamed you could take a step into Willy Wonka's fantasy world, this is the next best thing. Who would have ever thought a white hallway with LED strips could produce such an attraction. But if I had to pay $30 for this one picture, I have to say I would do it again in a heartbeat. Doing it for the 'gram, am I right? This installment included an optical illusion that makes the hallway appear to be closing in as you walk through. It takes you back to those random childhood trips to a Ripley's Believe It or Not. What makes this attraction so worth the time and energy is that with each color fade, a new picture is born. The mood changes as each wall fades from orange to green or blue to yellow. The real challenge? Trying to hide the other "dreamers" with your body in each frame.. the worst kinds of photobombs!
3. Back to Reality
Because I am a firm believer in Instagram research, I spent many nights scanning the #DreamMachine pages. This room was consistently my favorite backdrop. Admittedly, this is 100% a photo wall I could recreate in my own apartment, but it sealed the deal on my decision to roll out the big bucks for an Insta picture. Layers on layers of silver tinsel hang from the ceiling as you carefully walk your way to the exit. I've never had a dream this sparkly, but now it's the only dream I ever want to have! Think your middle school's Fall Festival House of Mirrors. Now add some New York sophistication and you have this dream. The worst part? It all ends once you walk out of the last silver curtain. It really was all a dream.
So, now it's time for the most important question.. Was I SCAMMED? Not in a million years. However, if you aren't of the opinion that a solid Instagram feed is worth any amount of money, time, stress, and headache, this probably isn't the museum for you. Stick to the MOMA. Crowds were frustrating at Dream Machine's current popularity. Luckily I'm a shark when it comes to the best angles and lighting for myself or my friends. Just imagine what the demand will look like when this place makes its national broadcast debut.
Care to perform a dream analysis? Head over to my Instagram, @maddiekerth, to see my favorite shots. Leave a comment or tag me in your own trip to Dream Machine!
Follow Maddie through New York City as she embarks on new adventures and makes new memories... all while pleasantly getting scammed.