Painted massage chairs, free ponchos, Roberta's pizza, and a Fluxus labyrinth: all that and more awaits on Randall's Island this weekend, where the fourth iteration of the sprawling Frieze Art Fair is open for business under the serpentine white tent. Plenty of free parking! You can don a velcro suit and throw yourself against a wall! There's a woman lying under a big jeweled turtle shell for hours on end!
Like The Armory Show, NYC's other major contemporary art fair, Frieze features galleries from all over the world displaying their work in an endless concatenation of booths, like an upscale shopping mall on high power blotter acid. Everything is for sale (even the water, which costs $3 with no water fountains in sight) unless it's been bought already. 190 galleries, a third of them from Frieze's home city of London, are spread throughout, and there's a lot to take in. When you get overwhelmed, just step outside; Randall's Island park is very pretty, and the outdoor cafe by the river is a fine place to sit and convince your wealthy lover to buy you that Nick Cave Soundsuit. Is that Leonardo DiCaprio?
Tickets cost $44 each, and there is roundtrip ferry service for $18 from the 35th Street Pier on the East River. Biking may be a more appealing option; I recommend going up the east side of Manhattan, which has dedicated bike paths most of the way, and then crossing the pedestrians-only 103rd Street footbridge to the island. City buses also run there—all the transportation information is here.