By Brooke Porter Katz
March 26, 2013

Following Hurricane Sandy's devastation of the East Coast in October, images of ravaged waterfront areas remain fresh in most New Yorkers' minds. To kickstart the conversation in the hard-hit Rockaways neighborhood, MoMA PS1, the boundary-pushing art museum in Long Island City, Queens, has erected a large geodesic dome close to the former boardwalk in which it hopes to address sustainability and confront the ecological challenges the area faces.

Opening this Friday, the temporary cultural and educational center (a partnership with Volkswagen) will host a series of lectures, conversations, art exhibits, video screenings, and community events. A complete calendar is still in the works, but talks in April will focus on architecture and the environment.

It’s all part of EXPO 1: New York, organized by Klaus Biesenbach, the museum director and curator-at-large of MoMA. In addition to the Rockaways dome, the far-reaching project includes an exhibit of Ansel Adam's nature photography, a cinema series, and a group show of emerging New York artists. But the showpiece is "Dark Optimism," which runs from May 12 to September 2 at MoMA PS1. Bringing together works by 35 contemporary artists, the exhibit tackles the idea that even though the world is on the cusp of disaster, there’s a bright future ahead.

Brooke Porter is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Carolina Sandretto