Take a trip through history at the Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York on 5th Ave is an eclectic treat. It’s right across from Central Park at 103rd St, and an easy stroll to my favorite hideaway in Central Park. They have a nice café with indoor seating, as well as a courtyard in front of the museum with seating, and a great shop with unique items. Make sure to walk up and down the stairwells, they are covered with funky photography murals.

The main gallery showcases Henry Hudson’s voyage into New York Harbor and tells the story of how it became the empire city and the Western Hemisphere’s busiest harbor. They have interactive exhibits featuring Alexander Hamilton, Chinatown legend Wong Chin Foo and anarchist Emma Goldman.

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The second gallery covers the modernization of New York — financial growth, cultural and social life, poverty and urban crowding and more.

The Beyond Suffrage exhibit was a comprehensive look at a century of political women in New York. It spans the1920s through 1960s and depicts causes such as health, labor, the liberation movement, equality, women’s campaigns and roles in government. It showcases political documents, garments – think Rosie the Riveter, photographs, and audio-visual materials.

My favorite Notorious RBG has a section.

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Stanley Kubrick’s Through a Different Lens features more than 120 photographs from the Look Magazine archive from his time as a staff photographer. This exhibit captures everyday life in NY.

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The Activism exhibit spans 17th century to current citizens in NY advocating and protesting together on issues such as civil rights, LGBTQ, wages, and religious freedom.

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Intrepid sea, air and space museum

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Recently, a friend and I took advantage of the Smithsonian Museums free day and went to see the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on the Hudson River in New York. The museum is housed on the aircraft carrier Intrepid.

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A little history on the Intrepid – the aircraft carrier launched in 1943, served in World War II, the Cold War and the Vietnam War. In the 1960s it functioned as a NASA recovery vessel and was decommissioned in 1974.

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As we wandered around the different decks, we viewed planes, items from the Intrepid and space artifacts.

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Videos accompany the interactive exhibits. It also has great interactive spaces for kids and adult kids to climb into space exhibits and virtual simulators, including ship bunks to climb in, space pods, a practice captain’s deck and more.

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Some of the planes on display include: Navy planes, spy planes and the Concorde.

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Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the submarine Growler because the Intrepid was packed full of visitors. While we were in line to go through the submarine we were told we most likely wouldn’t make it inside before they stopped the line. It was still worth the visit just to walk around the Intrepid Next visit — the Growler.

 

New York Artcation

This month during a little down time, a few museum excursions in New York took place.

First up, the Met. I finally made it to a few exhibits that I had wanted to see before they closed, plus a few permanent favorite collections.

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The Design for Eternity exhibit displayed intricate architectural models from the first millennium B.C. until the 16th century, created from ceramic, wood, stone, and metal. This was probably my favorite exhibit of the day.

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Divine Pleasures: paintings from India’s Rajput Courts are vibrantly colored mythological scenes. It was a small showcase but worth viewing.

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Call me weird but I could look at antique furniture and glass lamps, vases, bowls, etc., all day long, and the Furniture of the Gilded Age display definitely drew me in.

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I also wandered around the general furniture collection that includes Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and items from the Vanderbilt collection among others.

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Cornelia Parker’s rooftop PsychoBarn is my favorite rooftop display so far and looks like something I’d live in. If only it was a real house.

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The Astor Chinese Garden Court is a wonderful space in the middle of the museum. It always makes me feel calm and it’s a nice place for a quiet break from the throngs of people.

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The newly opened Met Breuer, which previously held Whitney exhibits, is a petite vertical space, with short-term rotating exhibits spread among five floors. The Estela Breuer café was scheduled to open this summer but has been delayed. It is now set to launch next month.

I recently viewed two completely different and equally fantastic exhibits. Unfortunately no pictures were allowed at either exhibit.

The Diane Arbus “in the beginning” exhibit is a broad representation of her early work. It includes never-before-seen pictures from 1923–71, plus a few society shots of women that I had seen previously. There is a fantastic mad men-esk shot of a secretary in New York City, plus pictures of strippers, female impersonators, circus performers, little people and children.

Paul Klee’s Exhibit was also intriguing. His work, which I had never seen before, is more along the lines of Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Some of his pieces definitely have a Pablo Picasso sensibility. His sense of humor is one of the elements of his paintings that I enjoyed the most.