This heat! I know. It sucks. After days of moving as little as possible in barely-air-conditioned rooms, I am itching to get out and wander a bit. Luckily, the heat is supposed to break on Sunday, and New Yorkers can take to the streets without fear of heat stroke once again.
A few weekends ago, E and I decided to stroll through some neighborhoods we don’t spend much time in: Chinatown and the Lower East Side. One of our stops was a teeny, tiny museum located in a freight elevator shaft in an alley in Tribeca. Sound fishy? It certainly felt a little fishy. But I am here to tell you that the museum is indeed real, and it’s pretty neat.
It is usually open on weekends, but was unexpectedly closed the day we wandered through. (You can get updates on operating hours on the museum’s twitter feed.) Still, there is a window on the street that you can peer through, and a plaque posted on the building with a number you can call to access the audio guide. The collection is quirky, and the mundane objects are brought to life by the stories around them.
While you’re in the neighborhood, here are some other gems to check out:
For the first — and last — weekend in a while, E and I had no real solid plans come quitting time on Friday, so we enjoyed a quiet, unstructured weekend around the apartment and in the city. The weather was delightful, so we got to spend some time outside over a pitcher of beer on Saturday night, and when we got home, the Greeks in our neighborhood were setting off fireworks to mark the start of their Easter Sunday festivities.
Tessie managed to get out (by which I mean we held the door open to see if she would go into the hallway), but she wasn’t sure what to do when she did. Her whole world for the past three years has been our one bedroom apartment, and I don’t know if she thinks the squirrels or other critters who occasionally stop by our fire escape are even real.
Sunday morning we were up and at ’em early to make it to the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Discovery Times Square exhibit space. Today was the last day of the show, and we bought Groupons to visit ages ago, so we decided to head down. It was neat to see some of the artifacts (and the scroll remnants, of course), but the experience was pretty terrible overall. They herd you through the space in groups, so you end of moving either too fast or too slow and have trouble accessing all the things you want to see. They also have a really strange way of displaying some of the objects. They built long walls with text panels and inset display cases for smaller artifacts, and then placed dioramas with larger artifacts behind the wall and cut long, thin vertical windows into the wall. You can kind of see what I mean in this photo, which shows the vertical cut-outs. The end result was that it was nearly impossible to really see what was in the larger cases, especially if there were other people crowding you.
In any case, if it weren’t for the Groupon, it probably wouldn’t have been worth the astronomical entrance fee (30 dollars per person! For an exhibit that took us only an hour to comb through thoroughly!). I saw Harry Potter: The Exhibition in the same space and was similarly frustrated by the experience, though in that case more because we were pulsed through the hall so quickly we could barely take in all of the costumes and props. I’ll definitely think twice before seeing anything else there.
Because the weather was so beautiful when we got off the train back in Queens, we ended up having brunch in the back garden of one of the neighborhood restaurants after we realized that all the Greek restaurants we’d been talking about visiting for a quick breakfast were closed for Easter. It was a lovely way to spend a few hours with my favorite over-busy law student, but I am still dreaming of a good gyro. I know, my life is hard.