Tag Archive | NYC

A Fun Visit to the City Reliquary Museum!

City Reliquary Museum Exterior
All Photos By Gail

Summer is in full swing and everybody is looking for stuff to do with their time off.  Today, I want tell you about a place you can go where you will have so much fun your head will explode. If you get excited by learning about the history of New York City, and love to have fun adventures that don’t cost very much, the City Reliquary Museum is a place you simply must visit! Located just two stops off the L train, and a short walk, into Brooklyn from Manhattan (for easy reference, it’s located directly across the street from the Knitting Factory), a visit to this local gem of sweet nostalgia is one of the best bargains in existence. Naomi and I had the chance to visit last month on a day that was somewhat overcast and drizzly, and we had all kinds of crazy fun.

City Reliquary Museum Door

Five Dollars

Best of all, admission is just Five Dollars! What a bargain! The City Reliquary Museum not only collects relics and ephemera from NYC life in the five boroughs, but they also feature special exhibits that put a keen focus on the minutia that makes New York one of the greatest places to visit, and live, on earth. Here are some of the things we saw and enjoyed during our visit!

City Reliquary Museum Turnstile

Once you enter the Museum from the front room, which is home to an adorable little gift shop that you’re going to want to spend some time browsing before you head out, you’ll have two more rooms to explore that are just packed with cool stuff.

Interior View

In the first room, you will be captivated by wall-to-wall and floor to ceiling collections, displays and exhibits of everything from tributes to New York City landmarks, two remembrances of famous businesses, NYC Baseball teams, and on to icons of the transit system and anything else you can imagine that it has something to do with life here in the City that Never Sleeps.

City Reliquary Museum Room 1

Locals will recognize the red and green globes above as markers found at the entrances to many subway stations. I love how they’ve incorporated them right into the design of the room.

Subway Door

Here is a adjoining-car door (and what looks like an ancient subway route map as well!) taken from a long-retired subway train.

Bus Stop Sign

You can still find bus stop route markers like this at stops around town. I love how it just seems to be discarded in a corner, like you’re stumbling upon some kind of archaeological dig.

Foot Vibrator

Have you ever used one of these? It reminds me of a re-created historical relic that you might find at Disneyland in an exhibit about Americana Kitsch.

Statue of Liberty Postcard Collection

This collection of vintage postcards depicting the Statue of Liberty will give you an excellent idea of the attention to detail that’s paid to each separate display over every square inch of the museum. The rooms may be small, but you could spend several hours in here.

Al Criscillo's Barber Shop

Maybe you were once a patron of Al Criscillo’s Barber Shop, which was located at Metropolitan Avenue & Humboldt Street in Brooklyn — not that far from where the museum now sits. If so, you can relive your happy memories of time spent in his chair when you take a peek inside this nostalgia-inducing diorama.

Al Criscillo's Barber Shop

Photos of Al with some of his customers are preserved in album adjacent to the diorama. It is extremely sweet.

History of Burlesque Signage

Learn about the History of Burlesque in NYC in this compact exhibit that ls about the size of a Phone Booth.

History of Burlesque

Stuffed Alligator with Pizza

Stuffed Alligator on the ceiling enjoys a slice!

Bathroom

Even the Restroom is is like a tiny museum inside a museum.

Bathroom Detail

Talk about economic use of available real estate!

Pizza Box Chronicles Exhibit

The museum also hosts rotating Special Exhibits, and currently there are two different ones you can see. The first is called The Pizza Box Chronicles, which pays tribute to New York City’s Love Affair with Pizza!

NYC Inspired Pizza Boxes

There is a pretty impressive collection of pizza boxes, including New York–inspired pizza boxes from restaurants not even located in the state!

NYC Inspired Pizza Boxes

Ray's Pizza Box

Get educated by reading all about the legend of Famous Original Ray’s Pizza!

Famous Ray's Story

You can also watch a loop of film clips from various movies where the characters talk about pizza, eat pizza or talk about eating pizza. Fun!

Pizza Wall

Community Collections

The second Special Exhibit which was featured when we visited is dedicated to a private collection of Joseph Kopitz, who collects Miniature Souvenir Buildings.

Souvenir Building Collection

What a cool Collection! Apparently, Joe has been amassing a small empire of New Your City real estate for the past 30 years. His collection includes such well-known buildings as the Empire State building, the Chrysler building, the Woolworth building, the Pan Am building, Grande Central Terminal and many others. He is even added buildings from all over the world to his vast holdings of buildings that average only from 3 inches to 8 inches tall. It was very generous of him to share his collection with the museum, so that others can also enjoy it.

Souvenir Building Collection Detail

After you’ve browsed the museum’s two main rooms, be sure and head out to explore the backyard area, which is where they host community events from time to time, such as film screenings, as well as being a place to store artifacts that don’t quite fit into the museum.

Outside Yard

Outdoor Bar

Take a look at this cool bar.

Outdoor Bar Detail
Brooklyn Lager, Naturally

Backyard Shrine

Look at this beautiful shrine made out of old bottles and cement, where the Statue of Liberty is ensconced in an old bathtub. Amazing.

Coconut Head

View of Building from Yard

There’s a nice collection of well-kept picnic tables back here, and maybe they would let you sit there and have a snack, but you would want to ask first.

P1100902

We had the best adventure at the City Reliquary Museum, and I’m going to suggest you put it on your list of local sites not to be missed! if you have friends coming in from out of town be sure to bring them here also.

Gift Shop
Exit Through The Gift Shop

The City Reliquary Museum is Located at 370 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211. Hours are Thurs – Sun: 12 Noon – 6:00 PM (Except Major Holidays). To get the most up to date information, please call (718)782-4842.

Stop The Spread T-Shirt

Stop the Spread T Shirt
Photo By Gail

The Gift Shop at the Museum of Sex on Fifth Avenue and 27th Street sells these T-Shirts for $25.00. Buy one today and help stop the Spread. Because all Manspreaders Must Be Stopped.

Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum Subway Stop

Eastern Parkway Subway
All Photos By Gail

When you enter into, or exit from, the subway at the Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum stop, you can’t help but notice that you appear to have entered a showcase for the spoils from some kind of urban archaeological dig. Dozens of artifacts are embedded into the walls to create as stunning a display as anything you’ll see inside the museum.

The permanent installation is part of MTA Arts & Design (formerly Arts for Transit). The 2/3 train subway stop at this station features 78 pieces from the Brooklyn Museum’s own collection of ornaments taken from New York City buildings that are long gone. In fact, the Museum has long served as a repository for ornamental architectural forms salvaged from significant buildings that were being demolished. For installation, mosaic tiles were added along the walls to frame the objects.

Here are some of our favorite pieces photographed this unique subway station. Enjoy!

Brooklyn Museum Subway Stop

Brooklyn Museum Subway Stop

Brooklyn Museum Subway Stop

Brooklyn Museum Subway Stop

Brooklyn Museum Subway Stop

Brooklyn Museum Subway Stop

Pink Thing of The Day: Mary Heilmann, Sunset at the Whitney Museum

Sunset
All Photos By Gail

A distinguishing feature of the new Whitney Museum in the meatpacking district is this work by Mary Heilmann, attached to the northern facade of the building, which is called Sunset.  A burst of bright pink, Sunset is a site specific installation that inaugurates the museum’s largest outdoor gallery and transforms it into a place of reverie, memory and leisure.

Mary Heilmann became known in the 197os for vibrant paintings that married taut, abstract forms with quivering line and vivid color. For more than thirty years, she has intermittently explored a stair-step motif bushed within rectangular fields or expressed through irregularly-shaped canvases, which happen to rhyme with the dramatic setbacks and grid lines of the Whitney’s new building. This serendipitous connection inspired Heilmann to enlarge a detail of one such painting and print it onto two large panels that playfully turn the building itself into her canvas and tweak its sharp geometries.

Sunset

Heilmann’s intervention extends to a group of sculptural chairs scattered on the terrace like a shower of confetti. Adapted from furniture that she has displayed in homes and exhibitions, the chairs serve as elements in her larger composition and encourage visitors to interact with one another and the cityscape beyond.

 Mary Heilmann Chairs

Head in My Hands

Head in My Hands
Photo By Gail

This is what I feel like at end of long and grueling week at the day gig. Here, we see that feeling manifested in bronze sculpture by artist Tom Otterness, as part of his urban fantasy sculpture series, Life Underground, found throughout the 8th Avenue and 14th Street Subway station in downtown Manhattan.

Alphabet Mural in Alphabet City

ABCD
All Photos By Gail

This mural of the letters of the alphabet, called (appropriately) Alphabet City, is the work of Brooklyn-based artists The Yok and Sheryo, who work for the Jersey City-based arts group Green Villain.

EFG

The mural went up on the exterior walls of the RCN Building on Avenue C between 5th and 6th Streets last December, but with severe winter we had, it was only nice enough this past weekend for me to get inspired walk over there and get some good shots. Enjoy!

HIJ

KLM

NOPQ

RSTU

VWXYZ