Here in New York, one of the first things on my list was to spend an entire day wandering The Met, which I did so earnestly that by the end of the day not just my feet but my legs, too, were tired from all the hoofing it I’d done around the galleries.
But I’ve just scratched the surface when it comes to the museums and historical sites I can spend a morning, an afternoon or an entire day in. Here’s what I’ve got so far:
9/11 Memorial and Museum – the first time I visited New York (2000), I opted not to see the World Trade Center. When I came back in 2004, there was so much rubble still at Ground Zero it was like the tragedy has just happened. Since moving here, I haven’t made my way down to the site, though I see the new building every day looking south on 6th Ave from my office. I’d like to take in the scene as it is now someday soon.
Frick Collection – An art museum with the distinction of being one man’s personal collection on display, the Frick is a two-fer on this list, as the mansion the art is housed in is a historical site in its own right.
The Neue Galerie – I hadn’t heard of this gallery until I started looking for spots to add to this list, and I’m so glad I stumbled on it. Just a few floors and dedicated specifically to German and Austrian art, it’s a niche exhibition to be sure. But it allows for features on the likes of Klimt and turn of the century posters from the Vienna Succession (which I didn’t even know was a thing! Learning already!).
Museum of Natural History – In all the visits I’ve made, and all the museums I’ve prioritized to see, this major player never seemed to make the cut. I’d particularly love to experience the Hayden Planetarium, maybe bump into my man Neil deGrasse Tyson while I’m there.
Brooklyn Museum and Botanical Gardens – the weekend I was in NYC last April to look for apartments, I stayed in Brooklyn, in a small studio where the closest subway to get into Manhattan was just outside the Brooklyn Museum. Maybe it was the blooms of early Spring or the wrought-iron and stone facades on the brownstones in the neighborhood, but I found the area utterly charming, and I’d love to get back to explore more.
Park Avenue Armory – My incessant PBS viewing pays off here, as I recently caught a special on this incredible space hiding in plain sight at 66th St. What was once a military and social club for well-to-do soldiers has been reimagined into community space, a theater venue and more, all while maintaining historical integrity. Sign me up.
Tenement Museum – I actually have been here, stopping over in the first few months I was here, when my aunt was visiting. But we didn’t take full advantage of the museum at the time, and I’d love to go back to experience one of their interactive tours.
Several historical homes are located in the city. I’d love to visit:
Theodore Roosevelt Home & Birthplace – Having recently finished Bully Pulpit, I’d be interested to take an hour or two to see the New York City of the 26th President.
Merchant’s House Museum – Claim to fame: “New York City’s only family home preserved intact – inside and out – from the 19th century.” Well, ok then.
Morris-Jumel Mansion – I’m fascinated that this colonial-era mansion still exists in between the chaos of Harlem and Washington Heights. I don’t think I’ve ever really been north of 86th (biking a loop through Central Park doesn’t exactly count), so I need to jump on the subway and just get up there.