Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Museum of the City of New York

Located on 'Museum Row' on 5th Avenue at 103rd Street, the Museum of the City of New York offers an interesting look at the past, present and possible future of the city.  The museum is housed in a beautiful building that alone is worth visiting.

My favourite exhibit was "The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011" which looks at how the New York grid system was designed and created.  It was an extremely informative exhibit with lots of photographs of the city before the skyscrapers and millions of people!  I enjoyed finding out what my current neighborhood used to look like and found the hand-drawn grid designs fascinating.

'Police Work' is an absorbing collection of photographs of the NYPD during the 1970's taken by the late Leonard Freed.  Freed spent years following members of the police department around the city, capturing both their lives at work and home.  The photographs on display show a very different New York to the one we live in today.  It is an up close and personal look at the lives of law enforcement during a time when New York had one of the highest crime rates in the USA.

Other current exhibits include 'Cecil Beaton: The New York Years' and 'The Unfinished Grid: Design Speculations for Manhattan', which were both interesting.

I really liked this museum, it wasn't overwhelming and you can comfortably see everything in an afternoon.  Admission is only $10 and I think it is worth a visit.  For more information on current exhibits and opening hours visit http://www.mcny.org/.

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