12 April 2008
NYC in Review: day three (part 1): Harlem, Central Park, and the American Museum of Natural History (in that order)
I devoted my Friday to the American Museum of Natural History. It is an interesting combination of (tired looking) stuffed animal exhibits - aka 'dioramas' - and some of the best paleontology and evolutionary biology exhibits anywhere. As with the MoMA, it's best to start at the top and work your way down, because the good stuff is at the top (with the exception of the Butterfly exhibit).
Before I could get to the museum I had to take the subway. Piece of cake. I got on the correct train heading the right way. Except I got on the express train, so my train sailed right by the stop at 81st street (there's a fun mural of a whale) all the way up to 125th street. Which is where Harlem officially starts. I enjoy cultural tourism as much as the next guy, but Harlem wasn't on my itinerary. So I got back on the train headed downtown. Express train again. Whizzed past 81st street again. Dammit. I decided I'd get out and walk the 20 blocks up Central Park West, take in the sights. Eventually I made it.
The museum is fantastic. They have the largest collection of fossil bones, and the best display, anywhere. Most museums around the world display casts of fossils. The casts are made from the originals on display at the American Museum of Natural History. And the display is extraordinary. They don't have any good pictures of it that I could find, and that's a shame, because it really defies description. Room after room of fossils big and small with explanations and videos for each. I loved it. And that was only one (huge) floor. The others are just as impressive in their own way. The "sea life" floor is kind of a bust w/ the exception of the life-size blue whale.
next up: Dinner at Sushi Samba no. 7, bars, and Sasha and Digweed