Museum of the City of New York

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  • Jan Velten's American Beaver from 'Amsterdam/New Amsterdam'

  • Jodocus Hondius the Younger's celestial globe from 'Amsterdam/New Amsterdam'

  • Jaap Scheeren's East Third Street from 'Dutch Seen: New York Rediscovered'

  • Wijnanda Deroo's El Caribeno from 'Dutch Seen: New York Rediscovered'

  • Misha de Ridder's Matouwacs from 'Dutch Seen: New York Rediscovered'

  • Hendrik Kersten's Napkin from 'Dutch Seen: New York Rediscovered'

  • Charlotte Dumas's Untitled (Mask) from 'Dutch Seen: New York Rediscovered'

  • Danielle van Ark's Untitled from 'Dutch Seen: New York Rediscovered'

  • The Commissioners' Plan, 1811 from 'Mannahatta'

  • Manhattan circa 1609 from 'Mannahatta'

  • Immigrants on Mott Street from 'Timescapes' video

  • Pike and Henry Streets from 'Timescapes' video

  • The Speakeasy at 1220 Fifth

  • Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase in the Stettheimer Dollhouse

  • "New York Toy Stories" exhibition

  • "New York Toy Stories" exhibition

  • "New York Toy Stories" exhibition

  • "New York Toy Stories" exhibition

Jan Velten's American Beaver from 'Amsterdam/New Amsterdam'

1 Carrie Walter Stettheimer spent more than 20 years working on her 12-room dollhouse (third floor), and tapped her la-di-da artist friends to create original works for its walls. Look for a three-inch-long version of Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel Duchamp.

2 The MCNY counts 10,000 toys among its holdings; as such, the “New York Toy Stories” exhibition is a must-see. Behind glass rests turn-of-the-20th-century board games, original Kewpie dolls, clowns and what could be the creepiest mechanical doll this side of Chucky.

3 Curious what creatures inhabited your block in 1609? Poke around themannahattaproject.org for a then-and-now comparison. Union Square, for example, was likely populated with gray wolves, bobcats, black bears, mountain lions, raccoons and timber rattlesnakes.

4 Fun fact: We owe many of our beloved street and borough names to the mighty Dutch. Way back when, Bronx was Broncks, Flushing was Vlissingen, Broadway was Breede Weg and Bowery was Bouwerij

5 Even funner fact: Back in the day, some colonists would pass the time by greasing a live goose, hanging it upside down and letting horseback riders try to rip off its head.

6 If time permits, at 15 or 45 after the hour, camp out in the second-floor theater for a screening of “Timescapes: A Multimedia Portrait of New York.” The 25-minute, Stanley Tucci--narrated flick uses maps, paintings and cool vintage photos to contextualize what you may or may not have learned elsewhere in the museum. (People who hate wall text, this Bud’s for you.)

7 No MCNY visit is complete without a stroll through the adjacent Central Park Conservatory Garden (Fifth Ave at 105th St; 212-360-2766, centralpark.com; open daily 8am--dusk). In six acres, you’ll spy French, English and Italian-style hideaways done up with heirloom roses, crab-apple trees, magnolias, water lilies, a wisteria-laced pergola and fountains galore. —Ashlea Halpern

GO THERE NOW!
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St (212-534-1672, mcny.org). Tue--Sun 10am--5pm; suggested donation $10, seniors and students $6, members and children 12 and under free.

MORE NOT-BORING MUSEUMS


AIA Center for Architecture

Museum of American Finance

Asia Society

Bronx Museum of the Arts

Metropolitan Museum of Art


The Morgan Library & Museum

Museum of the City of New York

The Paley Center for Media

Queens Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art



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