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The essential New York museum

It's not up for discussion: the Queens Museum of Art is critical to this city.

Amy Plitt, Own This City writer:

Forget the Met and AMNH for just a minute. The Queens Museum of Art is essential because of its diversity: Public programs like the queer-film series Cinemarosa or the Passport Fridays events, which explore different countries through film, music and dance, represent the breadth of culture in the city. Plus, you can get a bird's-eye view of NYC at the Panorama of the City of New York on the main floor. Of course, the heart of our argument is the exhibits. Duke Riley's Those About to Die Salute You, which opened last week, is based on a battle held near the museum earlier this year between toga-clad participants in boats fighting with baguettes. That's just awesome. New York City Building, 111th St at 49th St, Flushing Meadows--Corona Park, Queens (718-592-9700, queensmuseum.org)