New York City has her bustling waterways to thank for a rich history of art, industry, and cultural development?perhaps more than any other factor. The sea carried in a stream of tens of millions of immigrants and fueled the industrial age in one of the country?s most accessible portals to the world. South Street Seaport Museum?s massive gallery space in Schermerhorn Row Block pays tribute to a bygone age while bridging it to the city?s modern aquatic-shipping and transport industry. Some exhibits illuminate the past, such as the pseudo-marketplace at Coffee, Fish, and the Tattooed Man and the immaculately preserved hotel at Remains of the Stay, while others highlight modern issues such as the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Weighted with history, the museum?s fleet of tugboats, schooners, and sloops stays stalwartly afloat, each with its own story to tell; built in 1885, the Wavertree was one of the last wrought-iron sailing ships commissioned, and the Pioneer has spent more than 120 years feeding the economy with boatloads of lumber, stone, brick, oyster shells, and tourists. The majestic four-masted bark Peking represents the famous German Flying P-Liners, designed to be crewed entirely by birds.
In the 19th century, the Tenderloin district of New York City lured visitors with bordellos, dance halls, and saloons. These days, the area houses the Museum of Sex, which explores the historical and cultural significance of the types of human sexuality considered taboo in the Tenderloin era. The more than 15,000 sexual artifacts in the museum's permanent collection include vintage vibrators, period photography, and copies of Playboy's predecessor, Philandering Archduke. Rotating exhibitions also delve into current sexual scholarship; past exhibits have explored the history of condoms, sexuality in 1930s comics, and Japanese erotic art.
After exploring the museum's galleries, visitors can reenergize with a bite or a drink from the museum's in-house bar, which blends traditional aphrodisiacs into cocktails. Suggestively named naughty sex kits are also available in the museum's store, alongside artwork and contraceptives.
Collecting from the darkest depths of the ocean, beneath layered bedrock, or from the farthest reaches of space, the American Museum of Natural History catalogues, studies, and shares the latest knowledge about the natural world. The Museum's famed permanent halls explore an array of topics, from human ancestry throughout the ages to deep history of lands ruled by dinosaurs. The Museum’s far-reaching educational programs extend beyond the permanent exhibits and the confines of the building, reaching into middle and high schools to fund and conduct hands-on, student-driven experiments. The Museum also supports scientific expeditions around the world, providing archeologists and paleontologists with essential supplies and Indiana Jones Halloween masks.
Ground Zero Museum Workshop founder and official photographer at Ground Zero for the Unifomed Firefighters Association, Gary Marlon Suson aims to lend education and comfort to locals and visitors with a photo exhibition documenting nearly nine months of the Ground Zero Recovery. As various artifacts culled from the site's rubble complement an image collection lauded by the New York Times, the space stands as a permanent museum detailing the buildings, victims, heroes, and aftermath of the tragedy. To further its cause, Ground Zero Museum Workshop donates all raised funds and proceeds to benefit three special charities relating to the 9/11 attacks.
The friendly guides at Central Park Tours peel back the corners of the Manhattan landmark, showing tourists and native New Yorkers alike its many treasures during walking, bicycle, and pedicab tours. Throughout each educational jaunt around the lush 843-acre park, groups stop and learn about historic sites, such as the Belvedere Castle, Strawberry Fields, and the Shakespeare Garden, where the poet grew the tomatoes for his notoriously delicious BLTs. The company doesn't limit its knowledge of the area to just their tours. It also organizes special events, such as corporate gatherings, school functions, and even weddings, right there in the park.
As the recession deepened, Metro Art & Frame owner Bo Okuyan found that demand never slackened for one market of art collectors: parents. Mr. Okuyan's business savvy caught the attention of the New York Times' Michael Winerip in 2010, who noted that a steady supply of finger paintings and crafts had caused Bo to rethink his definition of art. “All kids are artists, that’s how we look at it now,” he said. Whether upgrading fridge-hung stick-figure portraits to a permanent gallery or framing a more traditionally priceless painting, Mr. Okuyan and his staff begin with a complimentary consultation, tailoring each project to fit home or office aesthetics and personal style. Metro Art & Frame's acid-free mats center photographs, oil paintings, or post-modern puddles of spilled milk in an ornate, gold-leafed frame or elegant black one. Five types of glass and two flavors of plexiglass guard sensitive paintings from light damage with UV protection, and the shop's selection of contemporary and classic prints lets patrons fill in the gaps in their home galleries.