The Scholastic Store meshes storytime and playtime, sneaking play spaces and interactive kiosks in between stacks of popular children's titles. In Clifford the Big Red Dog's comfy doghouse, parents and kids equipped with toys, books, and pretend play items act out classic Clifford tales, such as Clifford Goes to Law School, before skipping off hand in hand with a Clifford audio book ($9.95). Burgeoning bookworms can schedule bookstore visits to coincide with in-store events to take advantage of free author readings and thrice-weekly storytimes.
The Hoboken Historical Museum celebrates the history, culture, architecture, and overall coolness of the Hoboken area, with 2,000 square feet of photos and artifacts located within the former Bethlehem Steel shipyard. Currently, the main gallery exhibit Surveying the World: Keuffel & Esser + Hoboken, 1870–1968, running until December 23, serves up 500 engineering instruments manufactured by the firm Keuffel & Esser from 1870 to 1968. Visitors to the exhibit can interact with a slide rule or telepathically take apart a transit instrument to discover the goblins turning the gears within. The museum also has an upper gallery, which is a venue for local artists to exhibit work about Hoboken and its environs. Previous artists include popular cityscape artist Frank Hanavan, photographer Virginia Parrott, and the fifth-grade class at Wallace Elementary School. Support the Hoboken Historical Museum with a one-year individual or family membership—both membership packages include benefits such as free admission to the museum, discounts on select museum gift-shop items, a subscription to the museum's quarterly newsletter, and free copies of the museum's Oral History Project chapbooks.
From a stone mosaic that lined the floors of a 5th-century synagogue to the final rhyme spit out by a Jewish hip-hop artist, the span of the Jewish Museum's collections is as diverse as it is expansive. What began in 1904 with 26 artifacts has blossomed into a collection of 27,000 paintings, sculptures, and multimedia exhibits that together present a collage of art and Jewish culture from across centuries and continents.
The centerpiece of the Museum is Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey, a permanent exhibition teeming with artifacts, videos, and art that collectively celebrate Jewish identity and the culture's ability to persevere through sometimes tragic circumstances. Artists?from 20th century French master ?douard Vuillard to contemporary American painter Kehinde Wiley?enliven the galleries in rotating exhibitions.
Interactive exhibits such as the Archaeology Zone bring kids within earshot of ancient times as they don ancient costumes and weigh, magnify, and analyze vessels just like anthropologists or careful ancient housewares shoppers. Family activities include holiday-themed art classes and workshops, and The Wind Up series invites adults into the Museum for an after-hours menagerie of cutting-edge music, film, and theatre. After a day of soaking up history, attendees can nosh at Lox at Caf? Weissman, a certified-kosher caf? whose stained glass windows shed light on the edible portion of the Jewish journey.
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.