There is no shortage of venues to visit in New York City – but if you are looking for something off the beaten path, between the exceptional and the unexpected, you’ll want to check out these three museums:
The City Reliquary (370 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn NY): This is a not-for-profit community museum, containing what can best be described as actual parts and pieces of the city. Fragments of historic buildings, postcard collections, early burlesque memorabilia, old street signs, and countless other artifacts tell the story of the city, seen through the eyes of everyday, local people. Located in a small storefront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, it’s a favorite with visitors because what it lacks in size, it makes up in personality. Started in a nearby ground-floor apartment in the area in 2002, it found its current location in 2006. Open Thursday through Sunday from 12-6pm. General Admission is $7; Students, Seniors, and Educators (with ID) are $5.
The Merchant’s House Museum (29 E 4th St, New York, NY): Described as the only 19th century home in New York that is preserved intact, with original family furnishings and personal belongings (even original clothing items like dresses are still here). To enter the house is to take a step back in time and enter the domestic life of the family of a wealthy merchant, who lived here with four servants.
The experience is an authentic glimpse of Old New York between 1835 and 1865. It’s also said to be haunted. Open on Thursdays, 12 to 8 p.m (with guided tours at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.), Friday to Monday, 12 to 5 p.m., and closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and major holidays.
Rubin Museum of Art – Art of the Himalayas (150 West 17th Street): With no shortage of art museums in the city, seldom do you get to immerse yourself in just one specific type: This museum is completely dedicated to Himalayan art – specially from Tibet, a relatively obscure area when it comes to art.
It contains a unique display of paintings, sculptures and textiles, some dating back two thousand years, though most are from the twentieth century. Each piece comes with an explanation so that you can learn more about the unique cultures of the area. A bonus, on Friday nights, the museum’s cafe becomes K2 Lounge, offering a special tapas menu, and drinks. The Rubin opens at 11 am each day, but is closed every Tuesday. Admission prices vary, but admission is free every Friday night from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. during K2 Friday Nights.
Itching for more worth-while yet unusual NYC museums? Check out the more interactive Museum of the Moving Image.