American Museum of Natural History  

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West and 79th St.
New York, NY

You should know
I was one of those kids. You know the type. Books about dinosaurs, toy dinosaurs, TV shows about dinosaurs… About the only thing I know how to draw with any competence (at least, in non-stick-figure form) is a dinosaur. And to this day, I am completely enthralled by the fossilized skeletons in museums.

I also like museums in general. Whether it’s history, art, nature, or the combination of any of the above, I want to see and learn as much as possible. I’m strange like that.

So when Chris came to visit me in New York, I insisted we check The Museum of Natural History out.

We accidentally went through the big skeletons section of the museum backwards. This actually worked out really well, because we consistently went in the opposite directions as the crowds. Sure, it was still packed, but this helped in a strange way.

The Big Bang and Scales of the Universe sections were neat because the people around us (strangers all) were making comments and commenting on our comments. It was fun.

Not all the visitors were that canny. A true exchange:

Sign next to skeleton: This is why it’s not true that Stegosaurus had two brains.
Little kid: Daddy, what does that say?
Dad: It says Stegosaurus had two brains.
Me (sotto): Kill me…

Now, I was a bit disappointed that all the temporary exhibits cost extra. I know that’s typical, but most museums I’d been to have had maybe one exhibit that costs extra, but the others – even the temporary ones – are included in the price of admission. Still, we didn’t have a ton of time, so this worked out all right.

Overall, it was an enjoyable experience. You should definitely consider going during the week, and if you can get any kind of discount (student, coupon, whatever), you should use it; general admission is $14.

A bit of advice
I have a special request for all museum-goers. If you are bringing your child/ren to a museum filled priceless fossils and artifacts, please, please don’t let your children run around in their wheeled sneakers. There is no way it can end well.

Check it out
There are two factors that led to me attending in the first place: the museum’s place in New York culture, and the dinosaurs. I’m a complex person; what can I say? But the culture and the dinosaurs both lived up to the hype, so if you’re interested in either, you should put this on your list of New York attractions to visit.

The rest of the Internet
The Wikipedia page.

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