I Spy at The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy

The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy is a traveling, interactive exhibition of antiques, collectibles, and inventions. The focus of the speakeasy is to inspire innovation and creativity. This is achieved through interaction with relics from our past. In many cases, the audience are full-on participants. They assist in unveiling the newest acquisitions, offer their own anecdotes about particular items, and ask insightful questions. Interaction at a secret speakeasy, whether with people or objects, is encouraged. Save for a few exceptions, audience members are entirely welcome to touch the items on display.

The Museum of Interesting Things Secret Speakeasy is presented by its inimitable host, Denny Daniel. He’s the curator and founder of the museum. If you are wondering what the show is like, the general ballpark is a robust mix of Barnum and Baily, Pawn Stars, and Antiques Roadshow. So, in other words, prepare to be entertained.

Please keep in mind that the secret speakeasy has been known to change venues last-minute. We strongly recommended that you check the website before the event. Typically, though, the speakeasy is held at The Loft in Soho at 177 Prince Street. Keep in mind, each month the programming changes to focus on a specific theme, so make sure to join the email list to see what is offered each month. This month’s theme is I Spy: Spy, Cipher, Crime, and Communication Tech.

For a preview of the event, read about our experience visiting a prior speakeasy here.

Museum Day Presented by Smithsonian Magazine

Museum Day is an annual one-day event hosted by Smithsonian Magazine, celebrating museums and cultural institutions across the entire country. This year’s Museum Day will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018.

Through their partnership with Microsoft, Smithsonian Magazine generously offers free admission to a participating museum or cultural institution for any ticket holder plus one guest. Museum Day is the perfect answer to that relentlessly repetitive question: What are we doing this weekend? Well, you now have the answer for at least one Saturday in September.

IMPORTANT NOTES: Museum Day tickets were made available on August 15, 2018. Tickets go fast, so make sure you get yours now. Only one ticket for one museum or cultural institution is provided per registered email address, so choose wisely! To review the list of participating locations in each state and to reserve your tickets, click here.

If you’re looking for some New York City-based recommendations, we have included some posts we wrote below offering some insights into our favorite institutions, all of which are participating locations for this year’s Museum Day.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators

The Rubin Museum of Art

Museum of Chinese in America

Fraunces Tavern Museum

Two of the Best Museums in New York City Are In Astoria, Queens

When you think of museums in New York City, the usual Manhattan-centric suspects immediately come to mind: MoMA, The Gug, and The Met. If you’re a hardcore museum hound, two of our other favorites, The Whitney or The Frick, might dance their way onto your list. Or perhaps you have children, in which case you’ll think of The American Museum of Natural History, because you’ve seen Night at the Museum no less than a hundred times. Now, what if we told you that two of the best museums in New York City aren’t even located in Manhattan?

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How to Spend a Day in Long Island City, Queens

We always get excited when visitors start to spend time in New York City’s neighborhoods, because that’s when they discover how wonderfully schizophrenic the city is. There are so many pockets with distinct personalities, and we don’t just mean across ethnic lines like in Chinatown and Koreatown. The Upper West Side and the Upper East Side have distinctly different vibes, and friendships have fractured over the East Village vs. West Village debate. But trekking into the other boroughs is still a daunting task for many. With trendy spots like Williamsburg, Brooklyn gets all the love. But we believe Queens’ criminally underrated, westernmost residential and commercial neighborhood, Long Island City, is the perfect starter neighborhood to explore New York City’s largest borough.

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Heaven, Hell and A Heist: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination at The Met

The Met Museum is so iconic and so synonymous with New York City that every time I approach the steps, a little highlight reel plays in my head. The scene from When Harry Met Sally where Billy Crystal says in a funny voice, “Waiter, there is too much pepper on my paprikash, but I would love to partake in your pecan pie.” Blair and Serena’s power lunches from Gossip Girl. Toulouse-Lautrec’s The Sofa. The Psycho Barn reproduction on the roof a couple of years ago. It’s where my New York City fantasy and reality worlds collide, and it never gets old. But nothing gets me more excited than trekking to the annual Costume Institute Exhibit every summer.

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5 Things to Do in Athens Besides the Acropolis

Do a quick search on Athens and the first thing you’ll see at the very top of the list, perched like the magnificent fortress itself on its rocky hilltop, is the Acropolis. It’s a one-of-a-kind archaeological treasure, deserving of all that prestige, and you should absolutely go and see it when you visit the ancient city for the first time. But too many people make Athens a stopover on the way to the one of the stunning 200-plus Greek Islands without giving it much thought. They squeeze in a visit to the Acropolis then hop back on a plane or ferry. But we’re going to let you in on a secret–Athens has so much more to offer than just ruins.

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The Costume Institute’s Heavenly Bodies at Met Museum

The Costume Institute’s spring 2018 exhibition Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination—located at both The Met Fifth Avenue and additionaly at one of its subsidiaries, The Met Cloisters—is a continuation of the program’s efforts to explore the connection between fashion and art. Using The Met’s formidable medieval art collection, this year’s exhibition examines fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and the traditions of Catholicism and includes robes and accessories never seen outside of The Vatican.

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination runs from May 10, 2018 through October 8, 2018.

Learn more about our recent visit to the exhibit in our post here.

Learn more about The Costume Institute here.

Learn more about The Met Cloisters here.

Curiouser and Curiouser: A Visit to The Museum of Interesting Things in New York City

I recently read an article in Slate where Felix Salmon expressed concern that “blockbuster shows are ruining art museums”. Basically, he asserts that these big tent events are often a drag on sometimes woefully underfunded museum and gallery budgets or that they devour resources that would otherwise go to smaller installations and lesser known artists, all the while conditioning audiences to expect bigger and bigger spectacles. It’s a high that simply can’t be sustained. Lynn perfectly conveyed this sentiment when she talked about her underwhelming experience with Huma Bhabha’s Met Rooftop installation in a recent Mad Chatter post. It begs the question: in the age of blockbusters, is there still room for the museum and gallery equivalent of the shoestring budget indie film?

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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of History: Why You Should Visit Fraunces Tavern in New York City


I don’t know about you, but when I think of early American history, my thoughts naturally migrate to Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington DCーnever New York City. Recently, though, musicals like Broadway’s smash hit, Hamilton, and shows like AMC’s, Turn, have flipped the script on that. As it happens, New York City is a veritable cornucopia of American history, from momentum-changing events to the rise of some of our most enduring national figures.
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48 Hours in Philly: 7 Things To Do For The Perfect Winter Getaway


It’s mid-January. You no longer have any holiday parties to attend, the novelty of your Christmas gifts have worn off, and you’re facing the daunting task of tackling your New Year’s resolutions. Throw in a Bomb Cyclone for good measure, and you might find yourself in a pretty deep winter funk. While many scurry to warmer temperatures, we think you can embrace all the fun things winter has to offer with a simple change in scenery. And Philadelphia is the perfect getaway for that mid-winter refresh. If you went to Philly and only saw Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Betsy Ross House, then you’re missing out. Here are 7 things to do in Philly that will change the way you think of a snow day.

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