Like the children who came before and after me, I, too, went through a dinosaur phase — an obsession with toys, comic books, movies, novels and archaeological journals related to the clade of vertebrates Sir Richard Owen established as “Dinosauria” in 1842. Theirs was an entire alien world that could coexist simultaneously in the past and the present, the imagination and reality. And what better place to be immersed in the irrefutable, fossilized evidence of the Mesozoic Era than the cathedral of “Dinosauria” devotion, the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side of Manhattan?
Though this was far from our first rodeo, and there are countless other spectacular examples in their world-famous fossil halls, Lynn and I specifically ventured to AMNH, perched on the threshold of magnificent Central Park West, for the must-see exhibition of a cast of a Titanosaur skeletal fossil. Titanosaurs were sauropod dinosaurs, a group which included some of the largest and heaviest creatures to walk the earth, in the forest of today’s Patagonia, during the Late Cretaceous Period. At a length of 122 feet and just under 19 feet tall, its grandeur did not disappoint. From head to tail, the replica spans the entirety of Wallach Orientation Center, nearly scraping the ceiling, and a portion of its neck and head spill out into the adjoining elevator banks. Mouths agape, we could only imagine what it would look like in the flesh—all 70 speculated tons of it. Even our attempts at capturing it for the purposes of this post (using Panorama and Photosphere, mind you) proved rather ineffectual. Yes, it’s that big! For additional information, visit their website here.
Central Park West and 79th St
Open daily from 10 am–5:45 pm except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
Pair it with:
Brunch at Caffé Storico
Strangely, casts of the skeletal fossil remains of dinosaurs, just like emaciated models attending a casting call or an open audition for an ad campaign, have the effect of making me ravenously hungry. But the question is where do you go near Central Park West? Well, Stephen Starr (the Restaurateur of Upland fame) has you covered. Just pop on over to…uh, wait…The New York Historical Society Museum and Library across the street? Yep, that’s right. Inside of the museum, you will find Caffé Storico, a quaint Italian restaurant serving antipasti, pastas, panini and hearty entrees. Lynn settled on a Polenta and Eggs with a mushroom ragù and I went with a Spinach and Ricotta Strozzapreti with dill butter and sesame. Both were excellent, but as usual, I tasted Lynn’s and regretted my choice. Luckily, polenta is filling, so I shamelessly finished hers off.
170 Central Park West
Saturday and Sunday: 11am–4pm
Late Afternoon Menu
Saturday and Sunday: 4pm–5:30pm
Saturday and Sunday: 5:30pm–10pm