Museum of the City of New York

Museum of the City of New York Telling New York City’s stories since 1923. Social Media Policy: https://www.mcny.org/social-media-policy
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Winner, winner, gingerbread cookies for dinner. 🏆 Bronx native Petroula (Patty) Lambrou-Kalognomas, owner of her namesak...
01/08/2024

Winner, winner, gingerbread cookies for dinner. 🏆 Bronx native Petroula (Patty) Lambrou-Kalognomas, owner of her namesake cake pop specialty store Patty Pops (), took home the grand prize for “Best Overall” in this year’s edition of “Gingerbread NYC: The Great Borough Bake-Off.”

Set on Hip Hop Boulevard at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, often referred to as the birthplace of hip hop, Lambrou-Kalognomas’ creation includes some fun and festive details. A gingerbread DJ Kool Herc () spins music, Santa Claus sports Nike Dunks, and an 🎶 If it wasn’t for the Bronx🎶 sign is displayed boldly on the roof.

There is only one week left to see , on view through January 15. Plan your visit: https://www.mcny.org/exhibition/gingerbread-nyc-great-borough-bake-0

📷: Photographs by Brad Farwell.

Spacious NYC studio apartment. No windows. No Closets. Located in kid-friendly neighborhood. $4000 + broker fee. Who’s h...
01/06/2024

Spacious NYC studio apartment. No windows. No Closets. Located in kid-friendly neighborhood. $4000 + broker fee.

Who’s hoping the rain will turn to snow this weekend? ❄️

Though this photograph from our collection was captured in the ‘40s or ‘50s, New York City’s largest snow storms happened much more recently. In February 2006 and again in January 2016, more than 26 inches of snow swept the city. Since the winter of 2015-16, the Central Park Conservancy () has been responsible for taking New York City’s official snowfall measurements for the National Weather Service.

📷: Photograph by the Wurt Bros., Museum of the City of New York, X2010.7.1.16299.

New year, new hours! ✨ Beginning tomorrow, January 4, visit us on Mondays, Thursdays, & Fridays from 10am to 5pm and Sat...
01/03/2024

New year, new hours! ✨ Beginning tomorrow, January 4, visit us on Mondays, Thursdays, & Fridays from 10am to 5pm and Saturdays & Sundays from 10am to 6pm. Please note that we’re still closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Dive into our newest exhibitions, explore upcoming programs, and peruse our collections at www.mcny.org/

📷: Detail of clock and wrought iron ceiling in Pennsylvania Station, ca. 1915, Museum of the City of New York, X2010.11.5092.

Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, which began   in 1870, required a massive human effort. Several thousands of worker...
01/03/2024

Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, which began in 1870, required a massive human effort. Several thousands of workers—many of whom were Irish, German, Italian, Black, or Chinese—worked to complete the “Great Bridge” that connected the cities of Brooklyn and New York. Most of the laborers worked for a daily wage of $2.00 or $2.25 (around $50 today).

Over 14 years of construction, at least 20 men died, several from “the bends,” a decompression sickness caused by toiling in underwater caissons deep below the East River.

Visitors to the Museum can see a nearly six-foot-long wrench used in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, now on view in “People, Place, and Influence: The Collection at 100.”

📷: Brooklyn Bridge Promenade, 1903, Museum of the City of New York, 93.1.1.17875, detail.

So embarrassing! Someone snapped photos of us on our commutes to work this morning. 🙃 May your coffee be strong and your...
01/02/2024

So embarrassing! Someone snapped photos of us on our commutes to work this morning. 🙃 May your coffee be strong and your inboxes be empty this January 2nd, dear followers.

Stanley Kubrick captured these photographs when he was just around 18 years old in 1946. Our collections include a variety of Kubrick’s photographs, many unpublished, from the nightclubs, street scenes, and sporting events he encountered on his first assignments as a photographer for LOOK magazine.

©SK Film Archives/Museum of the City of New York (📷: X201141110735A, X201141110761B, X20114111073)

When was the first time the New Year’s Eve Ball made its descent in Times Square? On December 31, 1907, the first ball, ...
12/31/2023

When was the first time the New Year’s Eve Ball made its descent in Times Square? On December 31, 1907, the first ball, built by Jacob Starr, a young Ukrainian immigrant metalworker, featured one hundred 25-watt light bulbs and weighed 700 pounds.

How are you ringing in 2024?

📷: Police officer and crowd at (11:59) - 12am - N. Year’s Eve “1997”, by Steffen A. Kaplan, Museum of the City of New York, 2001.3.5.

Anyone watch Maestro, yet? In 1949, Stanely Kubrick, then a young photographer for LOOK Magazine, captured intimate scen...
12/29/2023

Anyone watch Maestro, yet? In 1949, Stanely Kubrick, then a young photographer for LOOK Magazine, captured intimate scenes of composer Leonard Bernstein’s day-to-day life. Scroll through some of those shots in our collection.

Bernstein was the first American-born-and-trained music director of the New York Philharmonic. He is widely remembered as the composer of West Side Story, and for his commitment to social activism—from civil rights to nuclear disarmament.

📷: Photos of Leonard Bernstein by Stanley Kubrick for LOOK Magazine, published by Cowles Communications, Inc., 1949, Museum of the City of New York, X2011.4.12304.92F, X2011.4.12304.91D, X2011.4.12304.98D.

Musicians are essential to Bronx-born artist Manny Vega’s world. In this mosaic, he captures New Yorker Julia Gutiérrez-...
12/27/2023

Musicians are essential to Bronx-born artist Manny Vega’s world. In this mosaic, he captures New Yorker Julia Gutiérrez-Rivera (), a musician, dancer, activist, and managing director of the plena (an Afro-Puerto Rican music and dance genre) ensemble Los Pleneros de la 21 ().

See the vibrant piece in a section that features New York City musicians in “Byzantine Bembé: New York by Manny Vega,” now on view.

🎨: .nyc, Bomba Celestial. 2009–2010. Collection of Bobbito García a.k.a. Kool Bob Love. Courtesy of Manny Vega

Our first day of winter break was a success! ✔ We made arts and crafts, enjoyed story time activities, and tuned in for ...
12/27/2023

Our first day of winter break was a success! ✔ We made arts and crafts, enjoyed story time activities, and tuned in for a screening of the movie “Elf.” There are plenty more family fun activities—from musical performances to self-guided scavenger hunts—all week long! Drop in anytime this week between 11am and 3pm through Saturday, December 30. https://www.mcny.org/event/winter-recess-family-activities-mcny-dec-27

In case you needed an extra special reason to visit the Museum next week, we’ll be hosting musical performances by multi...
12/23/2023

In case you needed an extra special reason to visit the Museum next week, we’ll be hosting musical performances by multi-instrumentalist (December 29) and singer-songwriter .music (December 30), both members of the music faculty from the School of the Arts (). Sing along and move your body to the rhythm of the beat in our Rotunda!

Learn more about our week-long winter break festivities at the Museum at the link in our bio.

New York was, is, and will always be a film town. 🎬 Last week, we hosted a conversation—inspired by the Museum’s centenn...
12/19/2023

New York was, is, and will always be a film town. 🎬 Last week, we hosted a conversation—inspired by the Museum’s centennial 16-screen film immersive “You Are Here”—with and for the city’s film and TV community.

Following opening remarks by Pat Swinney Kaufman (), Commissioner, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (), Jill Goldsmith of led a discussion with Thavary Krouch, Deputy Director of Film at the NYC Film Office, The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment; Paul Kramer, location manager; Teodoro Maniaci, Director of Photography; , creative producer with , behind “You Are Here”; and Bob Shaw, Production Designer for The Gilded Age ().

Special thank you to our partners from Office of Media and Entertainment (); Eastern Effects (); AbelCine (); Lux Lighting (); and RadicalMedia (radicalmedia).

Visitors are invited to explore how New York has been used as a movie set over the past century in our exhibition “This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture,” on view until July 2024.

📷: Photo #1 by Asya Gorovits. Photos #2- #5 by Jason Hall.

Looking for activities for the kids this winter break? Make the Museum your first stop! Every day next week between Tues...
12/18/2023

Looking for activities for the kids this winter break? Make the Museum your first stop! Every day next week between Tuesday, December 26, and Saturday, December 30, we’re hosting arts and crafts, screenings of Elf, musical performances, and story hours. Plus, keep the holiday spirit alive by visiting our installation “Gingerbread NYC: The Great Borough Bake-Off.”

All activities are free with Museum admission. Pre-registration is recommended (link in bio)

12/17/2023

The Museum has looked a little brighter this weekend thanks to Brooklyn Pop-Up! Stop in for last-minute holiday gifts, including handmade jewelry, candles, and more, made by 20+ local artisans. No admission necessary to shop!

Did you know that our modern-day image of Santa Claus was created by Thomas Nast—the very same cartoonist best remembere...
12/16/2023

Did you know that our modern-day image of Santa Claus was created by Thomas Nast—the very same cartoonist best remembered for his anti-corruption cartoons about “Boss” Tweed?

Known as the father of the American political cartoon, Thomas Nast was a German immigrant who gained fame as a cartoonist for Harper’s Magazine. His first depiction of Santa was featured in a pro-Union piece of propaganda during the Civil War. Published in January 1863, the drawing showed Santa Claus, clad in a jacket patterned with stars and pants colored in stripes, distributing presents in a Union Army camp. In this scene, Santa holds a puppet toy, with a striking resemblance to Confederate president Jefferson Davis, with a rope around its neck.

Nast lived in New York City throughout his life and is buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. You can see his work on view in “People, Place, and Influence: The Collection at 100.”

📷: Portrait of Nast by Sarony & Co., ca. 1866-1871, Museum of the City of New York, F2012.58.966.

Looking for activities for the kids this winter break? Make the Museum your first stop! Every day, between Tuesday, Dece...
12/14/2023

Looking for activities for the kids this winter break? Make the Museum your first stop! Every day, between Tuesday, December 26, and Saturday, December 30, we’re hosting arts and crafts, movie screenings, musical performances, and story hours! Plus, keep the holiday spirit alive by visiting our installation “Gingerbread NYC: The Great Borough Bake-Off.”

The Museum of the City of New York welcomes children of all ages and their families to join us this holiday season for winter-inspired activities for all to enjoy!

Nothing quite screams “Happy Holidays” like dogs smoking ci**rs or toddlers splashing around in a bottle of red or a sma...
12/11/2023

Nothing quite screams “Happy Holidays” like dogs smoking ci**rs or toddlers splashing around in a bottle of red or a small boy popping champagne. There were truly no rules in the trade card advertisement game in the nineteenth century.

Part greeting card and part advertisement, trade cards were distributed by shop owners and salesmen, especially around the holiday season. The cards often featured colorful graphics and humorous, sweet, and sometimes peculiar imagery.

Henry Maillard Chocolates and Confections, ca. 1875-1900
Dean’s Patent Ardenter Mustard, ca. 1880-1905
Johnson Bros. & Co., ca. 1880

📷: X2012.98.106, F2012.99.113, 40.275.334

The votes are in and Time Out New York named “This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture” the best e...
12/09/2023

The votes are in and Time Out New York named “This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture” the best exhibition of 2023 as part of its annual Best of the City awards. 🏆 Revisit its roundup of the nine can’t-miss objects in the “epic” exhibition, which explores 100 years of the city, “warts and all,” through more than 400 iconic objects. Dive into Time Out New York’s list and plan your visit to “This Is New York” today: https://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do/revealed-time-out-new-yorks-2023-best-of-the-city-award-winners

Though the Empire State Building would hold the title of world’s tallest building for 40 years, construction was complet...
12/05/2023

Though the Empire State Building would hold the title of world’s tallest building for 40 years, construction was completed in a record-breaking one year and 45 days. At its peak, more than 3,000 workers were on the project. The men, who earned the nickname “sky boys,” were mostly Irish and Italian immigrants, though a notable minority were Mohawk ironworkers.

This image, captured by groundbreaking social photographer Lewis Wickes Hine, is on view in our exhibition “People, Place, and Influence: The Collection at 100.” The photograph is just one example of the ways in which the Museum has collected objects—from construction tools to architects’ models—related to the modernization of the city’s landscape.

📷: Empire State Building Construction, ca. 1930, by Lewis Wickes Hine, Museum of the City of New York, L638.8, ©The New York Public Library

OPENING FRIDAY: Byzantine Bembé: New York by Manny Vega 🎨 Many visitors to the Museum have already encountered Manny Veg...
12/04/2023

OPENING FRIDAY: Byzantine Bembé: New York by Manny Vega 🎨 Many visitors to the Museum have already encountered Manny Vega’s (.nyc) work while walking around El Barrio. His public mosaics and murals adorn street walls, subway stations, cultural centers, and business facades throughout East Harlem. Many of these works celebrate important figures—particularly women—in the history of the Puerto Rican and Latinx communities.

Opening this Friday, December 8, Byzantine Bembé will explore Vega's visual storytelling as it interweaves community stories with themes that range from African deities to urban mythologies. Plan your visit at the link in our bio!

📷: 2020 WTF, 2022, by Manny Vega

We remember the life and legacy of photojournalist Elliott Erwitt, known for his candid and comical black-and-white imag...
12/01/2023

We remember the life and legacy of photojournalist Elliott Erwitt, known for his candid and comical black-and-white images of everyday life. Though perhaps most celebrated for his humorous photographs of dogs, Erwitt also captured key moments in politics and pop culture (It was Erwitt who was behind that famous image of President Nixon poking a finger into Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s chest.). Erwitt moved to New York City in 1948 and joined in 1953, serving as the agency’s president for three years during the late 1960s.

Throughout his career, Erwitt rejected intellectualism in photography, aiming to evoke emotion and reveal the humanity of his subjects. He argued, “The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.”

In 2011, the Museum presented Erwitt with the Louis Auchincloss Prize, given annually to writers and artists whose work is inspired by and enhances the five boroughs of New York City.

📷: , 1955, Museum of the City of New York, 2020.10.146.

And I think to myself | What a wonderful world 🎶 After a visit to  this summer, baker Sherry Kozlowski () knew she had t...
11/29/2023

And I think to myself | What a wonderful world 🎶 After a visit to this summer, baker Sherry Kozlowski () knew she had to recreate the Queens landmark. Her gingerbread masterpiece took around 40 hours to complete and features detailed elements, including the plaster dog that guards the entrance and the plaque that features “What A Wonderful World” lyrics.

When asked about why she chose the site, Kozlowski shared: “When I think of iconic NYC, the 1960s- ‘70s jazz scene is right there. The story behind the house and the Armstrongs’ connection to the community is beautiful.... It is a small glimpse into an era, and everyone should visit it!”

See this sweet edition of the Louis Armstrong House Museum on view in “Gingerbread NYC: The Great Borough Bake-Off,” open through January 15, 2024. Photograph by Brad Farwell.

When Lady Pink () began writing graffiti on subway cars in the late ‘70s, she was one of the few women participating in ...
11/27/2023

When Lady Pink () began writing graffiti on subway cars in the late ‘70s, she was one of the few women participating in the movement at the time. Born Sandra Fabara in Ecuador, Lady Pink grew up in Queens and attended Manhattan's High School of Art and Design. She was a member of The Public Animals (TPA) and The Crazy Five (TC5) and acted in the 1983 hip-hop film “Wild Style.”

You can learn more about Lady Pink’s work and influence at the Museum in two ways. Her piece “Yellow Building” is currently on view in our exhibition “People, Place, and Influence: The Collection at 100.” Additionally, on December 7, Lady Pink will be speaking on a panel following a screening of the documentary film “Style Wars” (1983). Grab your tickets at the link in our bio.

📷: Death of Graffiti, 1982, by Sandra “Lady Pink” Fabara, Museum of the City of New York, 94.114.96.

Before   was a national holiday, New Yorkers celebrated another major holiday in November—Evacuation Day. For more than ...
11/25/2023

Before was a national holiday, New Yorkers celebrated another major holiday in November—Evacuation Day. For more than a century, the city commemorated the day on November 25, 1783, when the British Army finally departed New York City after the end of the American Revolutionary War.

The festivities were on par with how we celebrate the Fourth of July today. The city hosted parades, fireworks, lavish dinners, and even re-creations of a famous greasy flagpole climb from the historic day.

Wondering why you may have never heard of Evacuation Day? Though smaller-scale celebrations continue throughout the city, the holiday fell from popularity in the early twentieth century. These items from our collection are from the 100th anniversary commemoration, when President Chester A. Arthur presided over the day’s events. (📷: 55.220, X2014.12.329)

Did you know that Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons used to be released after each big event? Special money prizes...
11/22/2023

Did you know that Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons used to be released after each big event? Special money prizes went to those who found the giant characters. As you might imagine, chaos ensued.

There were balloons lost at sea. Another caught on fire. One incited an ugly tug-of-war match after landing on a Long Island rooftop. A notable 1931 article describes a blue hippopotamus balloon “still at large” six days after the parade.

Alas, the tradition finally came to an end when a loose balloon became entangled in the propeller of a small plane almost causing an accident. Soon after, balloons were deflated, crated, and stored for their next use—a practice that continues through today.

📷: Carl Van Vechten (C) Van Vechten Trust (1930s and ‘40s, Museum of the City of New York, X2010.8.238, X2010.8.233, X2010.8.225, X2010.8.233, X2010.8.230, X2010.8.236)

Before anyone debated whether or not Ross and Rachel were on a break, the world met the cast of “Living Single,” which f...
11/21/2023

Before anyone debated whether or not Ross and Rachel were on a break, the world met the cast of “Living Single,” which followed six Black friends living in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Created by Yvette Lee Bowser (), “Living Single” aired from 1993 to 1998 and launched the acting career of rapper Queen Latifah, who played ambitious magazine editor and publisher Khadijah James. The sitcom initiated a new generation of comedies focused on the intertwined lives of urban singles, including “Friends” and “Sex and the City.”

Watch a scene from “Living Single” and explore some of the television shows and films inspired by New York City in our centennial exhibition “This Is New York: 100 Years of the City on Art and Pop Culture.”

It’s fabulous. It’s filthy. It’s celebrated. It’s reviled. Times Square has evoked some strong reactions from New Yorker...
11/19/2023

It’s fabulous. It’s filthy. It’s celebrated. It’s reviled. Times Square has evoked some strong reactions from New Yorkers and visitors for more than a century.

On December 2, join us for a free conversation with artist Jane Dickson () and scholar Lynne Sagalyn about what it means to capture a place that is both real and heavily mythologized. Copies of Sagalyn's “Times Square Remade” and Dickson's “Jane Dickson in Times Square” will be available for purchase in our Museum shop.

Register for the talk at the link in our bio.

📷: Samuel H. Gottscho, 1932, Museum of the City of New York, 88.1.1.2441.

When did New York City establish its modern curbside recycling system? ♻️ Believe it or not, curbside recycling was not ...
11/15/2023

When did New York City establish its modern curbside recycling system? ♻️ Believe it or not, curbside recycling was not mandatory in the city until 1989.

Though community-led recycling centers existed throughout the city in the 1970s, New York was reliant on incinerators and landfills to manage waste. When Mayor Ed Koch advanced a proposal to build major incinerators in 1984, activist groups, including the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), sprang into action to advocate for a comprehensive curbside recycling program. Their efforts paid off in 1986, when the New York City Department of Sanitation began a voluntary curbside recycling program in Lower Manhattan. Finally, in 1989, after years of debate, the City Council enacted Local Law 19, also known as the New York City Recycling Law.

Explore more about the ways that activists have shaped New York City’s past, present, and future in our exhibition “Activist New York.”

📷: 1986, New York City Department of Sanitation

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