Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Morbid Anatomy Museum: Collector's Cabinet

On Saturday JMP joined me for diner breakfast, a trip to the Morbid Anatomy Museum and post-museum pie at Four and Twenty Blackbirds, which is pretty much my ideal Saturday (or any day). The Collector's Cabinet exhibit at the museum was closing on Sunday and I hadn't seen it yet but I'm so glad we went because it far exceeded my expectations.

Like the museum's previous exhibition, The Art of Mourning, the Collector's Cabinet occupied a single room but it was expertly curated and every piece was fascinating. I lost track of how much time we spent looking at, and photographing all of the curiosities, but I definitely could have spent all day in just that one room.

The centerpieces of the exhibit were two life-changing taxidermy dioramas, which more than deserve their very own post as soon as I'm done fully digesting how extraordinarily awesome they both were. They also had a neck tattoo in a jar, a fully-articulated skeleton, a very organized brush collection, wooden prosthetic arms, a plaster death cast, a talking skull, a two-headed calf and so many other weird and wonderful trinkets on display.

We also checked out the adjoining library space, which itself is packed with enough stuff to make a visit to the museum more than worth your time. I am so glad that I became a member back when the museum opened in June—not only because I now get in for free, but because never has there been a place so deserving of my support.

The museum has only gotten better since it opened and I was pleased to see so many people there on Saturday. Every one that works there is always so kind and helpful and the gift shop is full of books and housewares and art that I definitely don't need but so desperately want. I never thought there would be a place like the Morbid Anatomy Museum where all of my creepy interests are celebrated and nurtured and I already can't wait to go back.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Nassau, Bahamas

The third and final port of our family cruise was in Nassau, capital of the Bahamas. I was surprised to find that Nassau was much more city than beach paradise, in fact I never did see a beach while we were there. The minute we left the ship, we were bombarded with people peddling everything—carriage rides, tours, taxis, t-shirts, jewelry—I was even asked on numerous occasions if I wanted my (very short) hair braided. I'm used to this kind of peddling in New York, but in Nassau it was concentrated and constant.

Once we got past the markets, the streets were beautiful in a gritty, sherbet-colored, sun-faded way. The first photo I took was of a door—blue, orange and yellow—and my mom looked at me and said "You're probably the only person who comes to the Bahamas and takes a photo of a door."

We walked around for a little bit before we had to meet the rest of our family for a glass bottom boat tour. I was actually expecting our boat to have a real glass bottom, but it was more like a few windows on the floor of the lower level, and now I'm not even sure if what I had expected is even physically possible (I should probably just stick to land-based adventures).

The tour took us in between the islands of New Providence (where Nassau is located) and Paradise. Paradise is the where the Atlantis resort is located, as well as some pretty elaborate celebrity homes (our guide pointed out the homes of Oprah, JK Rowling, Mary Kay, Elvis Presley, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Sean Connery). We stopped and creeped on a coral reef through the "glass bottom," which was pretty cool to see.

We saw what appears to be wreckage of some kind—a plane?—and a bunch of different fish, including really creepy needle-nose creatures, which further proved my theory that the ocean is a scary and crazy place, full of alien beings—best admired from a safe distance, preferably on land, in the shade and with a cocktail in hand.

Friday, March 27, 2015

365 Project: Days 79-85

79/365: The last day of our cruise was cold and rainy, which didn't stop me from eating three soft-serve cones (hands-down the best part of the cruise).

80/365: I celebrated my return to New York with a solo diner lunch and a walk through snowy (!) Riverside Park where I came across a most proper snow family.

81/365: I had a perfect Sunday: a sunny, chilly walk through Green-Wood cemetery where we saw the MacKay mausoleum (which has both heat and electricity), incredible buttermilk biscuits, a great House of Cards episode and more delicious food in between.

82/365: I bleached my hair again which means wearing a plastic bag on my head and getting wrinkly, white fingers.

83/365: After a day spent illustrating a dachshund for work (aka my professional peak), I met Jim for dinner next to a puppy store that had this adorable baby in its window.

84/365: I went to Target to buy clothes which means I left with nothing but Easter candy including a big bag of black jelly beans (my favorite).

85/365: I spent my morning assembling a classic New York breakfast made of paper, gifted to me by a co-worker who knows of my obsession with the "We are happy to serve you" cups.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


Recently, I met Jim for breakfast in the East Village one morning and we decided to go on a mini-adventure. We chose Williamsburg because it was just a few stops from where we were on the L train. The last time we were both there was on a sweltering day in the summer to see the Kara Walker exhibit at the Domino Sugar Factory. The part of the factory that housed the exhibit has since been demolished, and it started snowing quite aggressively a short time after we arrived, which cut our visit short.

When everyone is crammed into coffee shops and brunch spots, walking around looking into the windows very much feels like you've stumbled upon a sort of "hipster zoo." I'm sure Jim and I are really no different, but I never feel at ease in Williamsburg. Which is convenient, because I certainly can't afford to live there, but I do like to visit on occasion.

The cute boutiques and fancy coffee shops are great, but the real charm of Williamsburg is still there if you look hard enough—in its rusty waterfront, brick buildings with wonderful ghost signs and clever graffiti. Once you leave the main Bedford drag, things get a lot more industrial and interesting. Jim and I walked along the East River waterfront for as long as we could stand the snow that somewhat impossibly was blowing in our faces, no matter which direction we were going.

We stumbled on an old diner that I only vaguely knew existed—now Cafe de la Esquina, a Mexican restaurant that we added to the list—and I found a really excellent manhole cover, which always makes me happy. We also walked past a lot that had a random headstone sitting by itself, which was kind of odd but I was into it.