bldg92

Today, we visited bldg92 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It’s housed in an awesome space and offers three floors detailing the history of the navy yards. On the first floor, one side of the space is dedicated to a massive timeline running from the mid-1700’s to the present. The other side is dedicated to the navy yard and its inhabitants today, with a big case exhibiting wares from some of the artisans and manufacturers that currently work out of navy yard. Accompanying the case was a wall of interactive narratives about select artisans, like woodworkers, metalworkers, artists, and device manufacturers, working in the navy yard, giving flavor and character to some of who’s keeping the area running these days. 

The historical narrative was tied closely to US history, broadening the perspective on a lot of the stories. It’s interesting to see how much it’s transformed and revived since 2000, particularly with the advent of cash cows like Steiner Studios.

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Queens! Louis Armstrong, New York Hall of Science, Queens Botanical Garden

Louis Armstrong Museum + New York Hall of Science + Queens Botanical Garden

What’s hotter than hot? New York in July. What’s hotter than New York in July? A heat wave in New York in July. Who decides to visit museums in outer boroughs on our bicycles during a heat wave in New York in July? Allison and Duncan, that’s who.

After a decent slog over the Queensboro bridge, Duncan and Allison arrive at the Louis Armstrong Museum. “You are avid Louis fans?” the docent asks. Not exactly. The informational video is… informational. Then we are led upstairs to a house that looks uncannily like Allison’s deceased grandparents’ house: marble bathrooms, shag carpet, stand alone ashtrays. Inside of closets are wallpapered (in metallic palm frond prints), and hairbrushes, colognes and dirty cocktail novelty glasses are left as-in. The kitchen has a blender built into the counter.

The tour is led by a young black man, from the south, who is an opera major and a homosexual here for a junior year of college internship. He is much more interesting than a house from the 70s, though Louis Armstrong was indeed a virtuoso. Duncan bought Louis’ favorite laxative, and was upsold a postcard of Louis on his ornate john.

Louis Armstrong Museum:                           3 stars

On to lunch, which, since it is Duncan’s birthday weekend, he is allowed to choose. He picks, of all places, Pollo Campero, where he receives a free birthday flan. It is officially too hot for Allison to eat, that’s how hot it is.

Pollo Campero Esta Aqui!

The New York Hall of Science is everything the Museum of Math tried to be and failed, which is to say, in working order. A very cool place to take your tykes. The second floor is full of competitive physical challenges, which Allison and Duncan, competitive by nature, enjoyed, especially in the wake of Allison’s victory over Duncan at tennis the previous weekend. (Duncan won at most things; Allison won the reaction time challenge). The mini golf course looked like fun, but was, of course closed because of heat.

Duncan rode a bike

Sadly, there was taxidermy. Why is there always taxidermy????

Taxidermy...Why?

Taxidermy…Why?

Also, rhetorical questions got their own billboards.photo 4

And there was a very flattering hall of mirrors.

photo 4-1photo 3

New York Hall of Science                  3 stars

The Queens Museum of Art was closed for renovations. Hallelujah!

The Queens County Farm Museum is misnamed, we decided, and is actually on Long Island. Evidence that backs this assumption would be greatly appreciated.

The Queens Botanical Garden was approached over a steep bridge (Duncan had a bursitis abscess on his knee and no third ring on his bike, so when the road dead ended in a locked gate, Allison stuck her foot inside it, they admired it from afar and crossed it off the list. It was lovely. In fact, it was……. 3 stars.

photo 5Louis Armstrong House………….. 3 stars

New York Hall of Science………….3 stars

Queens Botanical Garden………….3 stars