The first thing I do when I know I’m going on holiday is to hit the internet and the guide books to find the unusual, the hidden and the odder museums where I’m visiting. In this crop of adventures in New York City I have already told you about the Houdini Museum, and Teddy Roosevelt’s Birthplace Museum which are both the kind of small museums that I love to visit.
This one though, the Mmuseumm, is smaller, odder and was much more difficult to find. This is the Mmuseumm.
It’s a miniscule museum in a former freight elevator (a ‘goods lift’ in UK English) down a backstreet just off China Town. Nigh on impossible to track down if you get even the slightest bit lost and confused by the chaos and cacophony of China Town. Persevere and it’s all worth it. The use of the reclaimed space is a really interesting concept, pretty much anything can be a museum.
You don’t need the fancy columns or pediments, you don’t need to have a space with historic connections, all you need is some stuff and a space.
This freedom and playfulness made the Mmuseumm a very interesting place to be, even if the object d’art were a bit… unusual. Plastic rock, anyone? (“Natural Styrofoam” as the mmuseumm calls it.)
But for such a small space, there was a lot packed in. I really enjoyed the natural history of death, which of course, was bottled.
As you can see, Death comes to all people, whether you’re the King of Rock and Roll or just a father.
Even scenes of biblical mass-murder were represented here in this bizarre, almost macabre, history of death.
There wasn’t enough room in the packed lift to tell the story of everything on display. Some of the things didn’tneed much explaining, but if you wanted to find out more, you could use your mobile to call the audio guide (an usual way of doing things!) or you could always refer to the booklet.
The whole time I was there the Mmuseumm was packed.
This would sound more impressive if it took more than two people with backpacks to fill the place, but even after we had moved aside, there were more people having a look around. Maybe if you take an unexpected turn down a China Town back alley, you’ll find it too…