Then there was the Skyscraper Museum. A museum about skyscrapers. It was in New York City because where else would you have a Skyscraper Museum?
We almost didn’t find the Skyscraper Museum. It’s just north of Battery Park where the streets are so old that they tie themselves in knots so that the address numbers don’t always follow a linear progression. Three does not necessarily follow two as you walk along some of those streets. Luckily, while we were tracing streets with our fingers in our handy guidebook, a passing Manhattaner out walking his dog took pity on us and helped us find the building we were looking for. Without him, we’d probably still be in New York City right now. Bastard.
The Skyscraper Museum was in a few rooms of the ground floor of a building that was not a skyscraper. The ceiling was mirrored, though, so that in every room it looked like the walls soared up into the skies. Very appropo.
Fun fact: Most of the downtown neighborhoods in Manhattan were built up in the 1900s by the garment industry. There’s hardly a block anywhere on the lower half of the island where clothes weren’t being stitched together by a dozen immigrants in every room in tenement buildings, or later by a hundred immigrants in a loft. They were making clothes everywhere down there right up to the 50s, and quite a lot of those buildings are still standing, making up some of the more interesting parts of New York City.
Best part of the Skyscraper Museum: Admission is just five bucks. There’s amost nothing you can do in NYC for only five bucks. Go see the Skyscraper Museum.