My birthday trip to the Museum of Natural History
Ok, can we all just pretend that isn't my first blog post since July?
Lets just gloss over that little detail and live in the present...ok? I seriously need to blog more and I'm hoping that this holiday season will jolt me back into the habit. But before I get ahead of myself I want to catch up a bit...a least with a birthday recap.
I had been dying to get back to the Museum of Natural History. I hadn't been there since childhood, and me and Aaron also needed a fix of NYC. We had been locked in the studio forever!
Before we got the subway up to the museum we stopped at a little coffee & croissant kiosk in Bryant Park. It was the perfect weather for standing around and letting the pigeons eat whatever crumbs fell around our feet.
I'm not really a fan of the subway but the B line drops you right in front of the museum so it's a no brainer. Plus, there are all these cool mosaics at the 81st street station. Look at that bat!
That's Teddy Roosevelt up there on his high horse in front of the museum. And on the banner in the archway is a pic of a Tardigrade, also know as a Water Bear. I remember when the news first came out about those things, about how they are pretty much indestructible. Well that's all very fascinating, and sure I'll grant that they are amazing, but more than anything I just think they are so creepy looking...and I express this often.
Whenever I express any sort of distaste for a creature or actor or politician or whatever...me and Aaron sorta have an inside joke about it. Aaron will point to whatever it is that I'm currently throwing shade at and say "hey look, it's your boyfriend."
In this case, he pointed up at the Tardigrade banner and said "look, your boyfriend is here."
Even just the entry hall is insane!
This tall fella must've been the butt of so many sore throat jokes back in the day. No but really...that neck is absurd!
Even though this is the entryway I actually took this pic at the end of our visit. In the morning when we arrived, this entry hall was mobbed! The line to get in took at least a half hour.
I don't think it's possible to see the everything in the place in a single visit, so you have to pick and choose your destinations. At the top of my list was the Hall of Gems.
It's as dark as a cave in there, so forgive the lighting in these pics.
Out of all the gems and minerals I think my favorites were these Beryl specimens. Me and Beryl could totally go shopping for decor together. We've got pretty much the same color palette.
The museum contains every wonder of the world and here we were marveling at a room full of rocks!
I'm kidding of course. These things are magic! We could've read about them all day...how they're formed, where they are found, what they're used for, etc...
Pyrite is amazing! The small print below the specimens says where in the world each one was found.
I don't think this one comes from earth. I think there is definitely a planet out there where the wind sounds like Heavy Metal guitars and the entire landscape is made of this stuff.
The museum gift shop is waaaaay fancier than it was when I was 12. This amethyst geode is the size of a KitchenAid mixer! And it's not quite the price of your standard souvenir. Sorry about the glare on the price plaque...it says $399.99!
But even if we had the dough...I don't think a giant geode would travel well on the subway.
These $7.99 guys were much closer to our speed. We took an assortment home.
I loved that the gift shop had a wall of items that were all made by Etsy sellers.
I think this was the first room we hit. The Hall of Biodiversity. Sea creatures, crustaceans, insects, small mammals, etc...
Everything is so artfully displayed.
I want this shell collection!
This was a case in the main ground floor hall of the museum. Inside are Teddy Roosevelt's hand written journals and watercolors from when he was a boy. He was a frail and sickly child who found refuge in the study of nature. As a boy Audubon was his favorite artist, and it was so cool seeing Teddy's own little Audubonesque illustrations.
When you look at the enormity of this whale you think:
A. how the heck do they suspend that from the ceiling?
B. how the heck do those things exist in real life?
The dioramas are mind-blowing. Many of these have been on display since the 1940s! In recent years they've been expertly restored and touched up .
Even from way up close they look perfect. The transition from sculpture to painting is seamless.
If you just saw this pic you'd think it was a painting. But those are life size three dimensional models. The poles holding them up are hidden and disguised. That water line is a sheet of acrylic resin or something!
We could've stared at these little self contained worlds all day long.
I wish we got more pics of the dinosaurs, but as you would imagine it was the most crowded hall in the whole place. We had to move through kinda fast.
I did get this pic of T Rex and his tiny little arms. Poor guy couldn't scratch an itch and probably couldn't even participate in a round of applause. No wonder why he was so angry.
If we look awkward here it's because we never really take selfies in public places. I think we posed for this and snapped it in under a millisecond. I don't think anyone caught us being derps.
The rule is...if there is a penny squishing machine, you must make use of the penny squishing machine. I remember even getting a few of these at highway rest stops in Ohio.
There was also a machine for making kooky videos of yourself and email them directly to your friends. Aaron did that one. It looked like he was riding in a hot air balloon over the African safari. He was pretending to be amazed at the imaginary lions below. Our friends Beca and Doug were the email recipients...and surprisingly we are still friends.
At one point in the museum we decided to quit while we were still fresh instead of totally exhausting ourselves. We still had beautiful weather to enjoy and our favorite city to explore. And we went to one of our favorite spots for dinner, Rockin' Raw.
We rode the B train down to Soho and walked around before and after dinner. It's impossible for Aaron to walk past a used book store. One second you're talking to him, and the next second he looks like this...engrossed!
It was an awesome birthday trip. We needed the day off soooo bad.
I'll be posting again very soon with a holiday themed giveaway!
thanks for reading!
xoxo, Jenny...and Aaron says hi!