today tom and I headed to one of the city's top cultural spots: the American Museum of Natural History. Its located on 79th and Central Park West, across the street from Central Park in the Upper East Side. The building is gorgeous and the surrounding area is my fave area (tied with Greenwich). Its full of shops, pubs, restaurants and cafe's as well as beautiful architecture that always keep us looking around when we are there.
The museum is huge. It was built in the late 1800's and Theodore Roosevelt, among others, was a founder. There are quite a few Roosevelt references and collections within the Museum. There are giant windows on the upper floors that overlook Central Park. It was our first time visiting and we knew some of what to expect, but it was even better than we had anticipated. It is impressive to say the least. There are 4 floors covering mammals, extinct mammals, dinosaurs, the planet, the ocean and almost an entire floor on the anthropological side of things (clothing, artifacts and other mementos from various cultures and peoples) which has a wonderful Tibet exhibit that we spent some time browsing through. As with any museum, there is no way you can possibly see the entire place without tiring out, but we did our best. We spent the most time at the ocean exhibit and the dinosaurs. I got goose-bumps being near the dinosaurs--amazing. We were also fascinated with the scientific slant and the museum's informative position on the evolutionary relationships between mammals from long ago and mammals of today.
We need to go back and spend more time on the anthropology exhibits, but thats for another day. We learned so much-- did you know that we as an educated society knows more about the make up of the moon and Mars than we do about our own Ocean floor? That is a shame. Did you know that some frogs actually carry their unfertilized eggs on their BACK in custom made "holes" until the baby frogs develop and hatch? I've got tons more if you are interested... ;-)
After our museum tour, we headed to the world famous grocery store (note: the term "grocery store" cheapens this gourmet destination) Zabars.
This is an Upper West Side staple store on Broadway and 80th and is always crowded regardless of the day of the week. The specialty cheese shop, olive bar and deli counter are fun to browse through and it was hard to not buy all of our groceries there. We were starving after Zabars so we stopped at McAleers, a great Irish Pub on Amsterdam, and shared some nachos and beer. Ahhhhh. Perfect.
The weather was very rainy and snowy today so the museum was a great activity and now we are home and relaxing with the dogs. Have a good week everyone!!
statue and tapestry of the first dalai lama
diana and a dinosaur
tom and a teradactyl
tom cruising the brownstones
a few dinosaurs