Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Museum After My Own Heart

I’m not really a fan of most museums. I get bored kind of easily, and just standing around pretending to appreciate something has never been my thing. But, give me the proper subject matter (and trust me, it’s pretty much never going to be something that existed more than 100 years ago) and I’m all yours.
Which is why this mafia museum in the works totally caught my eye. The best part is that the museum is receiving some support by the FBI, meaning that it’s not just the creation of some mobster fan-boy. The museum will feature transcripts of wiretaps, photos, etc. And the museum is tapping history professors to get in on the act to help them find more authentic stuff to populate the museum with. The museum unfortunately won’t open until 2010, but I’m already thinking about a trip to Vegas to check it out.

Sammy "The Bull" Gravano might bust out of the pen for a chance to see the new mob museum in Vegas.

So, the announcement of this new museum made me think of the few other museums that I’ve really been jazzed about. My top three:

The Newseum. Unfortunately, this museum is currently closed but is reopening in 2008. I checked out the Newseum the first time I visited D.C., when I was a sophomore in college on (appropriately) a journalism trip. Plenty of cool—and geeky—stuff to see here, including a gallery of papers from all over the world depicting major historical events.
Museum of Modern Art. I’m not a big art buff, but I do have a thing for modern art. MoMA is cool because in addition to more traditional art, it has several exhibits featuring photography, plus a room filled with furniture and other “functional art.” The last time I checked out MoMA was in May, when the museum had a super-cool exhibit focused on the font Helvetica. (There’s also a documentary on Helvetica,which is coming up very soon on my Netflix queue. Geeky squee!)
The Sixth Floor Museum At Dealey Plaza. Many of you know about my fondness for true crime stories and conspiracy theories, but few of you know that my fascination about the J.F.K. assassination was once so strong that when I was 10 years old, my school sent me to the regional 4-H speech competition with a speech—a very compelling speech— I had written outlining the various conspiracy theories surrounding J.F.K.’s death. My fascination was, of course, inspired by the Oliver Stone movie JFK, which my parents took me to see in the theater. Again, when I was 10. But we’ll save the discussion of appropriateness for another time.
Anyway, there’s plenty of awesome to be had in the sixth floor depository at Dealey Plaza. For starters, you can stand on the spot where Lee Harvey Oswald supposedly fired the shots, looking right out on to Dealey Plaza and viewing the motorcade route. Then, the newsophile in you can check out old newspapers and listen to broadcasts that aired across the country just after the president was shot. It’s amazingly cool.


Anonymous said...

One of the biggest letdowns when I lived in DC was that the Newseum was closed while they were building the sweet new location next to the Canadian Embassy. I'm sad to say that I've still never been there. Sigh... someday!

Mommy Bits said...

I have been talking with Laura about a "field trip" to the Newseum when it reopens. You are more than welcome to come.

When I lived in Dallas we sent to the sixth floor museum several times. Everytime I was there I had goose bumps. I thought the guys out front selling the newspapers were creepy.

One I would add to your roster of museums to check out is the Roswell, NM Alien Muesum. It's not that great but its still a must.

Hobocamp Crafts said...

Wow this was very informative! I can vouch for you when you say you get bored easily at museums, although I think your husband was more bored than any of us. Remember that time we all went to the MET?
Helvetica.. NPR interviewed the director the other day and I never thought I'd be so inrigued with the thought of fonts! Sounds like a good one! Stay Golden!

Melissa said...

I have a friend who swears that the Tenement Museum on the lower east side is the best museum on earth, so that's another interseting one to add to the list for a New York trip.

Anonymous said...

You also need to check out the Mutter Museum of Medical Oddities in Philly. It's insane.

Greg said...

They've got to have a permanent rendering of the Albert Anastasia barbershop murder in there. Maybe make it a wax display, since it is Vegas.


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