Tag: Museum

Spend the Day with Pandas

If you wanted to spend spring break on the beach, you might be out of luck, but there’s hope for the rest of us, if we keep the jar closed. I, for example, wanted to marathon books and spend the rest of my time in the Met, and those options are still available, in a sense.



Do you like free books? Do you have a library card? (jk, if you read Bookstr, you’ve probably had a library card since you were four.) They have TWO reading apps. I stan the original, but I won’t judge you if you love Libby. But I like audio books, you say! Oh, they have audio books. It depends on your library system, of course, but search before you despair.

If your local library doesn’t use OverDrive, they still probably have digital and audio books you can check out. Always worth a look. Books will get us through this!


The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Spend your weekend at the museum (from you couch). I always have bold goals when it comes to weekly museum trips, but don’t make it nearly that often. Hopefully all of this will teach me a lesson, but for now, the met has pretty spectacular virtual tours. Put on one of those ambiance playlists for better immersion, and wander your favorite halls. Sure, the statues and the Jackson Pollocks are a little less impressive at this size, but the photo detail is pretty impressive, and you won’t be buffeted by tourists.


The American Museum of Natural History 

Explore the natural history, again, unimpeded. I don’t know the last time I saw a dinosaur skeleton without wading through a sea of schoolchildren. But don’t worry, small scientists will still be served, with a range of classes and games for young nerds. There are classes for all ages, so if you get bored of just (remotely) wandering around, take a class on earthquakes or stem cells. I live here now.


The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History 

The Smithsonian may not be as hip to the times as some, but they still have some virtual tours, if you dig (or click the link). Anyway, we’re not mad, and even a limited view of such a massive museum is a lot, and who’s trying to go to DC? Don’t talk to me about the cherry blossoms. I was gonna get it together and do that this year. But don’t despair!


National Mall Bloom Cam

Image via the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Yes, america’s best blossoms are at their peak, and though you may not be able to walk among them, regardless of geography, you can now watch them live. Might be a little more impressive if it wasn’t overcast in the entire north east. Keep your eyes on the blooms!

Also available is a sunny day tour of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden‘s cherry walk. And yes, there’s an ambiance stream for this too. Very peaceful. And maybe open a window, weather permitting?


THe Museum of Modern Art 

MoMA (or as my artist grandmother says, the MODERN) is ready to school us all with a huge range of art classes. The times may be trying, but at least you’re gonna crush art history. Plus, explore the MoMA magazine from wherever you are.


The San Diego Zoo

Sure, the baboon cam is a little disconcerting, but who doesn’t want to be watching a panda at all times? With that and the DC bloom cam in the corner of my screen, I feel like I’m working in some sort of garden paradise. There are even penguins and polar bears for that beachy (?) vibe. Put on your cutest bathing suit, lay something down on your roof so you don’t get covered in tar, and watch them swim. It’s what I’ll be doing.


National Aquarium 

Want more water? And predators? Take a bath with blacktip sharks or luminous blue blubber jellies. Even leave them on as you sleep. I once spent the night in an aquarium on a field trip, and it’s a mystical experience. If you have a projector, I can highly recommend a dimly illuminated shark wall. Or do the pandas. If you’re, you know, sensible.


Expect more national tours in this vein. I can’t hit everything, but why stick to local museums? We may not be able to go outside, but we can also kind of go anywhere, so why not?


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Featured image via Air Pano

Get Excited for the World Language Museum!

There are so many museums out there in the world, and finally there is going to be a museum dedicated to words and language. The museum will be located in Washington, DC, which is also home to the first ever African American Museum. Now it will be home to the first ever word and language museum, right in the city’s heart, inside the historic Franklin School.

Image result for historic franklin school

Image via D C Curbed

It is going to be 51,000 square feet and it will have many different exhibits. The museum is designed to educate people on the different languages from around the world. There will be eleven galleries, and they will focus on the written, spoken, and even sung words. The experiences within the galleries will be immersive, and one actually has karaoke. Imagine how fun that one will be. You’ll even be able to recite famous speeches, such as Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have a Dream speech. There will also be a 22 foot long word wall with over 1,000 activated words that will light up and tell stories about their journey within the English language.

Image via Alamy

There will also be a section where people can use small brushes to paint a scene that will change the virtual landscape of the exhibit. How exciting is that? This museum will definitely be the place to visit when you go to DC. It’s exciting, new, and different, and an experience you don’t want to miss out on.

The Museum will open its doors on May 31, 2020.

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Featured Image via Matador Network


A New York Public Library Card

I Lost My Library Card Just in Time for Culture Pass

Several weeks ago I lost my library card. At one point it was in my wallet and then it was gone. I have no leads on its whereabouts. Presumably, it could be anywhere along the east coast, following I-95 from D.C. to New York City. Blown away on an illiterate wind. Realistically, it’s probably stuck in some sidewalk crack or floating in a puddle under the subway tracks. 


I know that if somebody has found it, they haven’t used it. Online, I see that I have no new checkouts aside from the two books I took off the shelves almost sixteen weeks ago and keep renewing with the hope that I will find the time to sit down and read them. What kind of monster would checkout books on somebody else’s library card?


The reason I haven’t gotten a replacement library card is twofold. First, I think I owe the library a fifty cent late fee, which I am loathe to pay. And second, I don’t want to wither under the scorn of the librarian who has to jump through the bureaucratic hoops to get me my (hopefully complimentary) replacement card. Which is a shame because you can now use a New York Public Library card to get into museums and other cultural destinations for free!


The Met


As a transplant from Washington, D.C. to New York City, I have been spoiled by the Smithsonian Institute and its dedication to intellectually enriching Washingtonians for free with tax dollars from the rest of the country. It was minor culture shock to see admission prices at the doors to many New York based museums, which is why I am glad I can visit some of these places without spending any money. My inner cheapskate penny pinches for joy.


The list of included institutions is pretty expansive, including the likes of the Whitney, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met), and the Museum of Modern Art (Moma) to lesser known spots like the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art on Staten Island. Time for a Himalayan exhibition!



Feature Image Via The New York Public Library


Hunter S. Thompson’s Widow Turning Private Residence into Museum

Over a decade after his death, only a handful of people have been allowed inside Owl Farm’s War Room, the basement where Hunter S. Thompson would spend up to sixteen hours a day writing. Anita Thompson, Thompson’s widow, plans to turn the couple’s Colorado home into a museum and artist’s retreat within the next two years.


Even after Johnny Depp, a close friend of the family, bought 800 boxes of archives, the War Room is a crowded shrine to Thompson’s creative process. Manuscripts, letters, photos, gum wrappers, and beer cans have all stood the test of time. Twelve years later, Anita is still discovering new artifacts.  In an interview with NPR’s Claire Woodcock, Thompson said, “It’s been a pleasure to unearth some things, you know, in the files and learn more about the love of my life through his history.”


“This room is full of history. And it’s not something I take lightly,” said Thompson. “I wouldn’t let anybody dust. I just felt like maybe if I left everything as it is somehow he would come back. Even if I knew that wasn’t true, it did bring me comfort.”


Hunter S. Thompson in his War Room

Image Via Gonzo Today


Thompson plans for one side of the house to become a museum, the other a haven for writers and musicians to stay and work on long-term projects. “I hope those who visit Owl Farm, it helps them find their own voice,” Thompson said.


The museum will be part of the Gonzo Foundation, a non-profit organization created to promote literature, journalism, and political activism through the legacy of Hunter S. Thompson. Those interested in updates about both the Gonzo Foundation and the upcoming museum should visit the foundation’s site here. The museum’s two year deadline is up in the air, as Anita Thompson wants it “done right.”


Featured image courtesy of Esquire.

A Christmas Carol

Spend Your Holidays With Charles Dickens!

Do you keep telling your friends and family that you want to do something fun this holiday season? Good news…The Ghost of Christmas Plans Past has gone, but the Ghost of Christmas Plans Yet-to-Come has arrived!


The Morgan Library

Image Via Morgan Library


From November 3rd through January 14th you can visit New York’s breathtaking and historical Morgan Library & Museum for an exhibit on Charles Dickens. ‘Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas’ will be displaying all five of his Christmas book manuscripts together. For the first time EVER. How’s that for a merry Christmas?



Charles Dickens

Image Via the Telegraph



You will be able to see A Christmas Carol (1843), The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man (1848) in one show. Visitors will get a firsthand look at the inspiration, composition, reception, and publication of A Christmas Carol. They’ll also discover what made it stand the test of time for over 100 years. It’s arguably the most classic Christmas tale that has been told over and over again through various film adaptations. It not only impacted Dickens’s life, but society at the time as well, as he drew inspiration from the socioeconomic issues of that time period. 


The exhibit even discusses Dickens’s reading tour for A Christmas Carol, a ritual that was uncommon then. In it, though, he gave his heart and soul to his readers.


The Morgan Library itself will totally fit your holiday mood. With soaring ceilings, intricate frescos, dark wood accents, and an array of books and programs, this is a library that will surely lift the spirit of anyone who enters it.


Break out your calendars because this year you will definitely have holiday plans!


Image Via Giphy


Feature Image Via Historic Newspapers