Monday, April 29, 2013

The American Museum of Natural History


Oh, it’s been a grand tour of NYC so far. Can you believe that I get to have all this fun while at work?!

In case you missed them, here are the first two posts from this visit.

Times Square, I Heart You
Magnolia Bakery and Central Park

Can you see Moroni trumpeting into the clouds?


Across the street from him is the Lincoln Center. This part of town always seems to distinguished to me. Maybe it’s because lots of symphonies and ballets perform at the Lincoln Center?


I didn’t purchase anything, but I thought that this little ice cream waffle stand looked cute. Even with it less than fifty degrees, people were lining up for these chilly treats!


Another pretty picture of the LDS Manhattan Temple.


I saw this bag in the window of the Tumi store. Isn’t it cute? I love the colors and the design! It would be fun to have such cute luggage.

But I’m rather happy with my suitcase, which my Dad gave me for high school graduation (um….last year). It’s still holding up like a champ!


It was really fun to wander for a few minutes, with no firm plan in mind. Sometimes, this tactic leads me on the best adventures!


This is the subway station that I used last September to visit the temple. I love its old shape and iron work.

Did you know that the NYC subway system has been going strong since 1905? And that a blizzard in 1888 is what really made them think of underground transportation? And that it is the seventh-busiest metro system in the world? And has over 460 stations (the most in the world) with 209 miles of track?

Yeah, I didn’t know any of that, either. Thanks, Wikipedia.


I had read before visiting the city about some must-see stops for food throughout NYC. I thought that I was so lucky to have stumbled upon this Gray’s Papaya, which is famous for great hot dogs!

I found out later that there are several locations. But at the time, I considered it fate telling me to eat one.


The interior was a little…well, overwhelming. I didn’t know where to look or how to order!

Dang tourist.


Luckily, the workers were patient with me. And I walked out with a hot little dog in my hand.

And it was delicious, in case you’re wondering.


I loved how integrated these old spires were into this city block. They remind me of something at Disneyland, which I get to visit next week with my Mama and little brother. So maybe I was just getting a little too excited ahead of time?


This part of town, on the west side of upper Central Park, is one of my favorites to visit. I love the old charm and character of the buildings, built from the mid-1800s and up.

Isn’t that spired building in the distance pretty?

And doesn’t it look like the Tower of Terror?!

Oh man, there I go again.


During the late 1800s, this ornamental design was carried on lots of buildings. It wasn’t until the art deco age of the late 1920s and 1930s that this look started to be phased out in newer buildings.

I can’t really see them putting little angels on buildings today, can you?


This was another fine eating establishment that topped everyone’s list of must-eat places while visiting New York City.

The Shake Shack.

I passed a few of these burger joints while wandering NYC over two days, and they were always filled to the brim with people and had lines starting around the block!

Maybe there is something to this? I think that I’ll sacrifice the waiting time next visit to give this place a try.


I walked east a few blocks to arrive at The American Museum of Natural History. The sign says that it was made in 1869, so another old one! I love it!

I think that a building this size was just incredible back then. Heck, it’s incredible now!


From my south entrance to this (free!) museum, I first saw a giant, ancient canoe.

Doesn’t this make you think of the chants in the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland?

No? That’s just me? Hmmmm.


These little farm toys were so cute, even though they were also supposed to be educational in showing the different progression of machinery use for farming over the centuries.

Growing up, we had a little farm set to play with. The pigs were about the size of a pinky fingernail, and the chickens were even smaller! We certainly got our money’s worth from that set, since we played with it all winter long for many years.

Even better? It is in my possession now! I sometimes ask Hubby if he wants to play Farm Set with me. He always just smiles.

I don’t think that he gets it.


This giant tree was several millennium old when they cut it down. I’m sure that they would be hanged until dead if they cut such an old tree down these days, but it was just incredible to see the cross sections up close!


I loved the colors in this display of what-grows-where in America.


Now that’s a jellyfish!

I wandered towards the ocean life pavilion, which I hadn’t visited for about five years.


I love the hanging displays of what swims deep below.

I’m still trying to figure out why there seems to be a dodo bird in this mix, though.



This is the big guy that I wanted to see the most today. I am always just in awe of something so giant being in existence! This blue whale is mind-boggling to me!

Can you imagine how much stuff this guy has to eat in a day to feel full?!


Man, I am really on a Disney kick.

Doesn’t this squid guy look like the one that attacked Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea?

I thought so, too! It must be the eyes…


I guess that I should just tell you all now…I don’t like sharks. Not one single bit.

They are probably Number Three on my list of things that should have been left off the Ark.

Scorpions, of course, are on the top of that list, followed closely by their cousins, the spiders. Sharks are right behind, though I have to admit…where I live, it’s a little easier to avoid sharks than the other two.


They have a giant screen showing educational movies about underwater creatures, and it’s located right underneath this big ol’ blue guy here.

It almost looks like the whale is watching the show with them, huh?


There are some pretty big things under the sea, as shown by this display of a human scuba diver next to lots of fishes and such.

I’m OK with dolphins…and maybe the type of fish played by Dory in Finding Nemo, but that’s about it. Lots of these other little guys are a little creepy.

Also, let it be known that I would never swim with these types of critters.


I moved away from the scary undersea monsters to visit some displays of ancient America.

This museum is wonderful, by the way. You could spend an entire week in here and still not have enough time to see the whole building!  I love it!


There is an entire hall dedicated to the mammals of North America, which means lots of big, hairy things with antlers and horns.

I don’t know how to count them, but I think that these two guys would make a nice score with antlers like that!


Big Horn Sheep. Now you can call your day complete.


Look at the claws on these grizzly bears! They can actually run pretty fast, too. I would hate to ever be caught in that situation.

I’ve heard that it’s best to run downhill, if possible. Because their front legs are longer than their back ones, they have a hard time being fast when going downhill.

Disclaimer: this blog is in no way meant to help you survive a bear chase. User discretion is advised. Don’t blame me if it doesn’t go well for you.


After a little exploring inside, it was time to leave the crowds behind to head out to Manhattan once again. This was the museum exit towards the east. I only did a tiny portion of one floor today! Sheesh!


This is the entrance to the museum that faces Central Park. Don’t you love buildings like this?!


And, of course, naked-men-with-horses is a totally appropriate statue to represent a fine center for learning.

This horse was grossed out by the whole idea, actually.


There are a few subway stops to get here, too, if you don’t want to walk. But I was happy to explore on foot today. You see more that way, you know?


President Abe Lincoln was just a block away, standing on the steps to the Historical Society Museum.

I really love life-size statues. It gives such a real sense of their true height! He was pretty tall!


This would be a fun street on which to live. A few blocks from the museum and just across the street from Central Park?

Yes, please!


Of course, I would prefer a top floor, to enhance my view.


And, also of course, I would want sea dragons and Poseidon protecting my home at all times.

So there you have it! A quick stop into the Museum of Natural History, as well as some gorgeous NYC buildings and hot dogs.

More to come this week! I hope that you’re enjoying these visits as much as me! It’s fun to relive them through blogging.

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