¡Cuba Meets Denmark!
The American Museum of Natural History’s new Cuba exhibit is an exciting and invigorating new look at a, until recently, forbidden island. Curated by two conservation biologists, it focuses mostly on the biodiversity of the island, featuring live animal specimens. My Exhibitions Department sources tell me there will also be a section on Cuban culture, and even a 1950’s car. While you’re there, you can visit the Origami Tree at the museum, which this year is dinosaur and bird themed, and take pictures with the massive topiary stegosauruses on the museum’s front façade. Your Riverdale ID gets you reduced admission.
Danish Dollar Store!
While on the Upper West Side, you can walk across the street to 80th and Columbus and pick up a hilarious and useful last minute gift at Flying Tiger, a Danish dollar store. With such important items as mustaches for bicycle handlebars and notebooks shaped like ice cream sandwiches, and almost nothing more than $20, you’re sure to find something for everyone on your list. Plus, they sell fancy Danish cookies in large tins.
Jerusalem and Fabergé and more trees!
The Met Museum this season has a fascinating new exhibit on the art of Jerusalem during the early Middle Ages, when the city suddenly became home to Christians, Muslims, Jews, Easterners, Westerners, and people of all faiths. It’s a timely study in the beauty of intersectionality, perfect for the holiday season. Plus, there’s an exhibit on those wonderfully useless precious metal repositories, Fabergé eggs, and an 18th century Neapolitan style Christmas tree. Your Riverdale ID gets you free admission, and there are multiple crepes carts within a 100 yard radius of the museum.
“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks…”
Is there anything more important to do in New York during the holidays than window shopping? Really? You can channel your inner Audrey Hepburn and go to Tiffany’s, or go to Lord & Taylor’s “Enchanted Forest” themed windows. Saks is doing wild chandeliers, Bloomingdale’s has whimsical candy-themed dresses, Macy’s is doing something called “Believe the Magic” which sounds a little Big-Brother-Is-Watching-You-ish to me, and Barney’s, known for going off the beaten path, has given artistic control over to the South Park/Book of Mormon guys, so maybe don’t bring your grandmother.
Another fun midtown activity, if you’re making a day of it, is the skating rink in Bryant Park, which is free for admission and charges a small fee for skate rental. There’s also the Holiday Shopping Village in Bryant Park, with not one but TWO Wafels & Dinges booths, which may in fact sell the best cup of hot chocolate in New York.
Although this article may seem oversaturated with museum options, it’s worth it to mention that there’s a free exhibit at the 42nd street public library on a certain fiscally-literate son of a whore and a Scotsman, if you’re not sick of Hamilton-mania just yet. Ideal for entertaining tourists upset they don’t have tickets.
True Meaning of Chrisnukkah?
Since we’ve got those fabulous two weeks of vacation, why not give back? It’s the holidays, after all. Yours truly also recommends getting in contact with the Riverdale service learning team. It is truly better to give than to receive.