Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Exploring the New York State Museum

Don't you just love it when you can find everything you need under one roof?  That's why we love malls, Wal-Mart and the New York State Museum.  It's our new favorite place-to-take-tourist-who-come-to-visit destination.  Bonus: it's about 20 minutes away and it's FREE!

Andy is such a tourist.
The way we see it, if you travel all the way to New York to see us, we better make it worth your time.  That's why all of our guests receive unlicensed I Heart NY t-shirts in their welcome packages!  Making a trip to the city is always a sure bet for impressing folks, but how can you show off the rest of the state?  Thankfully, the NYSM is a one stop shop.

The Museum sits in Albany's Empire State Plaza, practically in the shadows of The Egg and the Capital Building.  Founded in 1836, it's the oldest and largest state museum in the nation.  There's some pretty cool stuff in there too.  The first floor showcases an art gallery and several permanent exhibits.  Some of the most interesting were the full skeletal remains of a Mastodon discovered in the area.  There was also a great exhibit with artifacts from native New Yorkers, including a coffin discovered when builders were constructing the Capitol.

The first floor has an exhibit detailing the events of September 11th.  The ongoing exhibit is called The World Trade Center: Rescue Recovery Response and is a collection of items and memorabilia from New York.  We had just been to Ground Zero the day before so it really seemed to hit home.  The museum has several historic pieces, including the remains of a NYFD Ladder 6 truck, an American flag that flew over Ground Zero and parts of the planes that crashed into the towers.  One of the most emotional and powerful artifacts in the museum is the collection of missing fliers that were posted by family members right after the Towers went down.

Missing Posters
Fire Truck pulled from wreckage.
NYPD police door.

Giddy Up!
On the fourth floor of the Cultural Education Center, the museum also features a huge full-sized carousel, which was built between 1912 and 1916.  Well, of course, we had to ride the carousel

Brandi, Andy and Heather all saddled up on the full-sized horses.  The ride was first operated in Wellsville, NY and remained in service until the early 70's.  We went at a pretty good pace, but it wasn't too fast to miss a great view of downtown Albany as the sun went down. 

Heather, Brandi & Andy had a great time exploring New York at the State Museum.  Honestly, we can't wait for more visitors to come so we'll have an excuse to go back!