Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Collector's Paradise

Lady Liberty in duplicate.

Many years ago there was a window at the corner at Havemeyer and Grand in Williamsburg that was always filled with the neatest collections. I didn't know much about it--and then it was gone. Well, a couple weeks ago Seth and I happened upon The City Reliquary on Metropolitan Avenue and found out that the person responsible for the window displays on Havemeyer and Grand opened this tiny museum about five years back.

Look closely on the right upper half of this picture and you can see handholds from the NYC subway cars of yesteryear.

The museum consists of a foyer and a small back room that you enter from the foyer through an old turnstile. It's such a cool place. Look to the left to see a cabinet filled with Statue of Liberty souvenirs, including a figurine of Lady Liberty as a hula dancer--to the right is a shrine to the Brooklyn Dodgers and the late great Jackie Robinson, a shelf lined with green glass seltzer bottles, and a tiny cone that you hold to your ear to hear a sample of Sonny Rollins playing sax. Turns out he would practice for hours at a time on the Williamsburg Bridge because as he said in an interview, "I'm a sensitive person and I know that people need quiet in their apartments." It was little bits of information like this that made The City Reliquary so fun. (Seth also wanted me to mention that Sonny Rollins plays the sax at the end of "Waiting on a Friend," one of Seth's favorite songs from the Rolling Stones album Tattoo You. They shot the music video at 96-98 St. Mark's Place in the East Village, which is also the backdrop of the album cover for Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti. Who knew? Not me! So, there's a little NYC music factoid for all you rock 'n' roll buffs.)

A shrine to the Brooklyn Dodgers and late great Jackie Robinson.

Some of the other highlights include anything and everything having to do with the subway (from tokens to NY Subway Rail Dust), a carnival attraction revealing the history of burlesque, even a tribute to the 1939 World's Fair. If you love collecting, discovering the unexpected and the odd, if you want a unique perspective of New York's history, here's more info on visiting The City Reliquary.


Shirley said...

You're great explorers (and historians)! This is another wonderful find that is being added to my visit list.

Rachel said...

Hi Shirley. This is a fun place--we'll definitely put it on the to-do list for your next visit!