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Sex, Math, Gangsters and the Morbid – Unique New York City Destinations

Helaine Feldman, Contributing Writer

Even if you missed the July 18 first anniversary bash at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, it’s still worth a visit to this gruesome gallery in Gowanus. The small black building houses dead animals in jars, death masks, spirit photographs, taxidermy exhibits and other bizarre artifacts. Previously a small library dedicated to books on medical history and death rituals, it now presents lectures, DIY classes and other events—all focusing on death and mourning. A popular lecture series features academics, collectors, morticians and others speaking on subjects such as bejeweled skeletons and books bound in human skin. There are also workshops on topics such as the Victorian art of hair jewelry. And, there’s a gift shop. The Museum is located at 424A 3rd Avenue (at 7th Street) in Brooklyn. For hours and info: morbidanatomymuseum.org or call 347-799-1017.

If you’re more interested in sex than death, you might want to schedule a visit to Manhattan’s Museum of Sex (MoSex) at 233 Fifth Avenue, at 27th Street, in what was formerly known as the “Tenderloin” section of New York, notorious in the 19th century for bordellos, dance halls, saloons and other places connected with vice. Open since 2002, the museum’s mission is to preserve and present the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality. There are exhibits, lectures and other events all designed to promote open discourse on sex and sexuality. The museum is open Sunday-Thursday from 10am-9pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 11am-11pm. Info: museumofsex.com or 212-689-6337.

For math nerds there’s the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) at 11 East 26th Street (between 5th and Madison) in Manhattan. The only math museum in North America, MoMath has more than 30 state-of-the-art exhibits to appeal to math mavens on every level of expertise. The Museum is open seven days a week from 10am-5pm. Info: momath.org, 212-542-0566.

At the other end of the spectrum as well as the other end of the city, there’s the Museum of the American Gangster at 78 St. Mark’s Place in the East Village, upstairs from a former speakeasy in a neighborhood once frequented by Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and John Gotti. Organized crime memorabilia on view includes John Dillinger’s death masks, bullets from the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, and a bullet from the shooting of Pretty Boy Floyd, among other mementos of dastardly deeds. Info: museumoftheamericangangster.org, 212-228-5736.

July 18, 2015
Helaine Feldman
Contributing Writer

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