Real human organs!

New York Travel Blog

 › entry 3 of 4 › view all entries
Prism-like mirror in the bathroom of Ludlow St. cafe

I suppose I missed the "Bodies" exhibition when it came to Los Angeles; I must have still been in Australia. Luckily, it was on display at South Seaport, and Renee convinced me to see it instead of the Guggenheim. It turned out to be far more inspiring than most art museums...

The exhibition consisted entirely of real human organs, donated and preserved by a hospital in China. The displays ranged from whole bodies, skewered over metal rods and posed in life-like positions, to tiny glass cases of inner-ear bones, spinal vertebrae and heart valves. I had to suppress the urge to reach out and touch the exposed muscle tissue-- it just looked so spongy!!

I still can't decide on what fascinated me most... The reddish glow of blood vessels preserved in a clear liquid, the lungs blackened from cancer, the pink brain which we were allowed to touch.

Ludlow Street, complete with octopus grafitti
There was a small section devoted to unusual growths... One of the featured objects was a small, hairy mass, which appeared to have teeth poking out of it. Apparently these things have been known to grow inside people for no apparent reason!

Needless to say, my inner biologist rejoiced. I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to switch my course of study to medical illustration.

After three hours of standing and staring, Renee and Mara and I went off on another culinary quest. This time, we ate at a lovely cafe on Ludlow Street on the Lower East Side. We drank earl grey tea, munched peanut butter and banana sandwhiches, and admired the grainy black and white photographs which lined the maroon-painted walls. This cafe [once again I can't remember the name, arrgh] just happened to have the coolest bathroom... it featured a triangular mirror offering quite the optical illusion.

Ludlow Street (or is it alley? I really should have written this down!) is probably one of Manhattan's best kept secrets... At least for someone visiting for the third time, ha ha. It's a narrow little alley, shadowy and plain-looking from a distance, but full of character once inside. Cafes, bars, art galleries, and clothing boutiques all hide beneath the fire escapes, jumping out at you with little bursts of unexpected color as you walk by. One of my favorite hidden treasures was the Cake Shop-- part cafe, part record store, and part bar with live music every night.

The area surrounding Ludlow was just as colorful... We found an indoor market, packed wall-to-wall with imported foods and trinkets. We found a candy store, supposedly of great fame in NYC, which reeked delightfully of sugar and featured treats I hadn't seen since childhood. We also spotted Babeland, NY's famous, independently owned sex toy store... There truly was something for everyone.

ketoile says:
Oh, and it's Ludlow street, anything you can fit at least one (small) car through in NY is a street.
Posted on: Apr 20, 2006
ketoile says:
Cafe was definitely the Pink Pony, I've been transfixed by that mirror many times. So interesting to get an outsider's view on things and places that I see all the time, very refreshing.
Posted on: Apr 20, 2006
Eric says:
Ugh, I read this entry while eating breakfast...I don't think I have much of an inner biologist, but definitely sounds like a unique exhibit :)
Posted on: Apr 20, 2006
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Prism-like mirror in the bathroom …
Prism-like mirror in the bathroom…
Ludlow Street, complete with octop…
Ludlow Street, complete with octo…
New York
photo by: herman_munster