New York City - Day Six

New York Travel Blog

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My fill of New York sights for my sixth day was to go visit the American Museum of Natural History. First I walked up to Joy Burger on 100th Street for lunch... it was ok. I got the subway up a few more blocks back down to 77th Street and walked across Central Park to the museum, which is opposite the west side of the park. It is amazing how big Central Park is, it takes a good amount of time just to walk across the narrow side! There are parts where you just can't see any buildings and you could easily forget you are in the middle of the sprawling metropolis of Manhattan.

First on my list at the museum was to go to the Hayden Planetarium to see the Space Show they are currently running. The area outside the planetarium has a great introduction to space and all of its various objects, though not really much I didn't already know. They had a huge meteorite on display, there was something very cool about being able to touch an object not from this world.

I went into the planetarium at my alloted time and took my seat. The show went for maybe 20-25 minutes. It clearly had a high production budget, with very impressive animations of flying through space helping to explain the Universe. The big drawback for me was that it was narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, who has totally the wrong voice for it, and was really only doing it for the novelty factor. Still, overall it was well worth it, and I would have absolutely loved it if I was a kid who didn't know about all of that stuff.

After walking out of the show there is a display that runs all the way around the planetarium that attempts to provide comprehension for all of the scales of size in the Universe, from the smallest particle to the known Universe as a whole. They use a very clever idea of comparing the planetarium itself to other objects in front of you to give you relative persepective. My favourite was how small a proton is (shown as a barely visible dot on the display) compared to a hydrogen atom (the multi-storey planetarium).

I walked into the main museum section and checked out some of the exhibits. The top floor was dedicated to the evolution of vertebrates, and the highlight was clearly the fantastic dinosaur fossils on display. I always knew in terms of a fact that dinosaurs were much much bigger than humans, but standing next to a fossilised skeleton made you really appreciate it. You could really imagine one standing next to you, and you being very worried for your safety. There was also an excellent section of the museum about the evolution of humans from previous species, and a dedicated section to meteroites where they display the largest meteorite of any museum in the world (third biggest in total). In the end despite being in the museum for about four hours I ran out of time to see all that I wanted before it closed at 5:30pm.

I had more of my blog to catch up on so I sat myself on a bench in a quiet part of Central Park and typed that up. I walked back to the Upper East Side and on the way to the subway station on Lexington Avenue I saw a pizza place, so I thought I would try some famous New York pizza. It totally lived up to expectations - the slices are huge! I had two pieces of pepperoni pizza and I was stuffed. Even after one I was starting to feel full. I thought it was hilarious that I could barely hold a slice with two hands. After that I got the subway back to the hostel.
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photo by: herman_munster