7# Throwback Travel- New York: American Museum of Natural History

On day 6, one of our stops was the amazing American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) on the Upper West Side. It was established back in 1869 and is the largest natural history museum in the world. If you haven’t heard of it, you probably recognise it from films like Wonderstruck and the Night in the Museum trilogy.

The AMNH has several permanent exhibition halls, as well as special temporary exhibitions. The halls include Biodiversity and Environmental Halls, Bird and Reptiles and Amphibians Halls, Earth and Planetary Sciences Halls, Fossil Halls, Grand Gallery, Human Origins and Cultural Halls, Mammal Halls, Rose Center for Earth and Space, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial and the Discovery Room. Each of the halls has one to six specific exhibitions within them.

If you would like to visit this museum you can find Ticket prices are quite reasonable and are cheaper for students, seniors and children. Within the museum, there are also a variety of cafes and food courts, but you can also bring your own food. The museum also offers Sleepovers for children and adults, as well as a range of public and self-guided museum tours. To see the layout, see the map.

Our biggest interest to visit the museum was to see the fossils of dinosaur, animals and human species, as well as geographical cultural and animal life-like displays. So you can see the photos I took are mostly from these sections. We didn’t get around to see all the permanent exhibitions in a few hours. So you plan on seeing it all, make sure you have the entire day. Its unforgettable experience, especially if your a museum junkie like me.

My favourite halls were definitely the North American Mammals and Human Origins species. The halls vary in terms of standard of displays. Some were better lite and detailed, others were a little bland. However, when you compare this with other museums, it’s pretty spectacular as a whole. I did have trouble photographing with the dim lighting and hundreds of other visitors, but I tried as best I could. If you would like to know what I actually photographed, just press the pictures, as I have meticulous labelled most sections.

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall (Entrance)

Fossil Halls

Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs

Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs

Hall of Primitive Mammals

Hall of Advanced Mammals

Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Orientation Center

Hall of Vertebrate Origins

Mammal Halls

Hall of North American Mammals

Hall of Asian Mammals

Birds and Reptiles and Amphibians Halls

Hall of Birds of the World

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall

Human Origins and Cultural Halls

Northwest Coast Indians

Hall of Mexico and Central America

Hall of South American Peoples

Hall of African Peoples

Hall of Asian People

Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins

4# Throwback Travel- New York: Lower East Side, West Village and High Line (day 4)

I’ve been a little unwell the past month but feeling better today. So I can continue with Day 4 in New York City. We were finally done with our tours, so now it was time to check out some of the hipster neighbourhood in Lower Manhattan. We did breakfast on the Lower East Side, lunch in the West Village, walked the High Line and did a low key dinner with a friend. It was a pretty low key day, but boy did we do a lot of walking.

Lower East Side

One of the places you have to visit when in New York is the famous Katz’s Delicatessen. If not for the movie nostalgia and its history, definitely for their pastrami sandwich. This historical kosher-style delicatessen was founded back in 1888 and has been featured by numerous food shows. I have never been to a kosher eatery, so I was pretty excited to see what they would have on offer.

We arrived pretty early in the morning and there really wasn’t a lot open on the Lower East Side. Katz’s Delicatessen was open, so we took our time reading about their history and getting accustomed with the menu. Its a pretty lay back place, so we didn’t feel rushed to figure out what we were going to have. The menu is massive, consisting of hot and cold sandwiches, traditional Jewish dishes, breakfast omelettes, soups, salad platters and cakes.

We ended up going with the classic Pastrami Sandwich, which was chock full of freshly cooked pastrami, with mustard on fresh bread. We also had a side of half-sour and full-sour pickles and plate of Potato Latkes with apple sauce and sour cream. I’m don’t usually like cold cut meat sandwiches, but this hot pastrami sandwich exceeded my expectations. The meat was so juicy and satisfying. The sour pickles really complemented the sandwiches and the potato latkes were nice and crispy.

After breakfast, we took to the streets to see what the Lower East Side was all about. The buildings on this side of town aren’t highrise, so it has much more of a neighbourhood feel. The area has quite a few contemporary art galleries and home to many artists and creatives. It is also known as a place for night life and live music, so we probably should have visited later in the day. At this time of the morning, it was pretty quiet. None of the shops were open and it seemed most people were still in bed. We did find a few coffee shops open. In Australia, coffee is a pretty big thing and our coffee is a lot different from American coffee. So we were hoping to find something more similar to what we were used to.

We visited Ludlow Coffee Supply and their coffee was pretty good. Their barista/server was pretty rude though and I am not quite sure why. I don’t quite understand why anyone would be rude when they relying on tips. In my country, we don’t get tips, but its still unacceptable to have a bad attitude. Anyway hopefully they have nicer staff now. Other then that, it has a pretty trendy interior and was a pretty popular place for locals.

West Village

Afterwards, we walked over to the West Village, which took about 20 mins on foot. For us quite a bit longer with a toddler and a grandmother. We stopped at a local park and let O have a bit of a play. It was so unbelievably hot, so we hung out here for a while. The West Village has so many amazing cafes and restaurants in this area, as well as vintage stores and galleries. Its was probably my favourite neighbourhood in New York.

Pretty soon it was time for lunch and we visited another one of my must-visit eateries in New York. I have been a huge fan of Chloe Coscarelli for years, so I couldn’t wait to visit her first cafe. I have already reviewed this By Chloe on Bleeker Street, which you can see here. The food was amazing. It looked and tasted just as delicious as the food in Chloe’s cookbooks. Unfortunately, since our visit, Chloe was ousted from By Chloe. You can read about it here. To be honest I am not sure I would want to return to By Chloe given the chance. It just feels wrong after the way they treated her, and continuing to profit off her name and food genius.

The High Line

After lunch, we walked up to High Line, which begins on the north-eastern tip of Greenwich Village and continues through Chelsea. The High Line is an elevated public park, that runs along a historic freight rail line. It offers great views of Manhattans West Side and Hudson River, and features art installations and 120 different flora species. It runs about 1.45 miles (2.33 km) and a great place to take a relaxing stroll.