The World in a Box

WHILE enjoying the free parking zone (you have to read the previous issue to get the picture) at the most expensive district of the Big Apple, it’s hard not to notice the imposing structures along the perimeter. Landmarks that are as noted and well visited as this tourist spot I am standing on.

Upper West Side/Central Park West is a historic district that embraces a number of prominent NYC landmarks exhibiting impressive architectural styles. I singled one out that I must check out- the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH).Visiting the museum of each place I visit is a must for me. It’s one entry on the list that makes the trip worthwhile and the choice always take you to the winner’s circle. It’s taking a stimulating and mind-enriching journey and a break from the hurried pace on the city streets not mentioning the comforting warmth of the environs on a winter’s day.

The AMNH, founded is 1869, is one of the world’s most largest and outstanding institutions of science and culture. It’s a box that crates a wide range of information and scientific collection that is disseminated to everyone through the most impressive way – exhibition – to which this museum is quite known for.

Akeley Hall of African Mammals
Breathtaking dioramas.
 Anatomically correct specimens
in their habitats
This box is far from small though. It has twenty-five interconnected buildings that houses forty-six permanent exhibition halls that showcases a fraction of over 32 million specimens each time, research laboratories, and its renowned library.

A day may was just be not enough. No matter, it just gives you enough reason to revisit New York and continue on with your journey of discovery of the city and this museum. A few years back, I was given an advice by a wise woman. She said, “pick at least three things you really want to see and head to them directly. The spare time you get after is a bonus to see the rest of the exhibits.” That’s a rule I have followed to this day, which applies in and out of the museum.


World’s largest collection of vertebrae fossils.
Fossil Halls

The most interesting exhibition halls for me must be the halls where you get to see the animal kingdom through a window. The habitat dioramas of African, Asian and North American mammals are just unbelievable.

To give you a picture of how large the halls are, think of a full-size model of a Blue Whale suspended from the ceiling (the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life) and the display of dinosaur fossils (at the Fossil Halls and the ticketing lobby, the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda).
Proving impressive, too, are the extensive anthropological collections: Asian People, Pacific People, Man in Africa, American Indian and general Native American collections, and collections from Mexico and Central America.
@ the Rose Center for Earth & Space
It was a very well spent day discovering the world inside the box of wonders. At night might be a different story (yes, it’s the story setting of that movie). Pressed for time, we head out into the cold. There will be a next visit for sure but not during wintertime.

(The American Museum of Natural History is at 79th Street Central Park West in New York City.)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 10, 2011.

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