The Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) is a history and art museum, created with the intention of ‘preserving and presenting’ the history of New York City — and its people. The museum celebrates New York, serving to educate the visiting public about the city’s distinctive character, its history of diversity, and its ever-changing nature. The building is a red-brick-and-marble neo-Georgian creation, completed in 1930 and located at the northern end of ‘Museum Mile’ on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. It is a private, non-profit organization, funded by New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group. The compact museum isn’t a big place, but manages to impart plenty of New York’s storied history in a personal way that many bigger museums don’t. Exhibits include ‘From Ship to Shore,’ which depicts what it was like for immigrants to arrive in New York Harbor. The exhibit ‘New York’s Yiddish Theater,’ takes you through the theater culture that formed on Manhattan’s Lower East side in the late 19th century and leaves a legacy today. ‘Gilded New York’ features the city’s visual culture at the end of the 19th century (when the rich loved to flaunt their money!). ‘Activist New York’ shows the intricacies of social activism on many different issues throughout history.
The Museum of the City of New York is located at 1220-1227 Fifth Avenue, from East 103rd to 104th streets, across from Central Park in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan. To get there by bus, take the M1, M2, M3, M4 or M106 to 104th Street. By subway, the museum can be reached by taking the #6 Lexington Ave. train to 103rd St., or the #2 or #3 train to Central Park North/110th St.