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Culture Club

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Beefy Phil, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. Beefy Phil

    Beefy Phil
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    The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens recently reopened after extensive renovations. Being a bit of a film nerd, I spent my afternoon there. They have some really awesome stuff on display. A bunch of donated set pieces, costumes, really old cameras, televisions sets, old Edison Kinetoscope films, etc.

    My favorite was definitely Sidney Lumet's working copy of the Network script under glass, opened to the page where Howard Beale delivers his famous "I'm mad as hell.." speech. Lumet's notes are all over it. So. fucking. cool.

    If you're over the age of 40, though, you might want to prepare yourself before you visit. They have a ton of old movie merchandise in glass cases. Your childhood memories are now artifacts.

    FOCUS: What are some of your favorite museums, galleries, or places of cultural interest in your area? Or, if the traditional means of intellectual enrichment aren't your thing, what do you do to culture yourself?
     
  2. DrFrylock

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    I am partial to the Museum of Jurassic Technology. I'd elaborate further, but I can't really, because anything I would say about it is probably not true. Even though I've been there and read all about it, I still don't understand it. Then again, I think that's sort of the idea.

    Perhaps most incredible is that it's still there at all. It's the kind of thing that you think would blink in and out of the world, a neat idea that was lucky to be realized in the first place. Yet it's been there nigh-on 22 years now.
     
  3. TJMax

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    The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago tops my list, though March will mark 20 years since I've been there. I'd love to walk through the U-Boat again.
     
  4. Dcc001

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    Agreed. This museum is AWESOME. I intended to stop by for half a day and spent like ten hours there. They've built a new building around the U-boat, too, and it's really something to see.

    The Louvre, but everyone says that.

    And not really a museum, but St. Peter's in Rome is the most magnificent building I've ever been in. So light and peaceful and beautiful, despite how busy and crowded it gets.
     
  5. audreymonroe

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    It goes without saying, really, but the Met. Having grown up just outside the city, and now living here, I've been going there a few times a year since I was born. Sometimes, I take it for granted and don't even realize how amazing it is and how lucky I am to consider it akin to going to my grandparents house. The only general art museum I've seen that really compares is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, mainly because they have great exhibits. But obviously it's a far second.

    Though, since my taste runs modern, MoMA is a close second when it comes to local places. I hate that it's so expensive, though. There are about a dozen exhibits I want to see there right now, but I've been hesitating because I'm so broke and basically have to decide if I'm going to buy groceries or go to MoMA that week.

    One of my favorite museums, though, is the Newseum in D.C, which if you don't know is basically about the history of journalism. It is just SO well done and really interesting while still being entertaining. They present the information in a lot of different ways, too, which is a nice break.

    Another favorite is the Centre Pompidou. It was one of the most fulfilling museum experiences ever. The Rodin Museum was also really beautiful. I also have to throw in Tate Modern.

    I'm kind of a nerd and generally love going to museums, so it's hard to narrow it down (as you can see). I'm really excited to check out the reopening of the Museum of the Moving Image, so it's good to hear that it was fun.

    As for other ways of getting your culture on, I really like seeing houses that are preserved from different periods, which maybe count as museums too. I also really like going on ghost tours because they're a fun, sneaky way of getting to know the cool history behind a new place and who doesn't like a good ghost story? Although the simple things like going to the grocery store, bookstore, or thrift stores are some of the best ways of getting the true culture of a place down.

    (EDIT: After rereading the focus, I realized I kind of strayed away a bit to "How do you get your culture on in new places when your'e travelling?" rather than focusing on my hometown so........sorry.)
     
  6. Beefy Phil

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    I have to give it to London on this one: I enjoyed Tate Modern way more than I like MoMA, both architecturally and by way of what it had on display. I don't really get modern art, but Tate was plain spectacular.

    Also, if you like modern art, I recommend PS1 in Long Island City. It's a museum hosted in an old public school building with a lot of the original school layout still preserved. It's a suggested donation of maybe $8 at the door, they have a lot of weird shit, and they also host a fairly badass Friday party in their massive courtyard during summer weekends. Like a craft beer festival/rave/barbecue hybrid.

    Also also, more immediately, I'm checking out the Houdini exhibit at the Jewish Museum this weekend. Psyched.
     
  7. lostalldoubt86

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    I can't remember the name of it, but there is a museum in Philly that is full of medical oddities. It has a woman's name. I found that one strangely captivating.

    The Ben Franklin Museum was my favorite as a kid.

    I can also spend hours in any art museum.
     
  8. Nom Chompsky

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    Co-sign the Met. I took Art History in high school, and we had to go to the Met weekly. At the risk of sounding obvious, slides do not do paintings justice.
     
  9. lust4life

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    We don't take advantage of many of the cultural offerings in the DFW area like we did when we lived in NYC, but we didn't have kids back then, either. We loved to go to "Mostly Mozart" every summer and the Guggenheim always had something interesting, and took in Broadway shows fairly regularly.

    Here, we've hit the Kimball Art Museum a handful of times, attended all sorts of performances at Bass Hall (which is an awesome venue) including symphonies, Elvis Costello performing with the Dallas Symphony, Bob Newhart, Godspell and The Nutcracker.

    Whenever we have friends/family visiting for the first time, we take then to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza which is always a winner. Standing on the grassy knoll gives everybody goosebumps.

    And then there's the Ft. Worth Stock Show & Rodeo which at first was culture-shock being a yankee, but we've been every year for the past 10 years.
     
  10. CharlesJohnson

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    The Mutter Museum. Named for Dr. Thomas Mutter (Mew-ter).

    Focus: Norton Art Museum in West Palm Beach. South Florida isn't exactly a bastion of fine art, or culture, or ethics... or cleanliness, hope, inspiration. But I digress. The old, rich biddies living on Palm Beach island like to leave the Norton pieces of their collections when they finally kick off to the great country club in the sky. Which even in heaven still doesn't allow black people admittance. So in the past 20 years the Norton has really become impressive. Couple Picassos, Matisse, Gauguin, a fairly large Pollock, Rockwell, Rogier Van Der Weyden, Monet, Pissarro, Degas, blah blah blah. Right now they have on loan from DC one of Van Gogh's self portraits. Although I think it's a reproduction because there is 0 impasto on the painting, looks more like a printout. $30 million painting guarded by a 1980s alarm and a 70 year old, bored trustee.
     
  11. Beefy Phil

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    I have every intention of visiting The Creation Museum the next time I'm in Ohio visiting relatives.

    Just some of the offerings:

    Fuck, I cannot wait.
     
  12. JGold

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    Golden, CO is home to the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum (<a class="postlink" href="http://www.mountaineeringmuseum.org/index.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.mountaineeringmuseum.org/index.php</a>). Rather than being an inclusive circle-jerk for climbers and inaccessible to someone with no knowledge of the sport, the museum does a great job of explaining things in layman's terms. Highlights are a life-size plastic crevasse you can step over, a scale topographical model of Mt. Everest showing the standard routes, Nepalese artifacts, historical climbing gear, early oxygen masks and canisters, and a ton of great photographs.

    My two favorite displays, however, are about the 10th Mountain Division and Peter Schoening's ice axe from "The Belay." First of all, if you're not familiar with the 10th Mountain Division, go to its Wikipedia page (<a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10th_Mountain_Division" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10th_Mountain_Division</a>) right now. It's ridiculously badass, especially around World War II. Many 10th Mountain vets are responsible for founding Colorado's famous ski areas after the war.

    Schoening's ice ax is from a 1953 expedition to K2. He was roped up with five other descending climbers, he being the last in line and thus highest on the mountain. One of the other five slipped, and one by one each climber fell as the rope became taut. In a split second decision, Schoening jammed his ax against a boulder and held on for dear life. This action saved the lives of all six climbers, and is legendary in mountaineering lore. I think I stared at the ax for a solid 10 minutes, like most people would ponder a great work of art.
     
  13. Gatling

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    Air Force One at the Reagan Library

    We met the director of the Reagan Library in town a few years ago and finagled a private tour on the Fourth of July. [As a side note, it turned out that we were tagging along on a private tour arranged for Gary Sinise and his family. Many of the security people at the library are retired military. Not a single person said anything to Mr. Sinise about his acting -- they all thanked him effusively for his travels to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the troops. Kudos to him].

    The library's exhibits there are all generally good and worth a visit if you are ever in this part of the world (the Library is in Simi Valley California).

    However, the Air Force One on display in a building the size of a hanger is wonderful and should not be missed. The plane is a 707 (I think that's right) and it is amazing how small it is compared to the movie renditions of the current 747. You get to walk through the plane and get a sense of what it would have been like to travel as President in the 1980's. A very unique and interesting exhibit.
     
  14. ghettoastronaut

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    The Pergamonmuseum in Berlin. There are apparently a few historical criticisms made about their reconstructions, but they did an amazing job of bringing the ancient world back to life with their displays.


    The thought didn't occur to me at first, but I also visited the Dachau concentration camp while in Germany. They really are museums, and the tour guides insist on it being referred to as a "concentration camp memorial" and not a "concentration camp". I think visiting one of them - whichever one you can - is something you simply ought to do at one point in your life, and something you really must do if the opportunity comes up.
     

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  15. walt

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    The Museum of Natural History in NYC is probably my all time favorite museum I've been to. Could be that ever since I was little I wanted to see dinosaur bones and never got the chance until I was an adult. We got into the hall where all the skeletons are and I was 5 again.

    But overall the place is amazing, and I can't wait to make the trip again.
     
  16. PewPewPow

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    When I was very young my grandpa would take me to the Antwerp Museum of Fine Art every weekend, it's my favorite museum because of all the fond memories. It's collection mostly focuses on Rubens and the other Flemish masters as well as works by James Ensor and Rene Magritte.
     
  17. Crown Royal

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    The Louvre really is something to see if you go to Paris, there's no doubt. It's an absolutely monstrous place with masterpiece stacked on top of masterpiece. Winged Victory and the Marly Horses were personal favourites of mine.

    The Ann Frank Huis in Amsterdam is a very mournful, almost eerie place to visit. Her bedroom is the only room in the house that had things in it the Nazis didn't take: photos of movie stars she taped to her walls. Shelley Winter's Oscar she won for the movie is on display there, the only one I've ever seen in person. It's also located next to Westerkerk (West Church) with it's phenomenal 350 foot tall belltower that leans over the street.

    The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is a gorgeous museum, a stunning building to see in person one block from the Heiniken Brewery. It has many masterpieces and best of all is Rembrandt's The Night Watch, a gigantic and hypnotic painting that's much easier to see than the Mona Lisa.
    [​IMG]

    Also, the Henry Ford Museum And Greenfield Village in Dearbourne, Michigan. It is an enormous phantasmagoria of incredible memorabilia. Everybody should see this place, it does not disapoint and is never boring. It has amongst many, many things the chair Abraham Lincoln was killed in and the original Wright Brothers planes. Car lovers will go apeshit here as well.
     
  18. bewildered

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    I went with my family to Italy when I was in highschool. We hit up Rome, Venice, and Florence. The number of historic churches and museums that we visited was enormous, and I regret to say that most of them don't stand out in my memory. Two museums that I remember and enjoyed were: The Academy of Fine Arts (<a class="postlink" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accademia_di_Belle_Arti_Firenze" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accademia_ ... ti_Firenze</a>) and the Uffizi Gallery http://www.uffizi.com/.

    The Academy of Fine Arts had a lot of Michelangelo's work, including the David. Although that was one of its biggest attractions, I really enjoyed the half completed sculptures that Michelangelo never completed. The main corridor on the way to the David was lined with these men trapped in stone. They truly looked like they were tortured in their stone cages. I think I liked them better than the David.

    The Uffizi Gallery was this huge mammoth of a gallery. Upstairs, there was an amazing view of the Ponte Vecchio (http://www.destination360.com/europe/italy/florence/ponte-vecchio). I must have just stood there and looked at that bridge from out the window for 25 minutes.

    A lot of old Renaissance painting are dark to begin with, and then they tend to age and get dirty in such a way that makes them appear even darker. My little brother, who was about 11 or 12 for the trip, is color blind. Burgundy and other deep shades of red appear black to him. We were passing through a room in the Uffizi Gallery, and my brother, who had been not been impressed at all by anything we had seen on the trip, suddenly exclaimed,"OH MY GOD. This is amazing."
    Once he had all of our attention, "I am going to recommend this to my friends at school."
    "Really?"
    "No." And then he walked into the next gallery.
    That whole trip must have been boring as hell for him. We saw thousands of paintings and I'm pretty sure 95% of them appeared to be a black canvas surrounded by an ornate gilded frame.

    Though more like historical/religious places and not really museums, I also really enjoyed St. Peters in Rome, St. Mark's in Venice, and the Pantheon, and recommend that you visit them if you ever make a trip in that direction.
     
  19. KillaKam

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    I would really like to re-visit some of the museums here. Cleveland may be an awful, depressing city, but our art and history museums really stand out. Of course I can't forget to mention the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame...anyone who appreciates music needs to visit it. There are some great exhibits that tell how rock music came to be, and many original items from different artists. Many displays come from the fans donations. One thing that sticks out was a giant circle of drumsticks that some guy collected over the years after seeing his favorite bands in concert.

    Another noteworthy place would be the Great Lakes Science Center. So much cool shit in there that you could burn a whole day on checking out. They do a great job keeping it updated through the year, with a different themed exhibit every few months. Their is also an IMAX theater attached to the science center. Even if your not a science nut, seeing a film on an IMAX screen is well worth spending some cash on.
     
  20. klky

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    I love all of the Smithsonian's in DC. My go to favorite is usually the National Portrait Gallery, which in addition to some amazing portraits often has really great temporary exhibits. I remember a while back they had one dedicated entirely to the evolution of the political cartoon. They had hundreds of examples from tons of different presidencies. The American History Museum was also recently revamped and has a really well done Lincoln exhibit (put together for his 200th birthday).

    I'm not sure if these count as museums, but I also really enjoy going to Frank Lloyd Wright houses. I've been to Falling Water a bunch of times and I love Taliesin West. It's just fascinating to see his ideas of architecture and most of the buildings have really great and informative tours. Finally, this isn't a permanent museum, but the glass artist Chihuly does some beautiful pieces and has started working with different Botanical Gardens throughout the country. They create semi, informal exhibits by integrating the glass pieces into the gardens. The mix of the different types of glass sculptures and the flowers and plants is incredible.