Nerd York City: A Geek's Guide to Gotham
by Adam Kuban, 04/09/2013
Courtesy, New York Hall of Science
Museums and Institutions
As collections of specific bodies of knowledge, museums are by definition nerdy, but we think the following stand out.
• Hayden Planetarium: Planets, space, a giant sphere surrounded by a glass atrium—all reason enough alone for nerds to visit the Hayden Planetarium. Bonus: Neil deGrasse Tyson is the planetarium's director. Could the Internet have a bigger crush on that guy?
• Paley Center for Media: Even in the age of YouTube and on-demand video, the Paley Center is impressive. Where else are you going to find a public library of more than 150,000 TV and radio shows and commercials along with daily screenings of classic TV episodes?
• Museum of the Moving Image: As the only institution in the United States dedicated to the art, technology and social impact of film, television and digital media, this museum houses the nation's largest collection of moving-image artifacts, screens hundreds of films annually and offers education programs.
• New York Hall of Science: The City's only hands-on science and technology center is perfect if you have nerdlings in tow. Here you'll find more than 450 exhibitions, workshops and special events, including Rocket Park Mini Golf, the 60,000-square-foot Science Playground and the state-of-the-art 3-D Theater. It's also home to World Maker Faire New York (see Festivals and Events).
• The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art at the Society of Illustrators: Exhibitions at this museum (whose collection in 2012 was acquired by and is now housed at the Society of Illustrators) feature anime, cartoons, comic strips, political satire and graphic novels. Each year, the museum puts on MoCCA Arts Festival, a celebration of comic art bringing together established and emerging artists and fans.
• Museum of Mathematics: The only institution of its kind in the United States, the museum goes by the nickname "MoMath" and features interactive exhibits demonstrating the connections between math and such everyday subjects as music, sports and even soap bubbles.
• Brooklyn Brainery: Learn to knit, speak sign language, make gnocchi or play poker—or brush up on the history of chocolate, Norse mythology or Brooklyn's Gowanus canal. Sound eclectic? That's because the classes here are community-driven, taught by people from around the City. Sign up to attend or teach.
• City Reliquary Museum: This quirky not-for-profit organization is home to the more ephemeral relics of NYC history—early postcards depicting the City, New York World's Fair and Statue of Liberty memorabilia, a vintage subway turnstile—and sponsors events like Collectors Night, where everyday New Yorkers display and talk about their oddball collections.