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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

A Return to the American Museum of Natural History

I was insistent that I would delve into the American Museum of Natural History on my return visit to New York City since, on my previous trip, I only ran by the highlights since I arrived so late. I really wanted to get there early, spend hours in the halls, and maybe see a show or two that was playing. After all, the museum is one of the highest rated stops in the city, and one of the best in the whole country.


Well, that was the plan until jetlag reared it’s ugly head over a two hour time difference.


The alarm was set bright and early to get up and be at the museum, after rush hour on the subway, when the doors opened. I wanted to have as much time as possible there before having a walking lunch as I headed through Central Park on my way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But, sadly, the plan was abbreviated since 7am in New York is 5am back home, and that’s just not a time I can wake up at, even if I’m not on vacation.


After getting my ticket with my complimentary City Pass, I headed directly for the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, a favorite spot on my first visit. And honestly, I didn’t care how long I spent in the hall, I just wanted to once again stand in awe of how massive the suspended blue whale is when compared to a person. I was so impressed with it the first time around that I had to go and make sure what I saw wasn’t a mirage.


Mission accomplished.


From there I wandered the halls and checked out the exhibits at random, but really didn’t give any of them the time they deserved any more than I did the first time around. And I’m not sure I would be able to either unless I spent a solid week there since the place is just unexplainably huge; I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a museum, other than the Louvre in Paris, that was so big.


Unlike my previous visit though, I was able to catch a show in the planetarium this time around – Journey to the Stars. Despite being narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, I thought it was really well done, doing an excellent job at explaining how stars form and die. My expert opinion only comes from taking an introductory astronomy class in college though, so I guess I can’t say too much about it – at least the special effects were entertaining.


I wandered through the dinosaur fossils following the show and couldn’t help but wonder how amazed I would’ve been had I seen them as a child. It’s very possible I did during a family trip when I was a kid, but as I don’t remember it I honestly can’t say. Still though, as an adult, I’m amazed at the collection and effort put into it and get a thrill by imagining what the world must’ve been like millions of years ago when it was inhabited by these great beasts.


Unfortunately, as I left the museum, I realized that I was no closer to digging into its displays than a scratch. Sure, I saw the planetarium show this time around, but all I really had time for, once again, was to walk through the halls and see some highlights. I wish I spent more time there, but it’s difficult as there are so many great things to see and do in New York City…especially with that complimentary City Pass.

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