Visit This Quirky Museum Hidden in a Chinatown Elevator Shaft

Posted On Fri, October 31, 2014 By

Posted On Fri, October 31, 2014 By In Art, Chinatown

Looking for something off-the-beaten-path to do this Halloweekend? Mmuseumm might be right up your alley. And speaking of alleys, it’s located on Cortland Alley in Chinatown within a single, abandoned elevator shaft.

The 60-square-foot Mmuseumm is a modern natural history museum that exhibits contemporary artifacts, illustrating “the complexities of the modern world.” Its eclectic collection of everyday items includes toothpaste tubes from around the world and papers left behind in copy machines.  It even manages to fit a gift shop and café in its tiny footprint.

Mmuseummm, Cortland Alley, NYC museums

Mmuseumm sits behind a pair of heavy, unmarked, metal doors on a small, inconspicuous Chinatown street. A recent trip to the exhibit space during openhousenewyork weekend, revealed a long line of curious New Yorkers eager to take a turn browsing the obscure collection. Only four or five persons can fit in the museum at a time.

To create the museum, the team gutted the shaftway and added lighting, shelving, and a glass peephole in the door so that passersby can have a look any time. The space also features a toll free hotline that guests can call to receive information about each artifact on view.

Mmuseummm, Cortland Alley, NYC museums

The museum is currently in its third season and was founded by Alex Kalman and brothers Benny and Josh Safdie of Red Bucket Films as a way to “find beauty in absurdity.” Modern-day artifacts in the permanent collection were amassed over ten years from cities all over the globe, “found in the cracks and corners of cultures around the world.” One of these treasures is the shoe thrown at George W. Bush during an event in 2008. Objects that have been featured in past rotating exhibits include plastic vomit from around the world, newsstand paperweights, and New York City tip jars.

Currently on view are 200 New Delhi mosquitoes killed mid bite, peep show coins, and censored Saudi Arabian pool toys, among other collections. Interested in checking out this unique display? Mmuseumm is open every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6pm. More info here.

Lead image via Mmuseumm

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Neighborhoods : chinatown

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