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Book Reviews

Not the MET

Exploring the Smalelr Museums of Manhattan

Reviewed by

Fifty million people visited Manhattan last year, and those who put a museum on their itinerary probably chose the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Janet Halpern and Harvey Applebaum have nothing against the Met, but they’d like you to know about the amazing variety of smaller holdings scattered around town.

While there are plenty of snapshot guides around, the authors came up with an interesting way to present the flavor of the chosen museums: they visited each one and wrote about what was currently on exhibit. Today’s visitor will, of course, find something different, but the two-page descriptions, with photos, indicate what to expect from the architecture, special exhibits, and permanent collections. Personal favorites include the Fraunces Tavern Museum, where George Washington held a farewell dinner for his generals after the Revolutionary War, and the nearby New York City Police Museum with its collection of weird weapons and mugshots—both are good choices for families visiting the Wall Street area. Farther north is the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace, part of the US National Park system. And after a long walk to midtown, what better than a garden retreat at the Instituto Cervantes on East 49th Street? There’s something for everyone in this very packable book.

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