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Museum of the City of New York

Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York City are typically seen on group itineraries of the East Coast. However, each of these cities has amazing attractions that don’t always get as much attention.

New York City has far more to offer the visitor than can easily be accommodated in a relatively brief tour stay. Among the lesser-known but still very worthwhile and uniquely “Big Apple” attractions is the Museum of the City of New York, across from Central Park on Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, north of both the great Metropolitan Museum of Art and the unique profile of the Guggenheim Museum.

The traveler is sure to find the ongoing exhibitions to be of interest, including the six furnished rooms of New York Interiors (1690-1906), a 25-minute Timescapes multimedia portrait of the city, displays of antique transportation toys and an exquisitely crafted dollhouse. However, the real focus of the museum is on presenting ever-changing temporary exhibitions, frequent lectures by a variety of experts on life in the city and student/family programs.

During my visit, one featured exhibition was Police Work, a collection of Leonard Freed’s stark black-and-white photographs of life on the city’s streets during the 1970’s. They depict the time when the city was not only nearly bankrupt, but beset by high crime rates and social disorder.

A second major exhibit, Cecil Beaton, the New York Years, illustrated the life and New York career of the famed British fashion photographer.  However, the primary attraction is currently is The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan 1811-2011, which celebrates the 200th anniversary of Manhattan’s renowned street grid and how it has been implemented over the past two centuries. A related exhibit, The Unfinished Grid: Design Speculations for Manhattan, presents eight proposed (and fantastic) designs for the future. Without question, the Museum of the City of New York is the place to whet the appetite of anyone with a particular interest in America’s largest and most storied city.

Bob Hoelscher, CTC, CTP, MCC, CTIE, is a longtime travel industry executive who has sold his tour company, bought a motorhome and is traveling the highways and byways of America.  He is a former chairman of NTA, and was a founding member of Travel Alliance Partners (TAP).

Well-known in the industry as both a baseball and symphony aficionado, Bob is also one of the country’s biggest fans of our national parks, both large and small.  He has already visited more than 325 NPS sites and has several dozen yet to see.  He is currently traveling the country to visit as many of those parks as possible.  His blog, “Travels with Bob,” appears periodically on The Group Travel Leader’s blogsite, “Are We There Yet”.  

Bob is available for contractual work in the industry and may be reached at or by calling (435) 590-1553.

Room setting re-creation in New York Interiors (1690-1906)

Police Work…Photographs by Leonard Freed 1972-79, and entrance to Timescapes, a 25-minute multimedia portrait of New York