Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Does a body good

Day three of Memorial Day Weekend…
Like the previous day, I spent the day off taking in the sights of Manhattan and surrounding areas. My first stop was the South Street Seaport Museum. The current exhibit was “Bodies”. Basically it is a bunch of real cadavers that were injected with plastic (or some preservation chemical of sorts) and therefore frozen in time. They pealed away the skin and exposed the organs, muscles, bone structure, etc. Each room within the exhibit specialized in a certain system of the body. I recommend the circulatory system room where they injected bright red plastic into the veins, arteries, capillaries and then stripped away the entire body. All you were left were the blood vessels suspended in a clear liquid solution. Very neat! The majority of the bodies were male (I saw so much penis and ball it is unreal) and the rumor is that they all are Asian prisoners. Anyway, the one thing I learned was that the penis is composed of three distinct sets of tissue. True, they had many cross-sections to prove it. Okay I am immature but I was not like some people who would point and giggle at the numerous genital displays. At the end, they let you hold a real brain, liver, and heart. The fun part was watching the lab guys freak out when a 10 year old kid pretended to spike the brain like a football. Ah ha ha ha.

After the museum, I roamed out to Pier 17 which is similar to Navy Pier of Chicago just not as long….or fun. Here are some sights from the pier.

I continued to make my way up Manhattan’s lower tip by stopping by the City Hall. Here are some pictures of important buildings in the federal triangle area.
City Hall park

City Hall

Tweed Courthouse

Municipal Building (or what I like to think as the New Amsterdam building next to the Brooklyn Bridge)

NY Supreme Court

Federal Courthouse

Police Headquarters

Interesting fact…all of these buildings associated with the law are located in the part of town formerly known as the Five Points Neighborhood. Those who have seen the movie “Gangs of New York” know the five points neighborhood was a big Irish immigrant area of crime (basically the 19th century version of the hood). According to Wikipedia, five points is the area between the street intersections of Worth, Park Row (E. Broadway), and Baxter/Pearl.

On my way to my next tourist destination, I accidentally (one wrong turn) came across a street fair/food festival in Little Italy. I guess they often close off Mulberry street to traffic and open it up to various food and goods venders. I am kicking myself for not taking a picture of it because it was so quaint.
My final tourist activity of the day was visiting the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Basically there is a stretch of Orchard street in the lower east side that they are trying keep as a representation of what turn of the century immigrants experienced. They give tours of tenement houses where a family of seven would live in two rooms and share the floor with another immigrant family. Interesting but I learned pretty much the same thing at Ellis Island. I did meander around the lower east side though and thought it was a quiet but hip place to hide out.


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