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Old 08-02-2012, 04:42 PM
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After exploring the Catholic art of the Cloisters museum all the way uptown, I balanced it out by heading for the Museum of Jewish Heritage all the way downtown.

Of course, it didn't have the architectural grandeur of the Cloisters, but it was still impressive in its own way. In particular, there's a room upstairs that's glass on two sides, and overlooks both a rock garden, and a grassy expanse where people were relaxing, and a marvelous view over the water. There's an exhibit there now which is so clever - there are recordings, oral history, on several subjects relating to the immigrant experiences (e.g. "The Trip" and "First Impressions") and you hear them over headphones as you stand in the particular circle for each. And - I didn't realize this at first - while you're listening, the room faces out to the Statue of Liberty! The sun was just starting to set over the water when I was there, and it was just magical.

There is what I guess may be a permanent hall devoted to WWII and the Holocaust - artifacts, photographs, video, historical text, all very moving. And then short exhibits, like a room about the WWII work of famous movie directors (John Ford, George Stevens, Sam Fuller). And, topping it off, a Mel Brooks film series (showing "To Be Or Not To Be" next week) on their free evening.
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