Biting into the big apple's core

| 16 Nov 2016 | 04:20

This weekend, from Saturday at 9 a.m. to Sunday at 6 p.m., the Museum of the City of New York will stay open for a non-stop celebration of the new permanent exhibit “New York at its Core.” For five years the museum has been putting together the more than 450-piece collection of New York history, which will feature famous figures from Jane Jacobs to Jay-Z and items such as a ceremonial cup from the 1900 subway groundbreaking and Milton Glaser’s original sketch for the “I heart New York” campaign.

The exhibit will center around four themes: money, density, diversity and creativity. In a press release, “New York at its Core” is described as showing “how a distinctive blend of these key themes has produced a powerfully creative environment that has made New York a center of innovation in the arts, business, science, politics, and urban development.”

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning, museum administrators joined elected officials in opening the exhibit.

“New York’s history shows us that it wasn’t a forgone conclusion that this tiny outpost ... was destined to be one of world history’s most significant places,” Sarah Henry, one of the exhibit’s curators, said. “A laboratory, as it’s turned out, for values like tolerance, opportunity, cross-fertilization between different cultures, innovation and dense urban life.”

Henry especially thanked Local Projects, the studio that designed the exhibit’s “Future City Lab” gallery, for bringing interactive technology to the museum. “Future City Lab” invites visitors to consider five major challenges — such as transportation and housing — the city will face in the years to come by playing games and engaging with maps that envision New York City as far out as 2050.

Tom Finkelpearl, commissioner of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, zeroed in on the exhibit’s “money” theme and praised the diverse financial efforts that collaborated to make “New York at its Core” a reality.

“There’s not one controlling factor,” he said. “It’s good to have a really vibrant private sector and resources.” He then read a proclamation from Mayor Bill de Blasio designating Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 as “MCNY New York at its Core Day.”

Though it opens on Friday, admission will be free for the 32-hour weekend event, which the museum is calling “Gotham Groove,” with the exception of some specific programs. Attendees can look forward to Broadway performances, a Walt Whitman impersonator and a trivia competition.

Madeleine Thompson can be reached at