As a proud member of the board of the unique and iconic Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, I was disappointed to know that our director Laura Raicovich had resigned to move on to new projects.

Her legacy of improving our fundraising and programming will be relished by future visitors and this weekend I took two of my grandchildren to the museum’s Spooktacular, an annual fundraiser that brings out the best of the staff’s talents.

This year was better than ever with my kids saying “Grandma, this is the most fun. Can we come back next year?”

They loved the puppet show where they were the puppeteers playing to an audience of families visiting. The staff musician backed them up and Jonah and Addy had smiles as big as the Unisphere facing the museum.


I loved the rock band dressed as flowering plants and the stilt dancers outrageously dressed, dancing to the music and encouraging the children to dance with them.

It brought me great joy to see the kids run down the hall to the classrooms set up for puppet-making that day, but where the museum hosts hundreds of school children every day.

On weekends, there are Sunday family workshops from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and an art therapist works with children with special needs the third Sunday of the month. I’m looking forward to the opening of a public library inside the museum but, until it opens, the museum and library curate fiction and nonfiction books for storytelling sessions made possible by a grant from New York Community Bank. It is money well spent! My kids can’t wait to come again.

We also explored the unique and awesome Panorama, walking in from the main floor. Six-year-old Addy was frightened by the glass floor looking down on the city below. I held her hand as fearless eight-year-old Jonah ran ahead. He was amazed at the airplane landing at LaGuardia Airport where the terminal is built to scale.

In fact, in the Panorama, every building is built to scale in a football-field-size space. The museum is currently featuring an exhibit of buildings proposed for the World’s Fair but never constructed; the exhibit is called “Never Built New York.” Those properties were added to the Panorama lit up in brilliant white lights.

Put the Queens Museum on your must-see list and stop at the cafe Coffeed overlooking the park and the iconic Unisphere.

Try it! You too will love the experience.

Visiting the Met

I visited the majestic, world-class Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to see the once-in-a-lifetime largest exhibition of works by Renaissance artist Michelangelo, born in 1475. The exhibit was dubbed a “tour de genius” by The New York Times, and it truly is!

Titled “Divine Draftsman and Designer,” the exhibit features the towering genius’ sketches, paintings and sculptures. The show is “a monument to a monument,” the art critic Holland Cotter wrote.

And I had the privilege of being led through the exhibit by its curator Carmen Bambach who admitted she has devoted her life to studying the works of Michelangelo since she was in college. She devotedly traveled the world to find in private collections and museums the works she lovingly put together in a single exhibition.

Carmen Bambach has devoted her life to studying the works of Michelangelo.

Carmen Bambach has devoted her life to studying the works of Michelangelo.

The enormous exhibition includes an actual to-scale recreation of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In addition, an early sculpture that preceded Michelangelo’s massive, magnificent David is there to see, as well as plans of his creations including sketches preceding the Pieta.

That sculpture was seen in its original at the World’s Fair in 1964, and the reproduction drew crowds to the Queens Museum for years.

It’s hard to comprehend the genius of a man often in competition with his rival Leonardo Da Vinci. I was impressed with Michelangelo’s technical and awe-inspiring knowledge of human anatomy seen in his work.

It’s all there at the Met – a once-in-a-lifetime limited engagement. It’s worth the trip. Take the audio tour to enjoy even more the mastery before you! You too will love it!

What a week to take in two different experiences at great museums — only in New York, the greatest city in the world!


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