Tribeca’s Newest Museum Is Behind These Doors

When the owner of 368 Broadway decided to convert the freight elevator shaft into artists’ studios, he was left with a ground-floor space on Cortlandt Alley. The interested parties included a hot-dog vendor, a plumber, and the three guys from Red Bucket Films—whose offices are upstairs—who wanted to open a museum.

Lo and behold, the opening of Museum was last night. The founders—Alex Kalman (son of Maira and Tibor Kalman) and Josh and Benny Safdie (their great uncle is architect Moshe Safdie)—are displaying everyday objects from around the world, each of which has a story attached. You can read the stories in the pamphlet—presumably available when Museum is open Friday through Sunday—or call a toll-free number, press the object’s code, and listen (the instructions, objects, and codes are visible 24/7 through plexiglass panels in the door). The mission statement explains the philosophy: “The space intends to show respect for the everyday, and displays the often overlooked beauty of real life. There is always beauty and magic in the plebian.” If this sounds like the kind of whimsy you’d come across at Partners & Spade, well, the Spades helped fund it.

I hoped to take a photo of the three guys and ask some questions, but the party swelled with the young and the artsy. The invitation had mentioned that Rudy Giuliani would be attending, which was amusing on paper, but as the possibility loomed, my enthusiasm waned. Those boys may be too young to recall the Decency Commission, among other choice moments. Besides, my pug was expecting his dinner.

Go check Museum out—it’s the kind of quirk that’s been developed out of existence around here. It’s in Cortlandt Alley—like Staple Street, but much cooler—between Franklin and White.


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