The City Reliquary in Brooklyn June 13, 2007

I’m finally in Brooklyn after an afternoon surprise yesterday: all the flights into LaGuardia and most of the other New York area airports were delayed or cancelled due to approaching thunderstorms, and I ended up spending the night at a hotel in Chicago instead of crafting a Yoda doll with Julian. Bummer. Oh well, I am very happy to be in New York now — and it only took 27 hours door-to-door, from my apartment to Kayte‘s! I temporarily distracted Ms. Love Forever from her pre-Renegade crafting so we could have lunch and walk around a little bit, and I got a sneak peek at her new stuff — it is beyond cute, you’ll love it. I already snapped up two things that I’m so excited about!

So on my walk over to the next thing, I saw this cool museum-window display-oddity and luckily I had my camera with me. The City Reliquary is a collection of New York ephemera from all five boroughs, including “architectural remnants of city buildings, Statue of Liberty memorabilia, a geological display of New York’s underground composition, and a 1939 World’s Fair exhibit.” The organization has moved its main collection over to a new, bigger space at 370 Metropolitan, but the window at the old space (at the corner of Havemeyer and Grand) remains. I wish I could have snapped the display, but the glare wasn’t having it. So here’s the sign at least!

the City Reliquary

About the Reliquary, Vice President of Operations George Ferrandi says:

The City Reliquary has the distinction of being a window museum. People in the community pass it daily on their way to and from the subway, the grocery, or the coffee shop, or they stumble across it when they’re walking home from work via a different route. It is either an integrated part of their daily landscape, or a personal discovery. In either case, passersby are offered a kind of ownership that major institutions strive for in their public relations campaigns, but rarely achieve. We aim to be a humble but effective hub, of many sorts – historical, cultural, and social. We offer historical displays of modest ephemera – bits of bridges, old postcards, etc. We organize events – Collector’s Night, Bike Fetish Day, September 11 Memorials, Bike Rides, Writing Contests. We’ve also started a community mini-garden movement in old bathtubs in front of our windows, and we broadcast a monthly radio show through a local internet station. We post neighborhood-related political information, and in general act as “the water cooler” of the neighborhood.

And as a bonus, they’ve painted a neat list of directions and landmarks on the building for anyone passing by.

Directions at the corner of Havemeyer and Grand, courtesy of The City Reliquary

I’m looking forward to checking out the newer space too, maybe Saturday after Renegade? I love old everyday things, and this looks like such a stellar community mini-museum. On Friday (speaking of museums I’m excited about) I’m going to the Subversive Lace and Radical Knitting show with Cathy and Cathy, and we’ll be doing some fabric, bead and button shopping too… love that Threads guide to shopping for New York sewers. (You can download a free copy at — I didn’t want to link it directly in case you don’t want a surprise PDF from a casual click!)

Update: that link doesn’t work directly, sorry about that! Try this google results list and click the first listing (“A SEWER’S GUIDE TO”) and it will automatically download the PDF, at that address.

If you go:

The City Reliquary
370 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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