King Tut Reigns in NYC

King Tut has returned to NYC!  The must-see exhibit is located at the Discovery TSX where you will get an intimate look at the marvels discovered in King Tutankhamun’s tomb.  In the 10 galleries, you journey through a marvelous display of artifacts from the time of King Tut.  Artifacts representing the royal family, historical footage of the discovery of the tomb, followed by some of the actual treasures found in the tomb are all exquisitely displayed.  I found the lighting and presentation really allowed you to closely examine each piece so that you can truly see it in all its glory.  In the final gallery, King Tut himself is on display, while the latest scientific findings about King Tut’s life and death are said to be presented for the first time.

This is a limited exhibit so be sure to see it for yourself before it ends.  Tickets appear to be on sale through January 2nd on the website.  Discovery TSX is located on West 44th Street between 7th and 8thAvenues.

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Touring the World’s Oldest Subway Tunnel

On the busy street of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, everything appeared to be a normal Saturday.  The Trader Joe’s was packed with long lines of shoppers, cars and people were busy going about their business.  But then a car drove up and  a small blockade was put up around one of the manholes in the middle of the street.  A ladder was set up reaching its way to the bottom and a large group of people started to line up along the sidewalk.  They were preparing themselves for the descent down the ladder and into the depths of the oldest subway tunnel in the world which was lurking below the surface.  I was one of those people waiting in line.

At the bottom of the ladder, there is a small room filled with dirt where a walkway has been dug out and you must duck under a large concrete slab in the middle of it.  At the other end, is a small oval entryway which you must go through to get to the tunnel.  Once there, you see the wooden stairway below and the enormous (and very dark) tunnel in front of you.  For those of us at the beginning of the line, we had a lot of time to look around as it took a long time for everyone in the group to enter.  After we were all assembled, it was time for the tour to begin.

Bob Diamond, who discovered the tunnel in 1981, is a wealth of information.  His tour is a narrative of different parts of NY history, politics, and his own story of researching and finding this tunnel.  There is a lot of standing and listening, but I found it all quite interesting.  As the tour progresses, the group walks through the half mile tunnel, stopping as we go along to continue the story.  You get to go the entire length of the tunnel and see where it ends.  Definitely heed their requirements of wearing sturdy shoes and bringing a flashlight.  There are many grooves from the train tracks so the ground is uneven and while there are some lights along the side of the tunnel, it is still quite dark.  It was a very hot day above ground when I went, but in the tunnel it was cold.  We were 4 stories underground and you would never know a busy street was right above you.

A brief history for the tunnel is that it was built in 1844 by William Beard.  It was in use for many years but was eventually supposed to have been filled in.  Bob Diamond did a lot of research and was able to find it in 1981.  It is from his many efforts and labors (he had to dig through the room full of dirt to get to that tunnel opening to find it) that this tunnel is now available for the public to see.  The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

You can sign up for an Atlantic Tunnel Tour by clicking here or calling 718-941-3160.  It is definitely something worth experiencing.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition in NYC

Discovery TSX is currently hosting Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition through February 28, 2010.  It is described as the largest collection of artifacts on display.  In fact, many of the items are being shown to the public for the first time.  With the cost of admission, you get to experience the story of Titanic’s demise through artifacts, filmed footage, written descriptions and recreated set pieces.

Discovery TSX does a great job of making this an engaging experience.  You get your picture taken before receiving your “boarding pass” to enter.  Upon entry, each person receives a card detailing background information of one of Titanic’s actual passengers.  At the end of the exhibit everyone is able to look up whether or not their designated person survived.  As you make your journey through viewing the artifacts, you walk through different models built to look just like the areas that were on the actual ship- such as the infamous grand staircase.  As for the artifacts, it was fascinating to see what types of items are still in good condition (for instance champagne still in the bottle) after such a tragedy.

There are many stories to be told of the Titanic and this exhibition is a way to further delve into what happened during Titanic’s fateful voyage in 1912 while remaining safe on solid ground.  Discovery TSX is located on West 44th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.