On the Town

Vintage scarf with map of Manhattan
Manhattan attractions, as printed on a scarf from the 1960s

Welcome to New York City!

The Fashion Institute of Technology is primarily a fashion and business school. However, we have many other departments as well, such as Illustration, Fine Arts, Packaging Design, Interior Design, Toy Design, Communication Design, Fabric Styling, Menswear, Photography, Home Products Development, to name just a few. See one of the common denominators there? It’s a focus on designing the world around us. What do designers need most? Inspiration: to fuel their imaginations!

This city is a great place to get inspired!

facade of Metropolitan Museum of art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

First and foremost, one of the world’s best museums is here. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is on 5th Avenue between 81st and 83rd streets. You can check out the current list of exhibitions here.

In addition to amazing special exhibitions, their regular galleries showcase the world’s finest collections. Plenty to feed one’s head with there. The suggested admission is $25, but since you live in NYC, you can show your state issued ID and pay what you can afford. The museum has a spectacular clothing collection, some great historic rooms, an armor gallery, and many other highlights.

The Met is not the only amazing museum in town, though. Several other notable collections are just across town.

Postcard of Central Park fountain from the 1890s-1900s
Postcard of Central Park from the 1890-1900s.

But Central Park is inspiring, too. It’s more than 750 acres of land in the middle of Manhattan was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1858. Many cities are lucky enough to have Olmsted parks, but this is the jewel in the crown.


facade of the New York Historical Society
The New York Historical Society

The New York-Historical Society Museum & Library is on Central Park West at 77th street. Their collections are focused more on New York City and state, but there is always something interesting to see, as well as a thoughtful lecture series. The library contains a unique collection of documents concerning the history of New York, and the museum has collections of historical items like the carriage that George Washington rode to his first inauguration in, and Tiffany lamps, and historic silver.

Facade of the American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History

Moving up Central Park West a bit, you’ll get to the American Museum of Natural History, a massive reddish stone building between 77th and 81st streets. It was founded in 1869 as a center for scientific study of human beings and other animals, living and dead. It’s especially famous for its dinosaur skeletons, and it also has a replica of a blue whale hanging from the ceiling in a gallery about ocean life. It remains a bustling center for research about our earth and its inhabitants.

Facade of the Museum of the City of New York
The Museum of the City of New York

The last museum I want to show you is the Museum of the City of New York. It’s back on the east side, up 5th Avenue at 103rd street. It’s focus is New York City life specifically, and it also has a rich clothing collection, much of which relates to specific past residents of the city. Other quirky holdings include a 19th century fire engine, bills of sale from the 19th century, documenting shipping and trade to and from the city, and a collection of 19th century dolls and dollhouses.

These are just some of the many wonderful things that make going to school in NYC so special. I haven’t even gotten to the many, many amazing walking tours you could take!!

NYC’s Official guide to local tours

Time Out NY List of best walking tours

Walking tour recommendations from Nomadic Matt’s travel blog

Have fun and get inspired!


One response to “On the Town”

  1. Beth McMahon Avatar
    Beth McMahon

    Hi, I love the museums of the city. You left out a bunch, like the Museo de Barrio and the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn and Bronx Botanical Gardens.