A Secret Speakeasy Benefit for the City Reliquary – Sunday, January 26 at 4 pm!

Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 4 pm

The Loft at Prince Street – 177 Prince Street, Manhattan

Advance Tickets $20 – Includes admission to the Museum of Interesting Things vintage film event following at 6 pm

Proceeds benefit the City Reliquary Museum

Your favorite collectors of historical curiosities are joining forces! We hope you’ll join us for a very special benefit event hosted by the Museum of Interesting Things! On Sunday, January 26 from 4 to 6 pm, the City Reliquary Museum will hold a Secret Speakeasy pre-show at The Loft on Prince Street. We’ll have unusual facts and artifacts from the collection of our founder Dave Herman, plus additional surprises! And your ticket includes admission to the Museum of Interesting Things vintage 16mm film jukebox (and more) at 6 pm. Refreshments will be available (it is a speakeasy, after all!) and there will be many marvels to see in this beautiful Soho space.

Advance tickets are highly recommended and available here! Your purchase will benefit the City Reliquary Museum and help us produce events and exhibits throughout 2020!

Many thanks to Denny Daniel and the Museum of Interesting Things!

Stereopanorama Returns to the City Reliquary on January 16!

Thursday, January 16 at 7:00 pm at the City Reliquary Museum

$15 General Admission$10 Museum Members (Join Today!)

Come and experience a retro-tech time-travel experience unlike any other! (Perhaps you read about it in the New York Times?) Immerse yourself in the 1950s through incredible Midcentury 3-D photographs — taken mostly by amateurs with the Stereo Realist Camera system. Emmy-winning writer and comedian Eric Drysdale has been collecting the amazing images produced by this largely-forgotten technology for 25 years and will share them with you in your own (for the night) high-quality restored vintage stereo viewer. New York City will be highlighted, but all of America is the star. Don’t miss this intimate yet spectacular trip to the past!

There are only 12 tickets available for this evening, so we highly recommend purchasing in advance to guarantee your seat (and stereo-viewer)!

Famous Cats of Brooklyn! A Talk With Author Peggy Gavan on December 5

Thursday, December 5 at 7 pm – Admission by Donation

RSVP on Facebook

As we know, the internet loves a good cat story. 19th century readers were no different in their appreciation for exceptional felines – stories of stray cats with unusual adopted homes and singular talents captivated the public and were widely featured in the news.

Author and animal blogger Peggy Gavan has researched notable cats and their human companions and gathered the most fascinating tales in her recently released book The Cat Men of Gotham: Tales of Feline Friendships in Old New York. On Thursday, December 5 at 7 pm, she’ll share select stories of famous cats of old Brooklyn (with photos, of course!) at the City Reliquary! These stories will take us through the streets of Brooklyn from the Navy Yard to a Bushwick firehouse, and illuminate life in a bygone era as well as celebrating fascinating men and their captivating cats.

Peggy’s book will be available for purchase and signing – perhaps a holiday gift for the city history buff or cat fancier in your life?

Chocolate Milk by Mo Pepin Opens on Friday, November 15!

Opening Reception Friday, November 15 from 6-8 pm

On view in the front window of the City Reliquary Museum through January 2020

The City Reliquary Museum proudly presents a new window exhibit, Chocolate Milk! A photo documentary series by Mo Pepin, this display follows the extraordinary perseverance of a small carton of chocolate milk on the top of a phone booth on 1st Avenue and 21st Street.

Mo first spotted the carton on March 8, 2017 on her commute and kept an eye on it in the following weeks, watching it expand in the heat and then slowly shrink. Four months later, the carton remained untouched on the phone booth, and from this point Mo kept a closer eye on this marvel, photographing it about once a month. Through snow, rain, 45-mph winds, and other vagaries of the NYC streets, the chocolate milk carton remained atop the phone booth for 405 days, through April 2018.

Chocolate Milk is a story of endurance and decay, emblematic of the persistence necessary to survive in the city on a day-to-day basis and also of the lapses in our infrastructure that feed growing inequality. It is an example of an everyday object becoming iconic, an ephemeral item gaining unexpected permanence. We are the chocolate milk carton, yet we also call for the elimination of the conditions that allow the chocolate milk cartons to exist.

Cinema City Continues with Bad New York Geography on November 16!

Saturday, November 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the City Reliquary

$20 General Admission$15 for City Reliquary Members (Join Today!)

The City Reliquary’s Fall event series, Cinema City, continues on Saturday, November 16! Presented by Screen Slate contributor and NYC trivia expert (part of the reigning Panorama Challenge championship team!) Cosmo Bjorkenheim, each Cinema City program will explore New York City’s many and varied depictions in film through clips and discussion. From early Edison experiments to recent blockbusters, studio standards to cult favorites, you’ll see New York in a whole new light!

Our third Cinema City program examines cinematic errors in NYC’s geography. Nothing gets New Yorkers’ goats quite like filmmakers (especially non-New Yorker filmmakers) disrespecting the physical reality of our beloved city, like placing the Guggenheim around the corner from Penn Station or putting waiters in Katz’s Deli. Movies with egregious errors (ahem, Ghostbusters II) have the power to infuriate us proportional to the power of accurate NYC geography (as in the original Ghostbusters) to delight us. Prepare to boo the worst of the worst with us on Saturday, November 16 at 6:30 pm!

Once again, your $20 ticket includes unique program-themed snacks from Forest Dinners’ Lucia Jazayeri and Anna Gelb and a beer from Brooklyn Brewery! Lucia is the Creative Director for Clover Food Lab. Anna is the Director of Events for Outstanding in the Field.

Discover Barren Island with Author Miriam Sicherman on November 21!

On a now-vanished island in Jamaica Bay, a community of new immigrants and African-Americans transformed the city’s waste into industrial products and built a neighborhood from scratch. In her book Brooklyn’s Barren Island: A Forgotten History, author Miriam Sicherman (of Closet Archaeology fame) traces the development of this oft-forgotten community from the 1850s to 1936, when they were evicted to create New York City’s first municipal airport.

We will celebrate the release of Brooklyn’s Barren Island with a talk and book signing by Miriam Sicherman at the City Reliquary Museum on Thursday, November 21 at 7 pm! Join us to learn more about this fascinating fragment of NYC history.

RSVP on Facebook!

Opening Reception for P.S. NYC – October 24!

Installation view of P.S. NYC

Join us on Thursday, October 24 from 6:30-8:30 pm to celebrate our new exhibition P.S. NYC: Artifacts from NYC Public Schools 1850-1970! Marty Raskin, the inspiration for this show and longtime collector of Board of Education memorabilia, will be on hand to discuss his time attending and working in NYC’s public schools and how he has come to amass this wide-ranging archive. Light refreshments will be available. You can RSVP for the reception on Facebook.

Witching Hour Returns to the City Reliquary on October 27!

Sunday, October 27 – 6:30-10 pm – $10 – Advance Tickets Available Now!

On Sunday, October 27, the City Reliquary will host an October art party experience unlike any other! Produced by Jacquelyn Shannon and Omer Gal of Cookie Tongue, the evening will feature music, performance art, puppetry, film, ritual, dance, and more. Expect the eerie and uncanny, haunting images that appear only in the corner of your eye, sounds that linger on the wind.

Friday, October 25 – Cinema City: Not New York!

Cinema City: Not New York – Friday, October 25 – 6:30 pm

Tickets Available Now – $20 General Admission$15 Members (Join Today!)

The City Reliquary’s Fall event series, Cinema City, continues on Friday, October 25! Presented by Screen Slate contributor and NYC trivia expert (part of the reigning Panorama Challenge championship team!) Cosmo Bjorkenheim, each Cinema City program will explore New York City’s many and varied depictions in film through clips and discussion. From early Edison experiments to recent blockbusters, studio standards to cult favorites, you’ll see New York in a whole new light!

Our second Cinema City program, in Halloween-adjacent fashion, collects instances of other cities in unconvincing New York City costumes. Some film productions have cut costs by filming in Toronto or Cincinnati and dressing up the set to resemble our fair city. While often every effort is taken to create a convincing faux New York, sometimes this aspect of design is completely neglected (like the distinctive Vancouver SkyTrain posing as the NYC subway in Jason Takes Manhattan, or Melbourne’s checkered squad cars standing in for NYPD cruisers in Knowing). This program will explore these and other egregious examples of Not New York as well as appearances of places that have become permanent New York City sets, like the neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati which frequently stands in for 1950s NYC.

Your ticket includes a specially designed menu of themed snacks created by Lucia Jazayeri and Anna Gelb, a.k.a. Forest Dinners! Lucia is the Creative Director for Clover Food Lab. Anna is the Director of Events for Outstanding in the Field. You’ll also receive a drink from our friends at Brooklyn Brewery! (Non-alcoholic beverages will also be available.)

The City Reliquary Proudly Presents: P.S. NYC: Artifacts from New York City Public Schools 1850-1970

As students and teachers return to their classrooms this fall, they follow a 215-year-old tradition of free public schools in New York City. Marty Raskin, lifelong New Yorker, proud alumnus of New York City’s public school system, and retired schoolteacher, has spent decades amassing a collection of NYC Board of Education materials reflecting a significant period of this history, now on view at the City Reliquary Museum. 

Mr. Raskin’s interest in collecting NYC public school memorabilia stems from his own fondly-remembered student experience. Attending P.S. 202 in East New York, he recalls, was deeply formative: “The teachers, principals, and youngsters I grew up with made school an essential part of my life, and helped make me who I am. There was an incredible loving, caring atmosphere there. I became friends with some of my teachers and remained friends with them my entire life.” Mr. Raskin began by collecting Parker Duofold fountain pens of the style used by one of his instructors, and his collection grew from there to include school records, class photos, clothing, building fixtures, furniture, and teaching equipment. A dunce chair, used in the 1850s when pupils were taught in one large schoolroom, and a mechanical eraser cleaner, used in the now-bygone days of chalkboards, are two highlights of the collection on display.

This exhibition illustrates the lived experience of generations of NYC public school students: their fashions, tokens of school spirit, classroom decorations and attendance records. It inevitably invites comparison to the visitor’s own school experience, whether in New York City or abroad. Mr. Raskin’s positive schooling experience inspired a devotion to preserving the history of NYC public education. In prompting visitors to reflect on the similarities and differences with their own education, the exhibition asks them also to consider how to provide to all students the supportive atmosphere experienced by Mr. Raskin, and what those students might achieve as a result.

Mr. Raskin gladly accepts donations of NYC public school memorabilia. He can be reached at