News

Patrick O’Hare: New York Landscapes Film Screening Friday, May 17

Shadowed skyline of buildings and trees against a darkening sky at dusk. Two vapor trails cross each other overhead.
Still from Chimera, New York City Landscapes

The City Reliquary Proudly Presents:

Patrick O’Hare: New York Landscapes

Film Screening & Reception: Friday, May 17th, 7 PM

Patrick O’Hare is a photographer and filmmaker who explores the architecture and landscape of the modern world. His films evoke that strange language of merging and omission that allows reality to slip and hints at the invisible. Through the cracks, something startles and vanishes – the shape-shifting riddle of inside and outside.

On May 17, the City Reliquary will screen three of O’Hare’s recent films: Chimera, New York City Landscapes; The Highlands; and The Ecstasy of Ruins. Shot in 2018 in New York City, the Hudson River Valley, and upstate New York respectively, these works explore the natural and manufactured elements of our landscape, blurring the line between permanence and the evanescent to form a more elusive state of being. A discussion with the artist and reception will follow the screening. Chimera, New York City Landscapes will be on continuous view in the City Reliquary’s gallery in the following weeks.

The May 17 screening is free with late night admission to the City Reliquary Museum, a suggested donation of $7.

Patrick O’Hare’s photographs have been exhibited at MoMA PS1, Parsons School of Design, and Rhode Island School of Design. He has screened his films at UnionDocs in Brooklyn, New York and the Unseen Film Festival in Denver, Colorado.


Synopsis:

Chimera, New York Landscapes (2018). HD, Silent, 18:00

A city as hybrid of public and private, modern efficiency and timeless elements, projected through light and weather, refracted and collaged.

The Highlands (2018). HD, Silent, 18:41

A series of Hudson Valley landscapes, the film asks what a river and its environs evoke as an ancient conduit to a present state of mind.

The Ecstasy of Ruins (2018). HD, Silent, 19:27

The quiet geography of upstate New York reveals an architecture of melancholy and a twilight civilization writ large.

Psychic City: The Medium of Mediums

Exhibit logo for Psychic City: The Medium of Mediums with crystal ball

Solve all your problems! Guaranteed results! Explore the history of New York City psychics, mediums, and fortune tellers with this vast archive of handbills and flyers collected by Harley J. Spiller. This exhibition — curated and designed by Parsons students — is a multi-sensory experience that allows visitors to ponder the past and seek their future. One visit will show you the way!

Exhibition on view April 4, 2019 – May 26, 2019

Hand-drawn flyers advertising psychic advice by phone, created by the exhibit designers.
The interactive exhibit invites you to get a reading of your own by phone.

The 12th Annual Panorama Challenge!

Friday, March 1, 2019 — Doors 6 p.m. — Game at 7 p.m.

At Queens Museum – Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

General Admission Tickets: $15 advance / $20 at the door

City Reliquary and Queens Museum Members: $12 advance / $15 at the door

Mark your calendars and break out your Blue Guides: it’s nearly time for the Panorama Challenge! Once again, The City Reliquary, Queens Museum, & The Levys’ Unique New York! have partnered for an exciting evening of trivia with the whole city at your feet. Meet us at the world’s largest architectural scale model – The Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum!

Panorama Challenge quizzes players on all things NYC. MC Gary Dennis reads questions while our judges highlight clues on the Panorama using lasers (well, laser pointers). Players in teams of 10 (or so) use those clues (and musical hints!) to determine the correct answer.

Quizmaster Jonathan Turer returns for his eighth year with another batch of new questions. This year, categories may include: Signs in Woodhaven**, Revolutionary NYC, Rock of Ages (geology), Tunnel Time, and Old Time Religion (notable houses of worship). (Start building your teams accordingly!) The ever-popular Halftime Quiz will also return!

Teams may organize as Panorama Challengers or Panorama Pros. Challengers are first‐timers or those who have not dedicated their lives to the study of NYC. Their questions will be easier!  Pros are returning contestants and die‐hard students of our city’s hidden corners. They answer twice as many questions per round (60 total!) Friendly tour guides from The Levys’ Unique New York! will help match contestants to teams.

The winning Pro team will join the ranks of legendary past winners when its name is etched on the Panorama Challenge Trophy housed at the Queens Museum!

Our judges this year include author, urban explorer, and abandoned observation deck aficionado Moses Gates, and Dean of New York City tour guides Lee Gelber, with others soon to be announced!

Sandwiches, snacks, and beverages will be available for purchase. Beer will be available for purchase by donation, lovingly provided by our friends at Brooklyn Brewery. Proceeds from admission and concessions support The City Reliquary Museum and Queens Museum.

A free shuttle, generously provided by DaVinci Limo & Tours, will travel between the Queens Museum and under the Mets‐Willets Point 7 stop from 5:30-7 pm and 9-10 pm.

**An earlier version of this post listed this category incorrectly (“Signs of Elmhurst”).

New Community Collection: Jennifer Rice’s Vintage Confetti

Now On View:
Vintage Confetti
Through Winter 2019

The City Reliquary is proud to present the vintage confetti and confetti-related ephemera collection of Jennifer Rice. She was first inspired to start collecting when she learned that workers renovating NYC’s famed Rainbow Room found confetti from the 1940s beneath the rotating dance floor. Her collection includes packaged confetti from all over the world and items depicting confetti’s history, manufacture, cultural significance, and influence in design and branding.

Modern confetti has its roots in ancient civilizations and the act of throwing plant-based materials (i.e. seeds, nuts, twigs) to celebrate life, death, unions, or sacrificial offerings. The word ‘confetti‘ hails from the Latin conficere meaning “to prepare or to make ready.” This evolved to the French confit or confiture translating as preserved meats and fruits. After the colonization of the Americas these terms came to be more closely associated with preserving in sugar eventually evolving into 18th century Italian confetti (little sweets) or the English confectionary.
In 18th century France and Italy, Carnevale, an indulgent celebration before the start of Lent, confetti in the form of candied fruits and nuts were thrown. As sugar was a luxury item at the time, by the 1830s plaster of Paris replaced candied sweets. Written accounts and illustrations from the time, as pictured on postcards in this collection, show the need for masks also known as par a bonbons to protect the face especially during batailles de confetticonfetti battles.
Wearing masks to avoid the harm of thrown candied sweets and plaster evolved to non-harmful variations of confetti. In 1875 Italy, Enrico Mangili used the refuse of paper holes punched in paper to aid hatching silkworms to introduce the first variation of paper confetti. By 1892, plaster confetti was banned in Paris and in 1894 French poster artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec was commissioned by London paper manufacturer J. E. Bella to advertise their “injury-free” paper confetti.
Meanwhile, in New York City, confetti in the form of candy and paper was used throughout the late 19th century, but a unique to New York variation of confetti was first used in 1886 during a parade to celebrate the dedication of the Statue of Liberty. Ticker tape, a 1 inch wide piece of paper that recorded stock quotes, came to be known for its dramatic effect when dropped from a height. Ticker tape parades were so prevalent during the first half of the 20th century and so tied to New York’s cultural identity that the Alliance for New York embedded granite markers commemorating each significant parade along the historic stretch of Broadway known as the “Canyon of Heroes.” Another NYC confetti tradition continues today with the Times Square ball drop confetti shower at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Making A Museum: Behind the Scenes at the City Reliquary

The City Reliquary is taking visitors inside our processes of acquisition, research, and preservation of our collection. As we redesign our permanent collection and bring out some of our rarely exhibited holdings, we’re also adding new objects, studying their history, and creating new informative text panels. Our exhibition hall has become a workshop and creative laboratory as well as a display space, and every week we’ll be working on new additions. We invite you to journey with us as we learn new stories of the city and craft ways to share them.

You can find our updates and research on our blog tagged “making a museum“!

A Seltzer Works Tour – Saturday, December 15!

In the 1920s and 30s, Brooklyn was home to more than 100 seltzer bottlers and distributors. Customers seeking the digestive health benefits of filtered, carbonated New York City water could get it delivered to their homes in hand-blown glass bottles. The City Reliquary’s permanent collection includes a number of these vintage bottles, etched with logos from companies based throughout the borough – from A&M to Windy’s, Simon Finkelstein to Standard Carbonic.

We’re bringing our seltzer bottle collection to life with a special tour of the last seltzer bottler in Brooklyn – Gomberg Seltzer Works in Canarsie,, a.k.a. the Brooklyn Seltzer Boys. They do it all the old-fashioned way, from carbonation and filling each bottle by

hand, to home delivery of vintage siphon bottles in wooden crates. Attendees will learn how seltzer is made and about the delivery business past and present, concluding with a taste of Brooklyn’s iconic seltzer-based treat, the egg cream. (Made with Brooklyn’s own Fox’s syrup, naturally!)

Our 11 a.m. seltzer works tour is now SOLD OUT! But we’ve just added a second tour on December 15, 2018, at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are available now for our second tour!  Space is very limited, so don’t wait to sign up! City Reliquary Members receive discounts on all our tours and events. Join today for special access to tours inspired by the Museum’s permanent collection of artifacts throughout 2019!

The Witching Hour Approaches!

On Saturday, October 20, the City Reliquary hosts the Witching Hour, a night of live music, theater, film, ritual, puppetry, and more! The performing coven includes: art-folk band Cookie Tongue, opera singer and violinist Tribal Baroque, transspecies drag striptease by Nadahada, Musically Advanced Kinetic Systems (MAKS), experimental film by Jess Lynch, puppetry by Heaven Limousine, theater by Half Ghost Human Collective, tarot readings, and much more. You’ll want to experience the Witching Hour for yourself.

October 20 at the City Reliquary – 7-10 p.m. – $10 tickets available here

City Reliquary Presents: Empire Skate Night at Hyde Park

Advance Tickets Available – Click Here!

Advance Tickets Available – Click Here!

A Very Special Event!

10:30 pm Saturday, November 3 to 3 am Sunday, November 4

 

The City Reliquary Museum’s popular current exhibition, Empire Skate: The Birthplace of Roller Disco, is extending its time on the floor! Empire Skate will be on view at the Reliquary through November 25, 2018. To celebrate this extended run, and in homage to Empire’s legendary roller disco parties, the Reliquary has organized a late-night skate at Hyde Park Roller Magic. Join us at 10:30 pm on Saturday, November 3 for a sneak preview of the skating documentary United Skates followed by skating til the early morning hours.

 

United Skates, a 2018 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award winner, reveals close-knit skating communities across the country and their fights to save local rinks from closure and to preserve these hubs of African-American culture. Co-director Tina Brown and documentary participant Reggie Brown will screen clips and discuss the film. Then, Empire legends DJ Big Bob – a keystone of the Empire sound for almost 2 decades – and DJ Q spin soul, disco, and R&B to get the Brooklyn bounce going!

 

Advance tickets are on sale now for $25 ($22 for Reliquary members) and include round-trip bus transportation from Brooklyn to Hyde Park Roller Magic. The bus will depart at 8:00 p.m. from the City Reliquary, 370 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg. Hyde Park Roller Magic is located at 4178 Albany Post Rd. in Hyde Park. Tickets without transportation are $15 ($12 for Reliquary members). Deadline for purchase of tickets with transportation included is October 31.

 

Empire Skate: The Birthplace of Roller Disco brings the world of the Crown Heights Empire Roller Skating Center to life, exploring its role as a national icon and a focal point of the African-American community in Brooklyn. Converted from the old Ebbets Field parking garage, Empire was famous as the birthplace of roller disco, a skate craze that swept the nation in the 70s and 80s. Locally it was known as a place where New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds could come together; where grandparents showed grandchildren their favorite moves, and former gang members and Hasidic Jews skated side by side. Through the examined histories of and around Empire, the show reveals connections between roller skating and larger narratives of race, class, and urbanization in America. Beyond the roller disco movement, the exhibit traces the history of roller skating in the United States, highlighting the diversity of rinks around the country and the unique history of skating in New York City, which was home to over 20 rinks at its skating peak.

Join Us on the Southside!

Join us this Saturday, October 6, at 1:00 p.m. for a walking tour of South Williamsburg! Our guide will be Adrienne Onofri, author of Walking Brooklyn.

Highlights of the route include places associated with significant eras in Williamsburg’s history and its industrial and brewing heritage, as well as landmark civic, commercial, and religious buildings. The tour will last approximately two hours and end off-site, near the Williamsburg Bridge.

Miss Subways 2018: September 27th!

Purchase Tickets!

$20 general / $15 Reliquary Members

On Thursday, September 27 at 7 PM, the 2018 Miss Subways Pageant returns at Littlefield, 635 Sackett Street in Brooklyn. You might recall that last year we revived this quaint but outdated spectacle and gave it a modern spin. We had so much fun that we’re making it an annual event!

With a wink and a nod to the Miss Subways pageants held in NYC between 1941 and 1976, this event is a call to arms for advocates and lovers of the NYC underground. It’s been another roller coaster year for the NYC subway.  Some good – Fair Fares! and the “Fast Forward” modernization plan – but as we all know: the subway is still a mess, the fixes still need funding, and we have to keep up the pressure.

In a night of performances spanning the classy, the trashy, the weird, and the whimsical, contestants will demonstrate their devotion to their subway line of choice. But only one will take home the transit tiara!

 

Tickets are on sale now. $20 general admission, $15 for museum members. All proceeds benefit The City Reliquary and the Riders Alliance.