Shea Stadium Memorabilia from The Rashbaum Collection


On view from October 8 to November 29, 2015

The objects and images in this front-room display at The City Reliquary offer a tangible history of the New York Mets and of Shea Stadium, the team’s former home from 1964 until its demolition in 2008. Shea was also home to the New York Jets until 1983 and hosted major events such as the first major stadium concert–The Beatles in 1965–and Pope John Paul II during his visit to the US in 1979.

Shea Stadium was the site of the Mets’ World Series wins in 1969 and 1986, but the fragments displayed here radiate the energy of every past victory and defeat that unfolded under the eyes of loyal fans. Items such as the home bullpen bench or a base from the last season played at Shea—still showing dust from the field—serve as relics and repositories of memory for this bygone location. They are especially poignant at this moment in Mets history, as the team continues to move ever closer to the 2015 World Series.

Be sure to join us for our Halloween party/World Series game 4 screening!


Located at 370 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, The City Reliquary Museum & Civic Organization is a certified 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization committed to serving the people of New York City—natives, newcomers, and passersby. Originally established as a window display in 2002 at the corner of Grand and Havemeyer Streets, it moved into its present location in 2006. The Reliquary is committed to planning and hosting public events that provide neighbors and visitors with a place to meet, exchange ideas, and celebrate the diversity of our community.

Museum Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 12pm – 6pm. Admission: $5/ $4 for students and educators. For general information, please visit the Museum’s website, call 718-R-U-CIVIC, or email

BK Magazine write-up for Mazel Tough!



Check out the coverage we got for Mazel Tough in Brooklyn Magazine!

Bike Fetish Day in BK Paper!!


The Brooklyn Paper came to BFD and has great things to say!

Greetings From The City of New York

A New Show in the Back Room Of the City Reliquary!
February 15th – April 28th 2013

Opening Reception Friday Feb 15th
6-9pm, FREE! Donation appreciated.
At the City Reliquary, 370 Metropolitan Avenue
Brooklyn Beer Available for donation

Wish you were here? You dont have to wish, you can simply stroll into the back-room of Brooklyn’s Community Museum, the City Reliquary, to envision a picturesque time-gone-by! Starting Friday, February 15th, we are proud to present a plethora of picture postcards from the collection of Lon Black, each one reversing the clock to the turn of the 20th century.

The subject of Greetings From The City of New York is postcards with views of New York City from the Undivided Back Era.

As soon as they were invented, picture postcards became an extraordinarily popular form of communication. They were quickly delivered by an efficient postal service and city dwellers had multiple mail deliveries (up to 9 separate trips per day in Manhattan!) six days a week (never on Sundays.) Without the ubiquity of telephones, postcards were the next best thing.

But there was a bonus benefit to communicating by postcard: the sender would be providing the receipient with a picture that they would cherish and add to their postcard collection. Such a lucky relative or friend would probably display their collection in postcard albums specially designed and manufactured to display these 3-1/2 by 5-1/2 inch cards. It was a picture postcard cottage industry.

In these early postcard years, the USPS wouldn’t deliver any cards with ANY information on the verso side (reserved for the recipient’s info) other than the name and address. Therefore, many messages were craftily composed on the front side (the image side.) Postcard publishers usually left some white space for nascent authors to do this. But these scribbling Dostoyevskys might also write in any light-colored area of the image; in the sky, for instance.

On March 1, 1907, the United States Post Office cut the public some slack and began allowing postcard writers to write on the back. Thus began the Divided Back Era, so named because a vertical line was printed down the center of the verso (back) of each card. So it continues today.

The exhibit is curated by Lon Black whose interest in postcards began in his early teens. All the postcards featured in the exhibit are from his personal collection. He started collecting New York City views after moving here 32 years ago. Always looking for the unusual or rare postcard, his focus was acquiring images he had never seen. But in the past several years, he has paid more attention to the words or pictures that people wrote on the images of the undivided back cards.

Selected for this show are New York City postcards with messages that refer to the picture and/or express a sentiment about the City. Some are humorous. Some are evocative. The marriage of the message and picture can animate the postcards with personality. Some can inspire the imagination and elicit an emotional charge. They are nothing less than a ticket to a time traveling experience.

“Photos: A Rite of Passage” now on view

As featured in The New York Times!

The City Reliquary’s new installation features pictures taken by Al Criscillo, an immigrant from Naples who an a barbershop on Metropolitan Avenue for 54 years. Starting in the 1960s, Mr. Criscillo would take photos of boys getting their very first haircuts.

“All these people had their own lives, own issues, problems, and they kept coming for this rite of passage in waves, decade after decade,” said David Herman, director of the Reliquary and a former client of Mr. Criscillo’s who curated the show.

On view during the Reliquary’s regular hours.

Fire Sale Playing Cards


FIRE SALE: New York City Firefighter Date-Auction

Fire Sale

The City Reliquary Presents:
FIRE SALE: New York City Firefighter Date-Auction
One HOT Benefit!
February 18th 2010, 6 – 10pm

WILLIAMSBURGH, BROOKLYN: The horns are blaring, the people are cheering, and a handful of New York City Firemen are in the heat . . . of the spotlight for the City Reliquary’s upcoming benefit. You read that right – the City Reliquary, home of such salacious artifacts as vintage subway tokens and World’s Fair Memorabilia – are having a Date Auction. But not just any Date Auction – a FIRE SALE: New York City Firefighter Date-Auction; One HOT Benefit! – a real life opportunity to take one of New York’s Bravest out on the town for a night of romance and adventure. Who knows – they might let you taste their three-alarm chili! Firefighters from Williamsburgh’s 35 Batalion and beyond will be there for your perusal . . .

The City Reliquary’s Firefighter Date-Auction; One HOT Benefit also coincides with our current exhibit – Company Journals of the Southside Firehouse, curated by Firefighter Patty D’Emic of Hook and Ladder 104.

Because this event is simply too hot for our community museum, the Date Auction will take place at the Knitting Factory, at 361 Metropolitan Avenue, immediately across from The City Reliquary. Doors open at 6 and the Auction begins at 7. All proceeds from the door will go to help the City Reliquary raise direly needed operational expenses. Help us reach our seasonal goal of $20,000 by treating yourself to a hot date while you keep YOUR community museum from extinction.

FIRE SALE: New York City Firefighter Date-Auction; One HOT Benefit!
February 18th 2010, 6-10pm Doors open at 6, event begins at 7:30pm.
Admission: $20 and up, with all proceeds going to the City Reliquary
Firefighters: Bring ID for drink specials!

A Personal Appeal from our Founder, Dave Herman

Dear friends and supporters,

With great excitement we have just opened a new 3-month long exhibition at the City Reliquary Museum called, “Company Journals of the Southside Firehouse” curated by Firefighter Pat D’Emic of Hook & Ladder Company 104 here in Williamsburgh. This show uses the daily log book entries of our local FDNY firehouse to explain a rich history of the fire service in north Brooklyn. Beautifully handwritten entries, dating back to 1903, detail notorious fires such as the American Sugar Refinery Fire (now known as the Domino Sugar Factory), and the infamous Standard Oil Company Fire where a Chief of the 35 Battalion in Williamsburgh made the supreme sacrifice. We have also unveiled a new Community Collections window featuring the Unicorn Collection of Amanda B. Friedman which will be on display through March.

However, it is with deep regret that we must also announce that these openings may very well mark a final chapter for the City Reliquary Museum.

As many of you know, since its conception in 2002, exhibits like these at the City Reliquary have been made possible through the grass-roots efforts and fundraising of our all-volunteer staff. We have held many benefit events, membership campaigns, and even the occasional bake sale. You may also have heard of two generous grants amounting to $33,000 in 2008 and 2009 which, to this date, we still have been unable to collect. All of these ongoing efforts have left us limping in a sense, from one month to the next, struggling to keep up with the increasing demands of a non-profit storefront museum; a monthly rent of $2,500, ever-mounting bills to cover electricity, phone/internet, insurance, and more. For the four years since opening our public museum, we have managed to tread water just enough to pay the rent from one month to the next. However, we have finally come to the point when this is no longer possible.

We believe we can achieve the level of support we need to truly turn this operation into the flourishing and self-supporting museum it deserves to be. To do this, we have determined that we need to raise $60,000 during the 2010 year. To make sure this is at all possible, we have set a preliminary goal of $20,000 by March 31st in order to keep the museum open.

You can help! So can your roommates, moms, dads, school children, and grandparents! Donating is easy: click on “DONATE NOW!” for an easy Google Check-Out one-step process.

This is a scary yet decisive turning point when we must either increase our capacity to properly sustain the museum, or perhaps more realistically, close our doors for good. To assure that the continued support of our loyal volunteers and donors does not go unanswered, our first goal came as more of a realization. The realization that we volunteers alone, can no longer live up to the demands of our growing museum without the assistance of a professional, paid museum administrator. At a time when raising the monthly rent has become increasingly difficult, this may seem rather overzealous. But in fact, one cannot be achieved with out the other. Our most immediate goal of $20,000 is one that will help us assure that we can afford a new part-time salaried position.

In addition, we have a number of exciting events planned for the coming months. Our new neighbors, The Knitting Factory, have pledged to host two fundraising events to help support us:

Thursday, February 18th 2010 – FIRE SALE: NYC Firefighter Date Auction, Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM, Tickets are $20 and available at the door or on the Knitting Factory website:

Wednesday, March 17th 2010 – St. Patrick’s Day Benefit Concert for the City Reliquary, Doors 6:00PM/Show 7:30 PM, Tickets are $20, Bands will include: Drink Me, Brian Dewan, Tiagaa!, Frankenpine, Lucky Chops Brass Band and more.

Here are more ways that YOU can help: Attend our awesome events!, share our calendar of benefit-events with friends, sign up to volunteer, monitor our progress toward our goals, and most importantly become a member or renew your expired membership by making a donation today

The City Reliquary is truly a museum “For-the-People, Not-for-Profit”. As an official 501c3 registered charity, all donations are tax-deductible and directly support our educational programs. As it says on our door, we are “Your Community Museum” and we truly need YOUR help to survive. THERE IS STILL HOPE! Thank you for taking a moment to consider the importance the City Reliquary plays in your life and how beneficial your support is to our existence at this critical turning point.

Always civic,
Dave Herman
City Reliquary
Museum & Civic Organization

The Brooklyn Play

Part of The City Reliquary’s Third Thursday monthly get-together.
Thursday, October 15th — 7 PM – TOMORROW!

$5 Donations gratefully appreciated
Created by Chloë Bass, Drayton Hiers, Jonah Levy, Natalya Krimgold, & Gabriel Willow
Technical Direction by Lee Mandell

An interactive, multimedia answer to the complicated question “What is Brooklyn? How can it be represented on stage, in an hour or less?”

5/16 The Candela Structures: A New York City History Mystery Opens

postcard.jpg.jpeg Have you seen these prefab structures? Aren’t they cool? They’re located on the Flushing Bay Promenade in Queens, a few hundred yards from the Mets’ new stadium. Millions of people have seen them over the past 45 years, but almost nobody knows anything about them.
The Candela Structures: A New York City History Mystery, a new exhibition at the City Reliquary, tells the story of these underappreciated fiberglass formations and the surprising culture of mystery and misinformation surrounding them, from their origins as exhibit spaces during the 1964 World’s Fair to their current status as neglected but enduring landmarks on the Queens waterfront.
The exhibit has been produced by journalist Paul Lukas and architect Kirsten Hively, who developed a crush on the Candela Structures last year and decided to investigate their backstory. What began as a quick research project turned into an eight-month odyssey of dead ends, wrong turns, and architectural obsession. The resulting exhibit should give these underrated structures the attention they’ve long deserved.
The exhibit will kick off with an opening reception on May 16th, 7pm, at the City Reliquary. Arts and crafts materials will be provided, so guests can sculpt their own Candela Structures, and the Reliquary will also provide “Save the Candelas” letters and envelopes, so guests can petition city officials to provide the Candelas with sorely needed repairs. Beer and other refreshments will be provided, and DJ Stacher will kick out the jams with mid-1960s pop-garage, psychedelia and Shea Stadium live concert hits.
The Candela Structures: A New York City History Mystery will remain on view at the Reliquary through June 28th.