Press Releases

Miss Subways 2024

Friday, May 31, 2024, 7-11 pm (8 pm showtime)

Coney Island USA Sideshows by the Seashore Theater (1208 Surf Ave, Brooklyn)

Tickets: $30 General/$25 City Reliquary members. Buy Now!

The City Reliquary will present the 2024 Miss Subways spectacle on Friday, May 31. We’re once again working with our friends at Coney Island USA, NYC’s historic nexus of the weird and whimsical. Join us at the Sideshows by the Seashore Theater (1208 Surf Avenue). Tickets are on sale now! ($30 general, $25 for City Reliquary members).

A diverse lineup of contestants will represent their subway line of choice for a panel of local celebrity judges in Costume, Talent, and Interview categories.

The winner will receive the transit tiara, the subway sash, and the title of Miss Subways 2024. (Photo credit: Matt Josephson @matty2jay)

This year’s event will also celebrate the 120th birthday of the New York City subway system!


The winner will be crowned by Miss Subways 2023, Harmony Hardcore (shown here at the 2023 Brooklyn Public Library’s People’s Ball!) (Photo credit: Scott Lynch @scoboco)

The 2024 Miss Subways Contestants

  • Christine Stoddard (she/her), writer, artist, filmmaker, and one of Brooklyn Magazine’s 50 Most Fascinating People in 2023. Representing the C train.
  • Sally Ann Hall (she/her), award-winning standup comedian and cabaret singer. Representing the M.
  • Julia Schemmer (she/her), puppeteer and producer/production assistant. Credits include Broadway, television, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Representing the J train.
  • Dani Riedel, author, cosplayer, comedian, and cosplaying comedian representing the A/C/E.
  • Kandi Spindler (she/her), femme lesbian public defender who moonlights as an artist. Representing the 2.
  • MeanLadyTiff (she/her), business socialite representing the R train.
  • Kate Zibluk (she/they), bird, person, performer, and aspiring Funeral Director. Representing the M.
  • Queerly Femmetastic (she/her/ma’am), Brooklyn-bred bombshell inspired by Black shake-dancers, strippers, and hoochie-coochie girls across generations. Representing the A train.

The Master of Ceremonies

Presiding over this year’s subway-themed shenanigans is performer and director Tom Meglio. Tom is the co-writer and host of the musical-sketch-comedy show Ze Follies Dorée!, which recently completed its residency at The Brooklyn Comedy Collective. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, 54 Below, Theatre 555, and the Laurie Beechman Theatre. His most recent project as a director, Little Miss Ransom by Julia Randall, just completed a sold-out run and extension at Adult Film theater in Bushwick. @tommeglio @zefolliesdoree

The Celebrity Judges

This year’s Miss Subways judges come from the worlds of performance, comedy, advocacy, journalism, and local politics. They’re the artists who help make and keep NYC a cultural hotspot, our local elected officials and transit activists who fight for a fairer system, and the voice of our daily commute.

Aurora North, Miss Coney Island 2024

Aurora North is a Circus/Sideshow Performer and Miss Coney Island 2024. Major performance highlights include the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, Jazz at Lincoln Center, PULP at Radio City Music Hall, and Michael Clark’s residency at Whitney Museum of American Art. Together with her wife as The Brides, she is regularly produced at The Box NYC, House of YES, and Coney Island USA. The two own BODYHOO Studios, a Pilates and Yoga studio in Ridgewood, and co-direct Kinetic Cabaret Productions. @aurora_north

Bernie Wagenblast, Transportation Icon

Please stand away from the platform edge! Bernie Wagenblast’s iconic voiceover work for the Department of Transportation and Port Authority has been part of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers’ daily commute for years. Bernie transitioned in January 2023, and her story has since been featured in several media outlets. She now edits several transportation e-publications and hosts podcasts for Transportation Radio and Cranford Radio. @cranford_radio

Derrick Holmes, Riders Alliance

Derrick Holmes is the Digital Strategist for Riders Alliance, a nonprofit organization that fights for reliable, affordable, world-class public transit to build a more just and sustainable New York. Derrick aims to help improve access to mobility and opportunity for millions of New Yorkers and ensure that New York continues to set the most progressive example for transit agencies around the country and the world. @ridersalliance (IG/FB), @helplessdelta (X)

Lisa Levy, Miss Subways 2017

Lisa Levy is a comedian, conceptual artist, and Miss Subways 2017 (the first postmenopausal Miss Subways!). Her performance work has been featured in publications such as the New York Times and The London Times. Her visual art has been exhibited at The New Museum, The Bronx Museum, SPRING/BREAK Art Fair, The Pulse Art Fair, and The Brooklyn Academy of Music. She hosts a weekly show on Radio Free Brooklyn, Dr. Lisa Gives a Sh*t, where she conducts funny, emotionally revealing “psychotherapy sessions” with a range of creative guests. @misssubways2017 @drlisalevysp

Emily Gallagher, NYS Assemblyperson

Emily Gallagher represents District 50 (Greenpoint and Williamsburg) in the New York State Assembly. A self-described socialist who previously served on Brooklyn Community Board 1, Emily was elected in 2020 on a platform of environmental sustainability, housing justice, and transit improvement. Since taking office, Emily has fought to address New York’s deep inequality and dire housing crisis while accelerating the state’s transition to renewable energy. As a member of the Assembly Transportation Committee, Emily is a leader on local and statewide initiatives to make streets safer for all users of the road. @emilyassembly

Don’t miss the crowning of this year’s metro monarch! See you at the seashore!

We’re Seeking Miss Subways 2024!

Miss Subways 2024
Friday, May 31, 2024, 7-11 PM
Coney Island USA Sideshows by the Seashore Theater (1208 Surf Ave)

We’re looking for our next Miss Subways!

The City Reliquary invites applications to compete in its 2024 Miss Subways event on Friday, May 31, 7:00-11:00 pm. We’re thrilled to partner with Coney Island USA once again at that historic nexus of the weird and whimsical, Coney Island USA’s Sideshows by the Seashore Theater.

This year we’ll also be wishing the New York City subway system a happy 120th birthday!

Are YOU Miss Subways 2024?

This year, contestants will compete in THREE CATEGORIES evaluated according to creativity, originality, and skill:

  • Costume (new for 2024!)
  • Talent
  • Interview

Application open now! Submit by 11:59 pm on Tuesday, May 7, to be considered.

Last year’s performances included a dance by a mad scientist with Doc Ock arms, a dizzying hula hoop routine dedicated to the 7 train, and a subway-inspired rendition of “What I Did For Love” from A Chorus Line. Read more about the 2023 City Reliquary Miss Subways event from Brooklyn Magazine. Previous Miss Subways events received coverage from Atlas Obscura and The New York Times, among other outlets.

About Miss Subways

The City Reliquary Miss Subways updates the historic “Miss Subways” beauty contest held in New York City from 1941 to 1976 (and resurrected once by the MTA in 2004) for the 21st century. The City Reliquary event expands on the progressive history of Miss Subways as the first racially integrated beauty competition and invites contestants of all gender identities, body types, and ages 18+ to apply. The first City Reliquary Miss Subways was presented in 2017.

Contestants representing their subway line of choice compete for the prized title of Miss Subways and the transit tiara. A panel of local celebrity judges will evaluate their costumes, their answers to subway-themed questions and their talent show performance to determine who will represent NYC straphangers as the next Miss Subways!

Miss Subways 2017 Lisa Levy. Photo by Brian Zak for the New York Post.

The winner will join an illustrious lineup. Past winners of the City Reliquary Miss Subways are artist and comedian Lisa Levy (Miss Subways 2017), urban planner Parker MacLure (Miss Subways 2018), musician and director Dylan Mars Greenberg (Miss Subways 2019), and marketing pro by day/costumer and performer by night Harmony Hardcore (Miss Subways 2023–the first since the pandemic). 

Event details for 2024, including the celebrity judge panel, coming soon!

About Coney Island USA

Coney Island USA exists to defend the honor of American popular culture through innovative exhibitions and performances. Presenting and producing exciting new works, our approach is rooted in mass culture and the traditions of P.T. Barnum, dime museums, burlesque, circus sideshows, vaudeville, and Coney Island itself. Preserving and championing a set of uniquely American visual and performing art forms, we seek to create an international forum for cultural preservation and discourse, and where Coney Island represents these impulses, we strive to make it once again a center for live art and entrepreneurial spirit. Learn more at  https://www.coneyisland.com/. Follow on Instagram at @coney.island.usa and on Facebook at @coneyislandusa.

April 28: Tour of Dead Horse Bay (Member Exclusive)

Tour of Dead Horse Bay, Brooklyn
April 28, 2018, 11am–3pm
Admission (Members only) $25
Purchase tickets here (members: please log into artful.ly to purchase tickets)
Become a member today!
RSVP on Facebook

As a final event in conjunction with NYC Trash! Past, Present, and Future, the City Reliquary will be hosting a Member-Exclusive tour of Brooklyn’s Dead Horse Bay. Once a horse-rendering plant (hence it’s name) and, later, used as a New York landfill, the Bay offers a rich natural and cultural history. The detritus of generations can be found on its shores where, unlike most other places in New York, layers of the past are not erased.

Tour size will be limited to 22 people. Buy your tickets now!


Speaker:

Robin Nagle—author of Picking Up, anthropologist-in-residence for New York City’s Department of Sanitation, and professor of anthropology and environmental studies at New York University—will discuss the history of Dead Horse Bay and its significance in New York’s trash history.


Schedule:

11am: Meet at The City Reliquary; the museum will open one hour early so that tour attendees will be able to experience the NYC Trash! exhibit before it closes.

12pm: Passenger van to Dead Horse Bay.

1pm: Welcome and talk from Robin Nagle, anthropologist-in-residence for New York City’s Department of Sanitation.

1:45pm: Low tide. Attendees are invited to explore Dead Horse Bay on their own.

2:30pm: Passenger van back to the City Reliquary; return by 3pm.

This is a member-exclusive event. Become a member today to attend this event, and other great programming.

Be a part of the our exhibition, “NYC Trash!: Past, Present, & Future”!

Jacob A. Riis, "Italian Home Under a Dump," ca. 1890. Museum of the City of New York (90.13.1.208)

Jacob A. Riis, “Italian Home Under a Dump,” ca. 1890. Museum of the City of New York (90.13.1.208)

CALL FOR EXHIBITORS:
NYC Trash! Past, Present, & Future

The City Reliquary invites proposals for its upcoming exhibition, NYC Trash! Past, Present, & Future, which will open in October 2017 and run through April 2018. From Jacob A. Riis’s images of 19th-century squalor to plans for waste management in the 21st century and beyond, this show will explore the diverse ways that New Yorkers relate to and deal with their trash.

Waste management experts, collectors of NYC Department of Sanitation ephemera, enthusiasts of reuse/recycling, and anyone invested in the past, present, or future of trash in New York City are encouraged to submit their ideas. Contact [email protected] with your name, phone number, and a brief description of your exhibit idea including any AV and/or size & space requirements.

The curators are particularly interested in contributions that address projects related to reuse and recycling and how the city must deal with its waste in the future, but all proposals will be considered. The deadline for submissions is August 14, 2017.

July 27: Healix Collective presents “Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth”

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Healix Collective returns to our backyard on Thursday, July 27th for ALICE WALKER: BEAUTY IN TRUTH, the second installment in their summer screening series. There will be a special reading by NYC poet Camonghne Felix before the film.

Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth is a feature documentary film which tells the compelling story of an extraordinary woman’s journey from her birth in a paper-thin shack in cotton fields of Putnam County, Georgia to her recognition as a key writer of the 20th Century.

Alice Walker made history as the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her groundbreaking novel, The Color Purple, which has been transformed from a novel, to a Hollywood movie and latterly to a successful Broadway musical. This universal story of triumph against all odds is not that different from Walker’s own story.

Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth offers audiences a penetrating look at the life and art of an artist, a self-confessed renegade and human rights activist. In 2010, Yoko Ono honored Walker with the LennonOno Peace Award, for her ongoing humanitarian work.

Doors @  7, film starts at sundown
$5 – $10 suggested donation | All proceeds support The City Reliquary
Beverages available by suggested donation, with beer from Brooklyn Brewery. 

Visit www.healixcollective.com for more!

July 1: Opening Reception for “The United States: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”

 

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New extended date!
The United States: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

June 29 – August 20, 2017  Sept. 24, 2017
Opening reception: Saturday, July 1 @ 7 PM
Admission: $5


The City Reliquary proudly presents, in partnership with the New York Chapter of the SS United States Conservancy
The United States: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. This exhibition celebrates the extraordinary career of the luxury liner known as “America’s Flagship” and her relationship with the City of New York. The show will run from June 29th to September 24, 2017.

The opening event at The City Reliquary on Saturday, July 1 at 7 PM will commemorate the 65th Anniversary of SS United States’ famous record-breaking Maiden Voyage. There will be an 8 PM screening of the film Colossus On The River (1965; Runtime: 15 min.). Beverages available by suggested donation, with beer courtesy of The Brooklyn Brewery and a specialty cocktail courtesy of Montauk Rum.

This show will trace the life of the ship, from young speed queen and popular cover girl to aging star of yesteryear and nearly forgotten “has-been,” and finally–with your help–to one of the great comeback stories in U.S. history.


About the SS United States:

SaveTheUnitedStatesCopyright2cropped_72dpi_PStipUpon its completion in 1952, the SS United States immediately won the Blue Riband for setting a new Transatlantic speed record–a record that remains unbeaten.
In her heyday, the ship welcomed celebrities from the golden age of Hollywood, such as Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Mahalia Jackson, Salvador Dalí, Grace Kelly, and Joan Crawford. During the 1964 New York World’s Fair, it was touted as the fastest and most luxurious way to travel to Europe.
With the advent of jet technology, however, overseas travel began to look less exciting and became less profitable. In 1969, the SS United was abruptly withdrawn from service while docked in Newport News, Virginia for annual maintenance. She was moved to South Philadelphia in 1996 where she remains today.

The SS United States Conservancy purchased the ship outright in February 2011. They hope to find a new purpose for the fastest, finest, and largest ocean liner ever to be built in the United States.

Want to get in touch with the SS United States Conservancy’s New York Chapter? Drop them a line at [email protected]

June 24: Bicycle Fetish Day 2017

BFD card

This year Bicycle Fetish Day becomes a teenager! We’re gearing up for our 13th annual family-friendly block party for bikes. Meet us on Havemeyer St. between Hope & Grand Streets in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn on Saturday, June 24, from 12 noon to 6 PM. Free and open to the public!  

Join us at our family-friendly event to celebrate NYC diversity and bicycles. Love your Bicycle? Bring your two-wheeled pride and joy and show it off. You could win a trophy, prizes, and a year of bragging rights!

#bicyclefetishday

This year’s street party for two-wheel transportation includes:

  • Classic Bicycles, Mutant Bicycles, Handmade Bicycles, unicycles, vintage BMX, Cargo Bikes, and more from clubs, nerds, & enthusiasts devoted to the bicycle!
  • Badass bike skills on display all day!
  • Music to get you dancing in the street!
  • An Alley Cat/Fun Ride!

and

BIKE COMPETITIONS!

Judging starts at 2 PM. Categories include:

2:00 – Best Commuter Bike
2:30 – Best Vintage Bike
3:00 – Best Small-Wheel Bike
3:30 – Cargo Bike
4:00 – Best Handmade Bike
4:30 – Ugliest Bike
5:00 – Kids Bikes
&
**5:30 – Best In Show**

See you on the street!


About The City Reliquary Museum:

The City Reliquary Museum & Civic Organization preserves the everyday artifacts that connect visitors to the past and present of New York City. It was originally established in 2002 as an apartment window display at the corner of Grand and Havemeyer Streets in Williamsburgh. It relocated to 370 Metropolitan Avenue in 2006. The Reliquary also hosts public events that invite neighbors and visitors to meet, exchange ideas, and celebrate the diversity of our city.

Location: 370 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11211; Hours: Thursday–Sunday, 12pm–6pm. Admission: $5 general; $4 educators/college students/seniors; Free to employees of all museums foreign & domestic and children 12 & under; Website: cityreliquary.org; Phone: (718) 782-4842; Email: [email protected]

June 3: Opening Reception for Closet Archaeology: An Accidental Time Capsule

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Saturday, June 3 @ 2 PM
Admission: $5

In the winter of 2015 in the Children’s Workshop School in the East Village, a Manhattan fourth grader peered into the dusty crevices beneath his classroom closet floorboards. He wondered what treasures might have fallen there in the 104 years since the building was constructed. His classmates took notice and joined him in poking under the boards and pulling out artifacts of everyday life.

Through this “closet archaeology,” the students excavated an accidental time capsule built over a century by the students who had also once sat in their classroom. These junior archaeologists have unearthed love notes, spelling tests, caps from glass milk bottles, portraits of silent film stars, penny candy wrappers, and more. They have even found former students, now adults, who remember losing these items. The project was covered in The New York Times. Miriam Sicherman runs the Closet Archaeology Instagram account.

The City Reliquary is proud to present the first formal exhibition of Closet Archaeology after featuring it at Collectors’ Night 2017.

The Opening Reception on Sat., June 3 at 2 PM will include presentations from some of the junior archaeologists from the Children’s Workshop School as well as professional collectors and anthropologists:

Beverages available by suggested donation, with beer courtesy of The Brooklyn Brewery.

See the slideshow below for a selection of objects, and see even more of Miriam’s students’ finds on the Closet Archaeology Instagram.

 

 

May 6: Obscura Day Kickoff Party with NYC Trivia

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Saturday, May 6, 11 AM – 1 PM
Hosted by New York Obscura Society
Admission: $12

The City Reliquary is proud to host the kickoff party for Obscura Day 2017. Awaken your mind with a special morning session celebrating exploration and observation. Enjoy free coffee from Oslo Coffee Roasters and beer and shandy cocktails from The Brooklyn Brewery for a suggested donation from the treehouse bar in our backyard garden.

Test the obscurity of your NYC knowledge with trivia hosted by Atlas Obscura resident quizmaster and staff writer, Eric Grundhauser. New York know-it-alls of all ages are invited (but not required!) to participate. Topics will include the Reliquary collection, everyday New York sights, and the hidden wonders of our city. Trivia begins at 11:30 AM.

Join the Facebook event!

#obscuraday

Tickets available through Eventbrite. Advance Tickets Only. All Sales Final. No Refunds or Exchanges.

QUESTIONS?
Email Larissa Hayden at larissa.hayden@atlasobscura.com

May 5: Rebel Women Remember the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

ca. 1916, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA --- Female garment workers striking on May Day fashion a neglige as a banner. ca. 1916, New York City. --- Image by © CORBIS

ca. 1916, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA — Female garment workers striking on May Day fashion a negligee as a banner. ca. 1916, New York City. — Image by © CORBIS

A fundraiser for the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition
Friday, May 5, 7-9 PM
Online Admission: $7/$5 Reliquary Members
Door Admission: $10/$8 Reliquary Members


Join us at the closing of our front-room exhibition of Robin Berson’s Triangle Fire Memorial Quilt, for an evening of remembrance through performance, poetry, and song. This event takes place in the week of May Day, International Workers’ Day.


Event Program

Robin Berson: A presentation on the Triangle Fire Memorial Quilt

Bracha Nechama Bomze: Reading of the Triangle Fire segment from her book-length poem, Love Justice

Phyllis Capello: Telling the story of how she came to write her prizewinning poem: Factory Girls, Bangkok followed by performing a song inspired by the young women who perished in the Triangle fire.

Paola Corso: Reading from Once I Was Told the Air Was Not for Breathing.

Annie Rachele Lanzillotto:  Performing her iconic songs Ballad of Joe Zito (elevator operator at the Triangle Factory) and Girls Girls, Where Did You Work Last Night? 

LuLu LoLo: Performing an excerpt from her play Soliloquy for a Seamstress: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and Rose Schneiderman’s historic speech of April 2, 1911

Mary Anne Trasciatti:  Reading a brief excerpt from the autobiography of the original Rebel Girl, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn