A Small Place For Big Ideas: Find Out About Tribeca’s Mmuseumm


Proof that there is something potentially wonderful and amazing around every corner in this town, even if that corner leads you down an actual back alley, I give you Mmuseumm, the "modern natural history museum" featuring the city's strangest collections of objects, all lovingly displayed within an abandoned freight elevator. I mean, it's not a scary alley, nor is it any more or less grimy than the rest of our streets, but it is within one of those Tribeca zones that feels especially desolate on summer weekends when the locals are all in the Hamptons. Which, of course, just makes the whole thing even more cool, especially if you're dragging along a friend (or a date!) for the surprise.    


What Is Museumm?

I've been to Mmuseumm several times since it was opened in 2012 by the well-connected entrepreneur Alex Kalman (Kate Spade is a significant financial backer to the non-profit venture) and a pair of his filmmaker friends, Josh and Benny Safdie, but the new exhibition, called Season 4, has only been up since the beginning of the summer. And, like all of the rest of the "seasons" at Mmuseumm, it is filled with strange and exceptionally clever groupings of seemingly mundane objects. The stated goal of Mmuseumm is to "illustrate the complexities of the modern world", and while I can't really judge whether they've succeeded, this exhibition (and all the others I've seen), certainly did make me chuckle, and I admire the dedication of the collectors around the world who put their treasures on display for all of us to see. Or, at least, all of us who frequent obscure alleys in downtown Manhattan.


What To Expect At Mmuseumm's Season 4

Among the collections that Kalman has gathered for Season 4 are a selection of actual Incubating Eggs (none have hatched yet, but when they do the chicks will go "a happy farm upstate", according to Kalman as reported by Gothamist, with only the shells remaining behind for the show). More typical of the Mmuseumm sensibility is the Evolution of the Coffee Lid shelf (basically, from flat to domed); the gathering of Inmate Inventions, which include tools for both violence and prayer; the Promotional Pharmaceutical Objects display (a Vicodin fridge magnet? an Oxycontin wrench? an Adderall soap dispenser that looks like a brain? who came up with this stuff?!); and the Cornflake Index, which sorts the classic breakfast cereal by individual flake type. Remarkable stuff. Also new this summer is Mmuseumm 2 in a nearby, makeshift "storefront window" behind which is recreation of Sara Berman's closet, who only wore white, liked things orderly, and is Kalman's grandmother. Don't forget, you can get a guided audio tour of everything by calling the 800 number and punching in the code beneath each object or collection.


For More Information on Mmuseum

Mmuseumm is located at 4 Cortland Alley, between Franklin and White Streets in Tribeca, and is open Friday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday 12:00 noon until 6:00. Note: even on days that it's closed you can peak into the space through the several small windows and call in and hear about the things you can (kind of) see.


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