6. There’s a tiny museum in an abandoned elevator shaft in Cortlandt Alley

Mmuseumm in an elevator shaft in Chinatown
Mmuseumm is located in a single, abandoned elevator shaft in Cortlandt Alley.

Occupying just 60 square feet inside a single, abandoned elevator shaft in Cortlandt Alley is Mmuseumm. As a modern natural history museum, Mmuseumm features artifacts that illustrate the complexities of the modern world. Items on display can range from toothpaste tubes from around the world to old-school childhood dolls and inflatable pool packets. Quirkier artifacts have included a collection of cornflakes and even a dildo with an LED light inside of it, which was mistaken for a bomb. This year, the museum is highlighting hundreds of objects organized into 17 world-wandering exhibitions that explore the nature of power in modern society. In addition, despite its tiny size, Mmuseumm still has its own cafe and gift shop for visitors.

The museum was founded in 2012 by Alex Kalman and the Safdie Brothers — an American independent filmmaker and actor duo known for writing and directing the 2017 thriller film Good Times starring Robert Patterson. In 2015, Mmuseumm opened a second location three doors down. It was designed by artist Maira Kalman — Alex Kalman’s mother — as an exact replica of her mother Sara Berman’s West Village apartment closet. Inside the closet replica are Berman’s old coats and shoes, creating a cramped yet organized space that according to the New York Times “represented a universal need to create order.” Both museums are open Friday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. At $10 a ticket, Mmuseumm is the perfect spot if you’re looking to branch out beyond some of New York City’s most classic museums.