El Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia [The Bernardino Rivadavia Argentine Museum of Natural Sciences]

It’s been an eventful few weeks here in Argentina.  The presidential primaries happened, and also the value of the peso plummeted.  Good times!

But before all that happened, I went to one of my favorite buildings in Buenos Aires, which happens to house the Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum.

img_20190801_125018.jpg
So, ya like spiders?

The museum opened in 1826, owing to the work and advocacy of Bernardino Rivadavia.  It was the first natural sciences museum in South America, and kind of a big deal.  The current building, in the slightly-out-of-the-way-for-tourists Caballito neighborhood, was inaugurated in 1937.  It’s got SO MANY ANIMALS.

img_20190801_125025.jpg
OWLGOYLE
img_20190801_150837.jpg
INTERIOR CEILING BAT

There’s more, and I recommend walking around the inside and outside of the museum squealing in delight when you spot them.

When I visited, it was the winter break for the local schools, and the place was full of excited, noisy children. There was a line out the door and around the gate to get in when I was leaving around lunchtime.  It was glorious.  The children were even exclaiming over the minerals.

IMG_20190801_152026.jpg
To be fair, there was some pretty great fluorite and stuff that grows in distinctive shapes.

img_20190801_152055.jpg

There is more than awesome rocks to see, of course.  The museum does boast a large collection of native specimens, but it’s not limited to them.  And who doesn’t love dioramas of successful hunts and dramatic battles for food and survival?

IMG_20190801_131559.jpg

IMG_20190801_131606.jpg
This warthog, I guess, is not all that thrilled with dioramas of successful hunts and dramatic battles for survival.

Giraffes aren’t the only ones who like to nibble trees.

IMG_20190801_131628.jpg
Gerenuks do too, and are actually also called “giraffe gazelles,” which I didn’t even notice until I looked it up just now.

Although you might know the species better as that “popcorn eating gazelle” meme.

This is a pretty photo-heavy entry, you guys, because I appreciate and value artistry.

img_20190801_131411.jpg
“NEEDS MORE BLOOD”

There is a very nice hall of bird specimens, including some in dioramas of Argentina’s environs.  This was my favorite one, because it happens to depict a park very near my house.

IMG_20190801_140257.jpg
A good place for birding and Pokemon Go.

I especially loved the little riff on a fairly common stencil graffiti motif.

img_20190801_140317.jpg
Look I’m never gonna be good at taking photos but most importantly why doesn’t the MACN have this on a t-shirt

The bird wing (haha) is actually really good.

IMG_20190801_141855.jpg

 

IMG_20190801_132737.jpg

 

IMG_20190801_142357.jpg
Andean condors have great personalities.

You might know, if you are into dinosaurs (you are, because everyone everywhere always is into dinosaurs), that Argentina is pretty rich in dinosaur fossils.

IMG_20190801_151247.jpg
TA DA

It’s no Sue, but it’s not at all shabby!  There’s plenty of other native megafauna, too, which is great because ancient megafauna are so frickin’ weird.

IMG_20190801_151034.jpg
HUG ME
IMG_20190801_131316.jpg
SKELETON DRAMA

IMG_20190801_151041.jpg

IMG_20190801_150944.jpg
Not a boulder hunt; those are glyptodons.

 

IMG_20190801_151127.jpg
And some Glyptodon tails were BANANAS.

There’s also a section of the building that covers the museum’s history.

IMG_20190801_130756.jpg
I’m starting to feel real bad about the terrible photos. The MACN doesn’t deserve this.
IMG_20190801_150726.jpg
Guess what dictatorships aren’t fond of.

At the start of the military dictatorship (no not that one) of 1966, faculties of the University of Buenos Aires were occupied by students, professors, and graduates in protest of the military’s overthrowing of the government. The protesters were violently removed, beaten, and arrested during La Noche de los Bastones Largos. The military ended university autonomy, hundreds of professors left the country, and research was quashed.  It was an enormous setback for academia in Argentina.  This is your pointed reminder that there’s no such thing as “sticking to science” because everything is political and education is the enemy of oppressors.  So, study hard and fight evil.

Anyway, that’s a pretty big bummer, so how about a preserved giant squid’s eye as a palate cleanser.

img_20190801_151633-1.jpg
The best part is the museum’s snack area is right around here too, so Squidward here can watch you eat.

The only objection I have to the Natural Sciences Museum is the aquarium hall (no photos were allowed).  It’s very small, which is fine, but the tanks all look like the worst aquarium store that would be allowed to legally operate.  The fish are in bare, small tanks with nearly no features aside from a layer of gravel.  The lone piranha, sad enough because they are a schooling fish, had only a small plastic plant to hide behind, which it was trying to do the whole time I was in the hall.  I really hope they improve the conditions for the fish soon.

The MACN is a really a lovely visit overall.  It’s set in the Parque Centenario, a huge park with a small lake.  Like all the bigger parks in the city, it’s a nice spot for bird watching (the tiny museum shop sells a guide to the park’s birds).  Entry to the museum is a very reasonable 100 pesos (about $2 US, and as always subject to change).  It’s open every day except holidays from 2pm to 7pm and easy to get to by bus and the B subway line.  Check the website for up to day admissions, closures, and guided tour info.

Jardín Botánico Carlos Thays de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires [Carlos Thays Buenos Aires Botanical Garden]

December is here, and despite my strenuous objections, spring is warming up the city.  These will be the last weeks to enjoy the parks and gardens without feeling super hot and gross the whole time.  It’s time to visit the plant museum.

Okay, technically, it’s the Botanical Garden.

IMG_20181123_162236.jpg
But for real what’s a garden if not a plant museum

The Buenos Aires Botanical Garden is, objectively speaking, the best place in the entire city.  It’s one good soundproofing and a few shady hammocks from achieving empirical perfection.  These are just the facts.

IMG_20181123_164840.jpg
Luscious, green facts. 

And there is a small sort of museum on the grounds: the main building, where garden designer Carlos Thays lived while he was director of parks and walks, so there’s a nice perk you don’t see in city governments much today.

IMG_20181123_162307.jpg

Inside, you’ll find some models of the gardens and structures and antique prints and maps.  The whole thing is very picturesque.

IMG_20181123_163645.jpgIMG_20181123_163717.jpgIMG_20181123_163856.jpgIMG_20181123_163954.jpg

The museum/administration building is the center of the activities for the Garden, and there’s also a wee children’s library, which is adorbs.

IMG_20181123_163730.jpg
The Children’s Library of Nature

The Garden itself has QR code labels for some of its collection, which is very handy for an outdoor museum (just go with it okay), as you see here on the artwork circuit.

IMG_20181123_164441.jpg

IMG_20181123_164243.jpg
I don’t remember if this one had a QR code, but c’mon it’s a gimme.

And like many large public gardens, you can find contemporary art installations, too, such as “Instalación Mesológica” by Didier Rousseau-Navarre, which is meant to “question our relationship with the earth in the Anthropocene Age.”  The seeds are made from the wood of their species.

IMG_20181123_165012.jpg

The Botanical Garden hosts many workshops and activities and is a goddamn delight.  It’s in Palermo, near the Rural, the Japanese Garden, the former zoo, the Museo Evita, and lots of other stuff.  It’s a nice place in the city to find some birds; I saw a really pretty green hummingbird.  It’s free and open every day except Mondays, and closing times depend on the season; check the website.  It’s accessible via the Plaza Italia stop of the D line of the subway and a whole mess of buses.

 

MUNTREF Centro de Arte y Naturaleza [MUNTREF Center of Art and Nature]

I am still recovering from a “flu-like” virus, which wasn’t too bothersome as I mainly slept for three days, but I managed to make a quick visit to the Centro de Arte y Naturaleza (part of the Museums of the National University of Tres de Febrero, which also includes the Museo de la Inmigración).  It’s in a really lovely building on the perimeter of the old Buenos Aires Zoo, which was chiefly built around the turn of the 20th century and as such is a fascinating example of old zoo architecture but was closed down for being a cruelly terrible zoo.

BAzoo2
In 2016.

Despite being technically within the limited-capacity (now called) Buenos Aires Eco-Park, a transformation that has not been going well, incidentally, the Centro is accessible from the outside, although you can peek out the back windows and see the maras wandering around the grounds:

IMG_20181123_143619.jpg
The maras are large Patagonian rodents that were always allowed to range freely within the zoo.

The Centro itself faces the large and busy Av. Sarmiento:

IMG_20181123_144311.jpg
You cannot move in.

It’s quite small and doesn’t take much time to visit–but it is free, has a helpful staff, changes exhibits entirely every few months, and is right within a nexus of other attractions, making it an easy addition to any plans that include La Rural or the Botanical Gardens, or any other of the numerous museums and gardens within walking distance.

Two artists are currently featured.  The first floor holds Zoología Fantástica, by Argentine biologist and artist Pablo La Padula.  From the description on the MUNTREF website: “…it invites us to re-read the historical-cultural markers that reside in scientific devices and their interpretations, as well as in the decisions that are made for scientific dissemination, and the forms that these constructions assume in the social imagination. The materials that are used, the assembly, the lighting and the organization system, come together to place the spectator in the place of the scientist.”

IMG_20181123_144131.jpg
Man, remember the ear mouse?

IMG_20181123_143201.jpgIMG_20181123_143508.jpg

The upstairs houses a show by Peruvian artist Claudia Coca called “Do Not Tell Me I Do Not Know How to Catch the Wind.”  It examines the city’s life forms and their interaction, and includes embroidered verses.

IMG_20181123_144003.jpg

IMG_20181123_143814.jpg
“Who is the one that, like the tiger, rides the wind with a ghostly body?”

If you’re already in the area, and if you spend much time in Buenos Aires at all you eventually will be, pop into the Centro and see what they have showing.  It’s free and open Wednesday to Sunday from 2pm to 7pm.  I really hope they put whale kid on a postcard.

IMG_20181128_094914__01.jpg

 

MUMIN Museo de Minerales [MUMIN Mineral Museum]

I need to get this posted, because I was told that this museum will be closing next month, which sucks, because it’s pretty cool.  It has a strong online presence, a good physical space, and a great staff.  It will be a loss.

The MUMIN (MUseo de MINerales, get it?) is the educational endeavor of the SEGEMAR, the Servicio Geológico Minero (Argentine Mining Geological Service).  It caters mainly to school groups, tasked with making rocks interesting to children.  Geology, being perhaps not the sexiest of sciences, could make that a bit difficult to achieve, but they have done an admirable job.  Things to touch, demonstrations to look at–there’s a lot of activity for minerals.

IMG_20181005_143543.jpg
If a rock museum could have jazz hands

The museum is located within a government ministry building, the name of which escapes me at the moment–but you do need an ID to get in.

I poked around on my own until a staff member came out, discovered my terrible Spanish, and immediately went back to send out a very patient English-speaking geologist.  He showed me around the museum, told me about all the displays, and answered all my questions.  Let’s see a little of the collection!  Argentina has a lot of mineral-related loot.

So, do you have a favorite kind of fossilized thing? ‘Cause I do.

IMG_20181005_143733.jpg
That thing is petrified wood, and the MUMIN has a huge chunk of it. Yaaass.
IMG_20181005_143941.jpg
Patagonia’s got some crazy fossil deposits.
IMG_20181005_143932.jpg
Up top you can see the impressions of a plant; at the bottom is a sauropod bone fossil.

“That’s cool,” you’re thinking. “BUT ARE THERE PRETTY ROCKS”

Of course!

IMG_20181005_153527.jpg
Fluorite!  One of my favorite minerals.
IMG_20181005_153540.jpg
Big ol’ piece of rhodochrosite, the national stone of Argentina.

The museum does have an app available on the website that will do AR stuff with a few signs as well as a VR headset with a short meteorite thing to watch; nothing extravagant but fun and memorable.  There are a few more hands-on elements to see/do, including some SUPER FUN SAND TABLES:

IMG_20181005_145503.jpg
whaaaaaaaaaaaaat

If you move the sand around, the volcano changes:

There’s another one!

IMG_20181005_144803.jpg
Islands in the stream, that is what we are

In this table, you move the sand around to form the topography of the land.  Then you can make it rain by spreading your hand.  The idea is to demonstrate how water moves over the topography.

Know what else I liked?  This Argentina-specific graphic of geologic time:

IMG_20181005_144023.jpg
Although the geologist explained that it is just illustrative–if you dug beneath the Obelisco, you wouldn’t find a whole lot of the middle layers.  You would, however, cause no end of excited reactions on the part of the local government.

Wanna see more minerals?

IMG_20181005_153640.jpg
Good news.

I will never not find it fascinating that some minerals naturally grow in distinctive shapes.

IMG_20181005_153905.jpg
NEVER.

Finally, I will close this out with a geode.

IMG_20181005_154048.jpg

The label doesn’t tell you this but the very nice geologist will, this geode is an enhydro agate–a geode with water inside of it.  Did you know that was a thing?  I had no idea that was even a thing!

The MUMIN is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm (closed on holidays).  Take your ID though because you need that to get in.  It’s very close to the Plaza de Mayo and easily accessible by all the subway lines that go there.  Go while you can.

Buque Museo Corbeta ARA Uruguay [Corvette ARA Uruguay Museum Ship]

Hellooooooo, sailor!

IMG_20180914_131109.jpg
Best case scenario for a ship, a nice little retirement berth in Puerto Madero.

Situated in the river in Buenos Aires’s ritziest barrio, parked near its better-known sister museum ship the ARA Presidente Sarmiento, you can find the ARA Uruguay.  How much better-known is the Sarmiento?  When you get a ticket at the Uruguay, it says “Sarmiento” on it.

img_20180917_095822.jpg
I was not on the Sarmiento.

But the Uruguay has its own very interesting history!  It’s the oldest ship still floating in the Argentine Navy, having come into service in 1874.  It was a training ship, it did military naval stuff like go to Patagonia to help throw cold water on Chile’s territorial ambitions, and then it got outfitted for scientific exploration in 1887.

The real high point in the Uruguay’s service life came in 1903, when it was refitted as an Antarctic rescue vessel.  It got its chance for glory in that line of work that same year, when the Uruguay was sent to save the Swedish Antarctic Expedition, which had been stranded for an ENTIRE EXTRA WINTER after its own retrieval ship sank on account of being crushed by ice.  They had to eat penguins.  It was not a good time.

The ship, which honestly seems a little small and drafty for crazy cold Antarctic shenanigans, has a museum below decks.

IMG_20180914_124355.jpg
Just, super small, you guys.

Here you’ll find artifacts from its naval career:

IMG_20180914_124352.jpg
Important person hat.
IMG_20180914_124340.jpg
Less important person hat.

IMG_20180914_124325.jpg

IMG_20180914_125041.jpg
I long for the days when the pinnacle of masculinity was also extremely fancy pants.

IMG_20180914_124638.jpg

 

It includes some items that are original to the ship.

img_20180914_124807.jpg
So many jokes here.

IMG_20180914_125125.jpg

IMG_20180914_124643.jpg
I don’t know what most of this is. Ships are mysterious places.

There are some actual artifacts related to the Swedish Expedition, too.

IMG_20180914_124414.jpg
Hm, yes, the plan of depending on candles in the Antarctic sounds solid.

Look at all this space below decks!  The 27 guys who went to rescue the Swedes were probably super comfy.  After the Swedes came aboard, everybody probably had to spoon constantly.

IMG_20180914_125110.jpgIMG_20180914_125238.jpgIMG_20180914_125144.jpg

IMG_20180914_125314.jpg
DUCK TAILS, WOOOOO-OOO-OOOOO

Ships’ wheels are kind of neat, actually.

IMG_20180914_125426.jpgIMG_20180914_125422.jpg

Well that’s enough of that!  Let’s see some views on the deck.

IMG_20180914_125510.jpgIMG_20180914_130406.jpg

IMG_20180914_125906.jpg
Bank, ho!

IMG_20180914_125931.jpg

IMG_20180914_125927.jpg
Ship’s compass in that brass fixture on the higher deck.

There you have it, a piece of Argentine naval history parked right there in Puerto Madero, a stone’s throw away from a more famous piece of Argentine naval history, but deserving of attention, too.  Tickets are 20 pesos (about 50 US cents at the moment), and it’s open seven days a week from 10am to 7pm.  Look for it in the river here.

 

 

 

 

Museo del Agua y de la Historia Sanitaria [Museum of Water and Sanitation History]

Let me tell you, I have been a huge fan of sanitation infrastructure since reading The Ghost Map.  No part of that sentence is exaggeration.  It’s difficult to appreciate modern sanitary standards until you read about a virulent cholera outbreak, and the sheer amount of sewage in the drinking water.  Yum.

Screenshot_20180909-102350__01.jpg
This is my local basketball team.

Definitely read that book, by the way.

Anyway, you will find the Museo del Agua y de la Historia Sanitaria (Museum of Water and Sanitation History) in a very eye-catching building in Buenos Aires.

 

IMG_20180903_121643.jpg
There’s a lot to look at here.

This is the Palacio de Aguas Corrientes, or Palace of Running Waters, which is incidentally the name of my future chalet. It was completed in 1894, designed to be a water pumping station.  That’s right; this glorious eclectic construction of English terra cotta tiles, a French mansard roof, and polished landscaping was built to be a water tank cozy.

IMG_20180831_133401.jpg
Makes an impressive entry for a sanitation museum.

Today, the Water Palace houses administrative offices for AySA, the state water company, in addition to the museum (and archive and library).

The museum devotes a good deal of its space to the building’s construction and history.

IMG_20180903_111937.jpgIMG_20180903_112445.jpgIMG_20180903_112745.jpg

After the section dedicated to the building, there are…

PIPES!

IMG_20180903_112514.jpg
I’m 100% sure there is a fancy word for these that I cannot remember.
IMG_20180903_113006.jpg
This pipe is made of wood!

Faucets!

IMG_20180903_112714.jpg
Not gonna lie; I do love a faucet key.

And a model of the Radio Antiguo area’s English-style drainage system, which collected storm water in addition to sewage.  Not every sewage system does that, you know.

IMG_20180903_113109.jpg
Miss me with your wastewater-only pipelines, Boca and Barracas.

Historical artifacts of the water company (once called the Obras Sanitarias de la Nacion or OSN, no I was not kidding about the basketball team) are also in the museum.  There’s an office from the 1920s-1940s era:

IMG_20180903_114131.jpg

A magazine published for the nation’s sanitation workers:

IMG_20180903_112955.jpg
I used to get a magazine from my national professional association, and I think this one is cooler.

Various and sundry piping-related materials, catalogs, and certificates:

IMG_20180903_114059.jpg

IMG_20180903_114154.jpg
Is…is this an anatomically accurate depiction of a water drop?

But I know what you’re thinking.

“Does this sanitation museum include toilets?  Because honestly why even bother otherwise.”

Well of COURSE it has toilets.

IMG_20180903_114022.jpg
Antique toilets.
IMG_20180903_113954.jpg
Old timey toilet tank!
IMG_20180903_113832.jpg
An old sink and Turkish squat toilet.
IMG_20180903_113907.jpg
A portable bidet and good reminder to thank your lucky stars that all your butt-related fixtures are connected to pipes.
IMG_20180903_113749.jpg
Prison toilets.
IMG_20180903_114402.jpg
The sign says these toilet bowls “were a more modest alternative to the pedestal.”  Which, yes.                The lower one is a squat toilet from 1900.
IMG_20180903_114512.jpg
They even let you see the toilets and items that are not currently on official display.

IMG_20180903_114454.jpg

This room is scented by an air freshener that took me a moment to place, but is in fact the most common air freshener used in public toilets in Buenos Aires.  I thought that was a nice touch of ambiance.

Visitors can also see the interior of the building–the former water tanks.  The space has some of the larger artifacts and photographs relating to the history of water and sanitation service in the city.

IMG_20180903_114810.jpgIMG_20180903_115046.jpg

IMG_20180903_115210.jpg
This building is undoubtedly haunted.  You can tell that even before you hear the stories of suicide and murder in it.

 

IMG_20180903_115721.jpg
This is a 1948 mercury vapor valve, and according to the label it is a “device for rectification of alternating current into direct current.”  It was used until 2000.

IMG_20180903_115933.jpg

IMG_20180903_120225.jpg
There’s a water station!  If you take the tour, you can have some.

If you aren’t on the tour, there are screens with virtual guides giving short talks throughout the museum.

IMG_20180903_115618.jpg

Are there interactive exhibits?  Heck yes there are, in a manner of speaking.

IMG_20180903_120204.jpg

IMG_20180903_115951.jpg
Stick your faces right in!

Bonus:  Currently, there is also an art exhibit on the Antarctic.

 

The architecture alone is worth stopping by, and if you’re already there, the museum is certainly fun and doesn’t require much time.  There is also a shop!  A case just outside the museum shows its wares, which include the most affordable post cards in Buenos Aires, outside of free ones.  Museo del Agua y de la Historia Sanitaria is a couple blocks from the D line of the subway and open Monday through Friday, from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.  Guided visits in Spanish are at 11am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Museo de Patología de la Universidad de Buenos Aires [Pathology Museum of the University of Buenos Aires]

The Museo de Patología was the first museum established within the University of Buenos Aires, in 1887.  The first specimens came from the medical school hospital, and later, small collections from other hospitals were incorporated, making the museum an interesting piece of heritage for the medical school.

Sooooooooo…..

This museum is really a collection of specimens in jars.  Like, body parts. There were so many fetuses, you guys.

As you might imagine, the museum has a notice posted admonishing visitors to consider the collection a place of learning and reflection and not a freak show gawk fest. Understandably then, photographing the specimens within is not permitted, and I did respect that. But holy shit there are people who did not and so there are photos available on Google Maps. They don’t include what were grimmest for me personally, so yay?

IMG_20180810_144514.jpg

The museum is tucked away on the third floor of one of the UBA’s medical school buildings. You can just walk in, sign in, deposit any backpack you might be carrying in a locker and continue to the collection. Before you enter the actual zone, you might take a look at the exhibits they have outside the door.

Stock-photo cool guys are prohibited.

These exhibits have a few of the milder specimens, and give some information about the pathologies involved.  If you’re disappointed by the lack of a human specimen example for mermaid syndrome, don’t worry–you can find one inside, you absolute lunatic.

IMG_20180810_141324.jpg
This is the head of a sheep with cyclopia. There is a human specimen inside. There’s a lot of sad stuff inside.

Ever wonder what the effects of tuberculosis look like on the inside?  You are in luck, buddy.

 

IMG_20180810_141147.jpg
Lung holes. It looks like lung holes. Although it can also mess up  literally everything.

This case explains that tuberculosis is a common infection in Argentina; one in three people have come into contact with the bacteria. There are three possibilities in case of contact: the body fights it off completely (ya good), the body doesn’t fight it off (ya sick), or the body fights it off just enough to prevent symptoms but not eliminate the bacteria (ya latent). It lays out the risk factors for developing the disease, and now you can lie awake at night, contemplating the fragility of the human condition.

This here is a fatty liver.

IMG_20180810_140549.jpg
Also from a tuberculosis patient, incidentally. I would like to note that the Wikipedia entry for “fatty liver” begins with “Not to be confused with foie gras,” which makes this my favorite “not to be confused with” label ever.

The display on liver health includes very helpful emojis.  While that might seem a bit jarring juxtaposed with actual diseased human organs, I actually appreciate the effort made to communicate the information visually and clearly.  Science museum exhibits are introductions, not text books.

IMG_20180810_140545.jpg
If actual french fry cartons came like this, I might be successfully guilted into ordering the smallest size.

Inside, the museum is apparently undergoing a bit of a renovation, although what that entails isn’t clear; presumably the jugs of formaldehyde on the floor will at least get a cabinet during visiting hours.  The whole museum is two large rooms, one upstairs and one downstairs, crowded with shelves and shelves of specimen jars grouped by pathology.  The labeling is minimal, and includes no context information.  This didn’t really bother me–aside from making it a collection for a highly specific audience that does not include me, museum-going boob Jo Public–until the tattoos.  There are several pieces of skin (and one entire hand) displayed specifically for their tattoos.  My exceedingly-chill-about-going-to-see-corpse-pieces friend and I estimated, based solely on a couple of dates included in the tattoos themselves, that they were probably around 100-125 years old.  We also assumed they came from indigent patients at the medical school hospital.  However, there is nothing to really confirm this in the labeling.  There were a couple that seemed to have belonged to a sailor (sailors?) that had an anchor and the USA and Norwegian flags.  There were a couple of examples of basic line drawings of circus performers, like a trapeze girl (boobs out) and a strong man.  The subject matters also seemed to bear out our extremely rough idea of their age and origin.  Tattoos are not a pathology, so the lack of context here was galling.  I really, really wanted to know how old they were, who they belonged to, how they came to be preserved.  This was easily the most interesting part of the collection, for me.  As a museum that specifically includes the public in its mission, it would be nice for it to have more explanatory and educational displays.  A cohesive exhibit about the history of the museum would be very cool, too.

Aside from all the jars, the museum also includes a historical library of pathology books in various languages as well as historical laboratory equipment.  It is, as I mentioned, open to the public, but if you’re bothered by preserved body parts (think torsos and heads, not just organs and tissue), it’s best to give it miss.  There is no signage in English, and since using your translation app is easily mistaken for photography, you’re on your own if your Spanish is terrible. The museum is located in a medical school building a couple blocks from the D subway line.  It’s open Monday through Friday from 2pm to 6 pm, and it is free.