While EWZ historians scrambling to find a post about museums, let me tell you what I did yesterday at the American Museum of Natural History at around 4:45. I was playing the part of a beautiful desert male Bird attempting to woo a female bird. I snuck up and faced her directly, and then started moving side Mick Jagger style, stretching my hands to each side while waving them up and down with my set of feathers in full display. At some point I paused to gauge her level of interest, only to resume in furious mode while making various sounds this time. Exhilarating! But it didnt work.
It was all part of a special Valentine’s Day tour I was invited to, The Mating Game by Museum Hack. Stories about rituals, genitals, accidental pregnancies, and animal foreplay. The tour was conducted by a couple of Hackers, Zack and Kelly from the Saved by the Bell fame who did a masterful job. Two hours of pure, interactive, strange fun. We even got wine. We had to drink it in the cafeteria, but we got wine! Studies show that wine loosens you up to the point where you do things in museums you’ve never done before, not to mention with complete strangers.
Zach and Kelly were energetic, as you would expect in a tour like this, and full of surprises. Some stops were a little too close for comfort near a child or a grandma while we talk about penis sizes, but it all sort of worked at the end. We learned some new words that make me look forward to the next cocktail party. Or the first one. We learned about evolution and listened to stories behind some of the items, a la “Mysteries of the Museum”. But it was the interactive fun that made this experience something to write about.
Museum Hack sells experiences. Just like visiting an attraction or a neighborhood, you can see it by yourself and try get something out of it, or you can experience it this way. Big museums like the Met and AMNH can often be stressful. You want to accomplish as much as you can with the little time and knowledge that you have, navigating through lines, crowds and the vastness of the buildings. A tour like this, where you simply follow someone removes the stress entirely, and puts a fun spin into it. As I keep preaching here, its experiences like food tours (there he goes again with the self promotion), and tours as such that will be remembered most at the end of the day. Or 2 years later.