As you may have guessed based on my previous post about Waitress on Broadway, we spent the past weekend in New York. My husband wanted to go to World Maker Faire, which is at the Hall of Science in Queens. I debated back and forth about whether or not I wanted to join him not only because the weather couldn’t decide if it was going to rain or not. I kept looking at the forecast every day leading up to the weekend and it changed every day. I didn’t know what else I was going to do, and I’d never been to any of the boroughs other than Manhattan, so I decided I might as well go. Luckily the weather did wind up cooperating and although it was still gloomy, it didn’t really rain.
If you don’t know what Maker Faire is imagine an extremely large science fair with lots of people showing off their innovations. Most of it seemed like individuals or small companies, but there were some larger companies promoting stuff there as well. There were a billion 3-D printers there. I’d really only seen the printers that print fairly small things, so some of the ones able to print pretty sizeable things were pretty cool and make it seem like that technology might eventually be worth something.
My favorite part of the Maker Faire was the first thing we stumbled across. Leave it to me to find the one booth where they’re talking about music. It was essentially in a booth sponsored by Intel promoting their music creation stuff, but they were doing an interview with Grand Wizzard Theodore, who created the DJ scratching technique. He talked about how he wound up creating it and the Netflix show The Get Down. They had some turntables out where you could try scratching yourself. I didn’t because I said I didn’t need to try to know I would be terrible at it. I’m not sorry I went this year, but I don’t forsee needing to join my husband if he chooses to go in future years.
Sunday we took the niece and nephew to the Children’s Museum of Art, which was a really cool place. Although there’s some existing art work on display it’s really a place for kids to go make art themselves. I gather that they have different themes that the days art centers around. There was one area that space related in that you were supposed to use “space junk” to create a satellite. My husband pointed out that it seemed like where they put all the leftover scraps from other areas, which didn’t seem like a bad theory. The rest of the areas were all related to Argentina.
They have a studio area with a number of different activities. There was one where you could use lots of materials to draw and glue things together to create a city-scape, though my niece went her own way with that and just created a decorative box. There was an area you could paint, one where you could do fashion design, one where you were supposed to do figure drawing based on the skeleton they had hanging there, and one where you were supposed to create art similar to some Argentinian artist.
There was some music and dance thing based on Argentinian music and dance, but we didn’t participate in that. There was a place where you could draw things and then create computer animations based on the figures you created. The theme was Argentinian sports. They also have a clay bar where kids can sculpt things out of clay. They were making animals from Argentina, although my niece again went her own way and chose to make a star fish. The woman helping totally went with it without a second thought and helped her figure out how to create the star fish even though it wasn’t one of the models they had for the day.
There was a little area for kids under 5, but we didn’t go in there since my niece and nephew were too old for it so I’m not sure what was in there. If you have young kids and are in New York I would definitely recommend checking this place out.
After that we wandered into the Houston Beer Hall for lunch. It was a pretty cool little place. It was pretty dead when we were in there, but I imagine it’s quite lively for happy hours and in the evenings. We were curious about the space, so my brother-in-law discovered that it used to be a parking garage for the FBI. Once you knew that you could totally see how it was once a parking garage.
We mostly tent to stick to the Upper West Side and Mid-town when we go visit since that’s where our family and Broadway shows are, so it was nice to venture out into some other parts of the city this trip.