Saturday, February 4, 2012

Week Five: 1st Friday-Albany, New York

Civil War exhibit
I’ve lived in Albany for almost three years and I’m ashamed to say that last night was my first ever 1st Friday experience.  Part of the reason was because I never understood what 1st Friday had to offer.  I knew it was a celebration of the arts on the first Friday of every month but the rest of the details eluded me.  How did you know where to go?  Is it free?  Well, after doing some research (which was as easy as Googling 1st Friday Albany), I found my answers.  The 1st Friday website has all the information you need.  The events and times are listed with a coordinating map, making it easy to decide where you want to go.  Most of the events are free and if they aren’t, there is a price listed.

I decided to start at the Albany Institute of History and Art with plans to go to other places on Lark Street.  I thought only part of the museum was open for 1st Friday, since it was a free event, but it turned out that the entire museum (including the gift shop) was open to the public from 5:00pm-8:00pm.  Mr. Free Albany and I had such a great time at the museum, we ran out of time to go anywhere else.

We started off with the Medical Matters Albany and the Civil War: Medicine on the Home and Battle Fronts exhibitThis was a very interesting perspective on the Civil War that I hadn’t learned about before.  Did you know that in 1861, Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth both visited Albany on the same day?  There was also an amazing picture drawn by a 9-year-old Albany boy depicting the funeral procession that came through Albany in 1865.  This exhibit runs until February 26th and is definitely worth checking out.

Old school Easy Bake Oven
We then lost ourselves in the exhibit Kid Stuff: Great Toys from Our Childhood.  This is an amazing exhibit and is a must-see.  It runs until March 4th and is a celebration of toys from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s.  Vintage models of toys such as Barbie, Twister, Slinky, and Easy Bake Oven were on display with their histories explained.  Modern versions of many of the games were available to play with, and Mr. Free Albany and I had a blast playing with toys we hadn’t seen since we were kids.  There was also a running compilation of toy commercials from the ‘50s-‘70s which were fun to watch.

First in the Hearts of His Countrymen: George Washington was our next stop.  This exhibit runs until May 20th and is an interesting tribute to our first president.  Did you know that the picture of George Washington on the one dollar bill was created by an Albany artist?  I had no idea!  

We made it through the George Washington exhibit with 7 minutes to spare before closing.  We then checked on the Albany Mummies which were brought to Albany from Cairo, Egypt in 1909.  It’s amazing seeing two people who lived thousands of years ago so well-preserved.  The Albany Mummies are a part of the permanent collection, so you can see them any time you visit the Albany Museum of History and Art.

Now that I know what it’s all about, I plan on going to many other 1st Friday events and will share my experiences with you.  Thanks for following me and reading about my adventures!
Albany Mummy

1 comment:

  1. It really was a lot of fun. I wish I had a cool hotwheels track like they had at the museum :(