New NYC exhibitions worth checking out

ENT_SmokersLung_0429

Here’s your millionth reminder to quit smoking: A smoker’s lung on display at Body Worlds: Pulse.
© Gunther von Hagens, Institute for Plastination, Heidelberg, Germany, www.bodyworlds.com.

Become a culture vulture by soaking up some of the latest city offerings.

Whales: Giants of the Deep
Through Jan. 5
American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
212-769-5100
If the ginormous blue whale hanging in the museum’s Hall of Ocean Life isn’t enough for you, hit this new exhibition — open since March — to learn all about the massive mammals that inhabit our oceans. Did you know, for example, that whales once had feet and existed on land? Discover more rich history by examining the two sperm whale skeletons (one nearing 60 feet long!) that hang in the center of the room, listening to real whale sounds and letting kiddies jump inside a model blue whale’s heart (about the size of a small car). Don’t leave without checking out the conservation efforts to save these beautiful behemoths.

Body Worlds: Pulse
Discovery Times Square
226 W. 44th St.
866-987-9692
Though similar to that other NYC cadaver roundup, “Bodies: The Exhibition,” this look at human life at its most basic level comes with a warning label — our bodies won’t perform at their best if we continue harming them. The long-term effects of smoking, obesity, stress and alcohol are put under a microscope at this display in creative ways, such as a side-by-side comparison of a healthy lung and a smoker’s lung, and a cross-section of an obese person, where the layers of fat are clearly visible. One especially interesting portion is a photo essay of families all of the world pictured with their groceries for the week. Guess which country’s table was overflowing with soda and pizza? Not Mexico or India, that’s for sure. Before leaving, get a reminder on what really matters in life by watching a TED Talk from Ric Elias, a passenger on the “Miracle on the Hudson Plane,” and broadcast your own “Before I die, I want to…” aspirations on a projector for other passersby to see.

Don’t miss
Snug Harbor’s Harbor in Bloom Festival
May 4-5
Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden
1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island
718-42-3504
Staten Island’s horticultural hot spot will give away trees in partnership with the New York Restoration Project and the MillionTreesNYC initiative on Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Throughout the afternoon, there will also be an orchid sale, live music, workshops on composting and hourly guided garden tours. If you can’t make it on Saturday, the sales continue on Sunday.


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