What is a museum? A collection of items meaningfully curated to tell a story. It can be large or small or any size in-between. It can be about 1 topic or about everything. It can be indoors or outdoors. There’s no right way to build a museum. Just make it matter.
That’s what I learned at The Treasures in the Trash Museum housed in the NYC Dept of Sanitation curated by Nelson Molina who worked for our wonderful city for over 30 years. He collected discarded items he found in the trash on his routes with DOS and there is now a mind-boggling treasure trove of items that represent the lives of countless New Yorkers.
I went with my adventure-seeking, history-loving pals, Ashley & Erin, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever seen in New York. Everything from diaries to dishes to photographs and diplomas and art and pez dispensers and view finders and typewriters and a Star of David made from the steal of the World Trade Center to stained glass windows from a church and yes, even taxidermy in the form of an old dog and a crotchety rooster.
I’d tell you more but I can’t think of any words adequate enough to describe it. So just go. Meet Nelson and get to know the fellow New Yorkers you’ll never meet by seeing the things they kicked to the curb.