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Louis Armstrong House
Louis and Lucille’s lounge room is preserved as it was back in the day, at Louis Armstrong House in Corona, Queens. (Photo: Louis Armstrong House)

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Hidden Gems: The Most Overlooked Museums in New York City

August 29, 2014

It’s such a New York moment: wandering down a random street only to happen upon a freight elevator that’s been turned into a museum. Sounds crazy, but if you go to Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, you’ll see it.

New York is a city strewn with museums. From art to culture to oddities, you can find literally anything. And while everyone should go see the big boys, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History, there are less renowned places that will blow you away.

Head to the East Village in Manhattan, and you can see one of the largest collections of vintage gangster ephemera this side of the Mississippi; or trek out to Corona, Queens, where the meticulously conserved home of jazz great Louis Armstrong awaits. There is a hall of magic, a bodegafilled with history, and an old department store that’s got a perfectly re-created Buddhist shrine.

If you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to museums, make sure you haven’t missed these little-known gems.