Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS)

Edification value
Entertainment value
Should you go?
Time spent 19 minutes
Best thing I saw or learned Micro-mini exhibit on activist technology over time

The Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space occupies a classic old-school East Village squat, and consists of some artifacts, photos, and other memorabilia documenting the East Village of the 80s and 90s.  It and its denizens focus mainly on squats (abandoned buildings that individuals made habitable and moved into), community gardens, bike lanes, and other aspects of a time and culture that feels increasingly at odds with the hyper-gentrified city of today.

I think the museum and its organizers truly mean well, and I can see this place growing into something more…substantial. The displays today are kind of science-fair chic, which is a good aesthetic given the subject, but still, you’d hope for more.

I asked why they called it a museum — museums being, generally viewed as places for historical artifacts and reflection, not ongoing, living, things. But it does feel like it’s sort of rooted in this past tradition of activism, which it is trying to sustain and keep relevant in this much more jaded and gentrified age.

Should you go?  I don’t recommend the place.  However, they do tours of the neighborhood, which I can imagine being well worth doing, to actually see some of what the museum only describes.

Reference:  Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space

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