Waterfront Museum

While most museums showcase well-preserved relics, the Waterfront Museum is actually inside one: the covered deck-house of Lehigh Valley Railroad Barge #79. This groaning, wood-covered vessel was rescued from a mucky retirement when museum president David Sharps transferred it from the Hudson River to the dilapidated docks of Red Hook circa 1994. Built in 1914, it's a living reminder of a bygone era when the New York harbor was teeming with cargo ships, luxury liners, and naval flotilla. That legacy now decorates the walls and rafters where you'll find signboards from old tugs, tools for lugging cargo, a wooden dingy, and a straw mattress once used by a captain. The floating space also hosts circus shows, musical performances, and rotating art exhibitions—sometimes nautical in theme, sometimes not. — Danny Freedman

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New York Lexikon