Musical Instrument Museum
The museum was full of wonderful cultural artifacts — instruments, costumes, masks, artwork and more. The photo above is from a display about the Scissor Dance (danza de las tijeras) from Peru.
Museum visitors are issued iPod-like audio guides at the ticket counter. The devices are location-sensitive, so as you walk up to a display, appropriate music / narration starts to play through your headphones. When you walk out of range, the audio track fades out. It’s a strange / fascinating experience to be walking through a place that’s so full of sound, yet (if you take your headphones off) so very very quiet.
This is still a pretty new museum, and it showed — both in the shiny newness of it and the scope of the exhibits. The world music exhibits were pretty well fleshed-out and definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area. The North American / U.S. collection, by contrast, was quite thin and still under construction. (Most obvious omission: hardly anything about jazz, save a “coming soon” sign.)
(If you can’t see the slideshow above, you can see the full photo set on Flickr.)