Signs of the City: New York

Take a look at the signs from the Big Apple, including the billboards and signs in Times Square, Coney Island and NYC subway system.

Photos

Taraji P. Henson, Katrina Bowden, Linda Gray, Diana Ramirez and Eve (L-R) line up to walk the runway in New York City. The women get dolled up in their best red dress for the Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection 2011 at The Theatre at Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. 960 1280

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Heart Truth Red  

Julianne Hough, Ann Curry, Matthew McConaughey, Camila Alves and Gayle King (L-R) pose for a picture at the Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection 2011, an annual fashion show to encourage woman to lower their risk for heart disease. February is American Heart Month. 960 1280

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Heart Truth Red  

Project Runway Season 4 winner, Christian Siriano (center), poses with friends after his fall collection fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. 960 1280

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Kim Crawford Wines  

Rapper and actress Eve attends the Rebecca Minkoff Fall 2011 show at The Theater at Lincoln Center. 960 1280

Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Starbucks Frappuccino  

Fashion journalist Louise Roe, Lo Bosworth from MTV's The Hills, and model Agyness Deyn (L-R) check out women walking the runway to show off Rebecca Minkoff's Fall 2010 Collection. 960 1280

Joe Corrigan/Getty Images  

From the TV show Real Housewives of New York, Simon van Kempen and Alex McCord pose for a picture with their friend Patrick McDonald before the Academy of Art University's Fall 2011 fashion show. 960 1280

Gary Gershoff/Getty Images  

Designer Tinsley Mortimer, Becca Diamond, musician Alexa Ray Joel, TV personality Olivia Munn, actress Mena Suvari and photographer Nigel Barker (L-R) attend the Jill Stuart Fall 2011 fashion show during New York Fashion Week. 960 1280

Jason Kempin/Getty Images  

Model Petra Nemkova (fourth from L), actress Rosario Dawson, actress Rose Byrne, and actress Bella Heathcote watch the models walk the runway to show off the Tommy Hilfiger Fall 2011Women's Collection. 960 1280

Jemal Countess/Getty Images  

Model Veronica Webb, celebrity stylist June Ambrose and actress Julia Stiles sit in the front row to see the Tracy Reese Fall 2011 fashion show. 960 1280

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images  

Actress Gabrielle Union and TV news personality Natalie Morales are all smiles at the Tracey Reese Fall fashion show. 960 1280

Donald Bowers/Getty Images  

Paparazzi surround reality TV star Kim Kardashian taking her seat before the fashion show for Charlotte Ronson's Fall/Winter 2011 Collection. 960 1280

REUTERS/Eric Thayer   

Singer Fergie watches a model present a creation at the Diane Von Furstenberg Fall/Winter 2011 collection during New York Fashion Week. 960 1280

REUTERS/Jessica Rinald  

Reality TV star Ramona Singer (center), of The Real Housewives of New York City, reacts to a model wearing an interesting creation at the Zang Toi Fall/Winter 2011 fashion show. 960 1280

REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi  

Musician Wyclef Jean stands for a quick photo op with the paparazzi before the Tommy Hilfiger Fall/Winter 2011 collection show during New York Fashion Week. 960 1280

REUTERS/Eric Thayer  

Reality TV star Olivia Palermo (L), and actress Vanessa Hudgens smile for the camera at the Tibi Fall/Winter 2011 collection fashion show during Fashion Week. 960 1280

REUTERS/Eric Thayer  

Burlingame Pez Museum

Burlingame Pez Museum

Among the collection of vintage Pez dispensers, the world's largest Pez-dispensing machine resides at the Burlingame Pez Museum. The San Francisco Bay area museum also has an online store offering Pez dispensers of all kinds for candy enthusiasts to begin their own collection at home. 960 1280

Joey Rozier, flickr  

Southern Food & Beverage Museum

Southern Food & Beverage Museum

Dedicated to documenting the culinary history of the American South, the Southern Food & Beverage Museum in New Orleans showcases exhibits on Louisiana’s multilayered cuisine, the importance of sugarcane in the South's growth and the art of barbecue, among others. 960 1280

Werner Krug  

The International UFO Museum and Research Center

The International UFO Museum and Research Center

The International UFO Museum and Research Center is located in -- where else? -- Roswell, NM. With an extensive research library open to anyone looking to learn all they can about UFOs, the museum’s mission is to educate the public on UFOs. 960 1280

Robb Sheridan, flickr  

Museum of Sex

Museum of Sex

The Museum of Sex, or MoSex, is definitely Fifth Avenue’s most … innovative establishment. Opened in New York City in 2002, the museum has drawn visitors from all over the world seeking an open discourse on sexuality -- and the museum's collection of sex-related art, photography, costumes, inventions and historical artifacts does not disappoint. 960 1280

Scott Beale, flickr  

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum

The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum in Japan is sure to inspire nostalgia for your good ole college days. With exhibits on ramen history and a replica of a section of Toyko in 1958 -- the year instant noodles were invented -- the museum makes it difficult to leave without craving the noodle dish. Thank goodness there's a ramen food court at the museum, too. 960 1280

Lucius Kwok, flickr   

Museum of Bad Art

Museum of Bad Art

The Museum of Bad Art, or MOBA, prides itself on collecting and preserving art that’s "too bad to be ignored." Art is subjective, you say? A visit to one of the museum's 3 Boston-area galleries should change your mind. 960 1280

Chris Devers, flickr  

Giant Shoe Museum

Giant Shoe Museum

Seattle's Giant Shoe Museum started out as a place to display one man's collection of novelty shoes. But when the museum acquired the world's tallest man's shoe, it became what it is today -- a photo op for tourists wondering just how tall the world's tallest man was. 960 1280

Joey deVilla, flickr  

Sulabh International Museum of Toilets

Sulabh International Museum of Toilets

Dedicated to educating the public on the history of toilets and helping toilet manufacturers improve their skills by showing them the mistakes of the past, the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets is on a sanitation crusade. Don’t worry if you can't make it to New Delhi to visit this unique repository of toilets -- the entire museum is online. 960 1280

Nathan Cooke, flickr   

The Collection of Questionable Medical Devices

The Collection of Questionable Medical Devices

The Science Museum of Minnesota's collection of Questionable Medical Devices includes a Psychograph. Invented by a Wisconsin man named Henry Lavery in the 1930s, the Psychograph was designed to read the bumps on a patient's head, measuring the strength of their personality traits. The Psychograph would generate a report, ranking the patient's talents and personality characteristics, based on the size and shape of their skull. 960 1280

Science Museum of Minnesota  

The Fan Museum

The Fan Museum

Dedicated not only to fans, but also to fan-making, the Fan Museum in London is one-of-a-kind place located within the World Heritage Site of Maritime Greenwich. The museum features a collection of more than 3,500 fans dating back to the 11th century, as well as an orangery, or an 18th-century greenhouse, where afternoon tea is served each Tuesday and Sunday. 960 1280

Visit Greenwich, flickr  

National Mustard Museum

National Mustard Museum

Middleton, WI, is the proud home of the National Mustard Museum, free to the public and filled with more than 5,400 kinds of everyone's second favorite condiment: mustard. Every Aug. 4, also known as National Mustard Day, the streets of downtown Middleton come alive with free hot dogs, mustard custard and condiment mascots. 960 1280

Courtesy of National Mustard Museum  

Kansas Barbed Wire Museum

Kansas Barbed Wire Museum

An entire museum is devoted to the "devil's rope" in the barbed wire capital of the world: La Crosse, KS. The Kansas Barbed Wire Museum celebrates the invention that tamed the West, according to the museum’s founders. Displays demonstrate barbed wire's significance during warfare and in keeping cattle and bison from roaming freely. 960 1280

Kansas Barbed Wire Museum  

Chicken Art Museum

Chicken Art Museum

Chickens are an important symbol in Korean culture -- they're thought to act as messengers between heaven and earth, exorcise evil spirits and bring prosperity. So it comes as no surprise that there’s a museum in Seoul, South Korea, devoted to chicken-inspired art. The Chicken Art Museum features chicken sculptures and paintings from cultures worldwide. 960 1280

Jerry Michalski, flickr  

20 Photos
20: National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa)

20: National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa)

This museum has a great collection of art spanning the Middles Ages to the present day, including American, Indian, European, Inuit and Canadian works. It offers a unique, near-complete overview of Canadian art -- from early Quebec religious work, through Inuit work from the 1950s, to avant-garde contemporaries, via the well-represented Group Of Seven, whose passion in the early 20th century was to create an art that derived exclusively from Canada and its sublime landscapes. The successful fruits of their labor captured the spirit of a country, and are now displayed on these walls. 960 1280

Charlie Harding / Getty Images  

19: The Shrine of the Book (Israel)

19: The Shrine of the Book (Israel)

The Shrine of the Book's collection contains some of the most important cultural artifacts and documents in existence pertaining to the history of Christianity. Although the manuscripts are never on display in their entirety, there is always some part to see. The exhibition "A Day at Qumran" tells the story of the Essenes, the people behind the scrolls and something of their day-to-day existence 2,000 years ago. The Shrine of the Book also holds the earliest known full text of the Bible. 960 1280

Hanan Isachar / Getty Images  

18: Museo Nacional de Antropologa (Mexico)

18: Museo Nacional de Antropologa (Mexico)

The vast building is one of the most accomplished museum environments in the world; its inventive 20-acre plot in Chapultepec Park is full of foliage, waterfalls, pools and statues. Downstairs is an incomparable display of pre-Columbian art, upstairs an excellent collection of Mexican folk art and throughout you'll find the work of recent Mexican artists and sculptors. 960 1280

©fitopardo.com / Getty Images  

17: Mauritshuis (Netherlands)

17: Mauritshuis (Netherlands)

The Mauritshuis may not have the encyclopedic scope of many of the other museums in this list, nor are its holdings as extensive. However, what it does exceptionally well is play to its strengths -- in this case, pictures from the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age. Three pieces in particular have ripened in this palace on the pond. Vermeer's "View of Delft" miraculously handles real light and atmosphere in paint and conveys an overwhelming sense of rest; at a quick glance it also appears to describe the museum and its immediate environs. 960 1280

Michael Zegers / Getty Images  

16: Tokugawa Art Museum (Japan)

16: Tokugawa Art Museum (Japan)

The Tokugawa family reigned over Japan from 1600 to 1868. Under them, the country enjoyed the longest period of peace in its history. This time span is also known as the Edo period, during which the arts flowered in Japan. Artists of this period directly influenced Western masters such as Manet, Gauguin and Whistler and have since gone on to become household names. Other exhibits effectively present and contextualize, through accurately reproduced environments, aspects of Japanese life at the time. They include exquisite samurai swords and armor, pottery and clothing. 960 1280

De Agostini Picture Library / Getty Images  

15: Kimbell Art Museum (Texas)

15: Kimbell Art Museum (Texas)

Designed by one of the world's greatest architects -- Louis I. Kahn -- the Kimball Art Museum is one of the few buildings in the world that actually enhances your experience of the art it holds inside. The secret lies in the silver metal reflectors that relay the light from the sky outside, across the ceilings and down the walls. Such an abundance of natural light, the airy, spacious exhibition halls and the sunken Zen-like sculpture garden outside (by Japanese-American landscape architect Isamu Noguchi) make for a most relaxing visit. 960 1280

Allan Baxter / Getty Images  

14: Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)

14: Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)

Highlights of this mueum's collection include a grand rotunda lined with Sargent's expert portraiture, an intense, fervent 4th-century Christian marble bust of St. Paul at prayer, and a sumptuous painting that questions life and our very existence, Gauguin's "Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?" However, the jewel in the MFA's crown is without doubt its Asian galleries. 960 1280

Education Images / UIG / Getty Images  

13: Museo Nacional del Prado (Spain)

13: Museo Nacional del Prado (Spain)

You can't blame the Prado for beaming with national pride. It contains the world's greatest collection of Spanish paintings (from the 12th to 19th centuries), though only a third of its artwork is ever on display. The masters Velasquez and Goya are especially well represented, yet the Prado's collection of foreign works is strong too, attesting to the historical strength of Spain. 960 1280

ullstein bild / Getty Images  

12: The Museum of Modern Art (New York)

12: The Museum of Modern Art (New York)

Founded by 3 wealthy women in 1929 as the first museum to ever be dedicated solely to modern art, MoMA was, from the get-go, something different. It has become the greatest and most complete collection on Earth of late 19th- and early 20th-century art, and often wows with its more recent acquisitions and temporary exhibitions. Its home, thanks to Japanese architect Yoshio Tanaguchi, is as much a work of clean, spacious art as its collection. 960 1280

Diana Mayfield / Getty Images  

11: The Egyptian Museum (Cairo)

11: The Egyptian Museum (Cairo)

As well as gathering together some of the finest archaeological finds from all Egypt, this museum also provides a rare opportunity to simply pop in and within minutes be standing face-to-face with one of the greatest works of mankind, Tutankhamun's golden mask. A portrait of unbelievable quality, craftsmanship and beauty, the highly polished gold face -- at once a god, a king and a teenager -- glistens like water: delicate, magnetic yet untouchable all at the same time. 960 1280

Krzysztof Dydynski / Getty Images   

10: Kunsthistorisches Museum (Austria)

10: Kunsthistorisches Museum (Austria)

Like the Medici in Florence, the Hapsburgs of Vienna were wealthy, enthusiastic patrons and collectors of art. Their legacy is one that sits Vienna on top of the pile of the richest art cities in Europe. Today their mighty collections of royal carriages, decorative arts and sculpture, coins, a castle, books, armor, musical instruments, European paintings, as well as Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Near Eastern antiquities, are spread throughout 8 buildings across the city. 960 1280

Sylvain Sonnet / Getty Images  

9: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)

9: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)

A block of New York's Upper East Side, sandwiched between the Museum Mile of Fifth Ave. and Central Park, contains works plucked from 50,000 years of human creativity, belief and power. The Met, as it's more commonly known, is a powerhouse. Its collection spans the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as the ancient, classical and Islamic worlds. The works include painting, photography, sculpture, glass, costume, interior design, musical instruments, antiquities, armor, statuary and the entire first-century Egyptian Temple of Dendur. 960 1280

Sylvain Sonnet / Getty Images  

8: The National Archaeological Museum (Greece)

8: The National Archaeological Museum (Greece)

This museum holds the greatest collection of ancient Greek art on Earth. It is in these remnants of a bygone age that we see the birth of the concept of the importance of man as an individual amongst all the other beings of creation. These ideas are evident in the museum's 5th-century B.C. bronze Zeus, perfectly poised to throw a lightening bolt; modeled so as to be freestanding, he is the result of close observation, the study appears to be of a god, but in truth it is the study of man. 960 1280

ARIS MESSINIS / Getty Images  

7: The National Palace Museum (Taiwan)

7: The National Palace Museum (Taiwan)

The pieces in the collection are the result of more than a thousand years of personal, imperial collecting. The most turbulent period of the collection's upheaval was between 1924 and 1965. Between these years the Chinese emperors, their courts and treasures were taken out of the Forbidden City (or Palace Museum) and put on the move constantly to dodge a warlord's troops, the Japanese and finally the Communist army. 960 1280

SAM YEH / Getty Images  

6: The State Hermitage Museum (Russia)

6: The State Hermitage Museum (Russia)

Spending just a second in front of each piece in the Hermitage's collection would take up over 3 weeks of your time. Its 2 million items are spread throughout 5 palaces built over 5 centuries. As with the Prado and Uffizi, it's best to stick with what's uniquely local (despite excellent Picassos, Matisses and Italian High Renaissance paintings). Focus on the artwork and artifacts of the 6th- to 4th-century B.C. tribes who populated this part of the world and buried their leaders and gentry deep underground. 960 1280

Getty Images  

5: Vatican City (Italy)

5: Vatican City (Italy)

It contains some of the finest works of Italian art from the Renaissance and High Renaissance, aka the finest works ever produced. The dome was designed by Michelangelo, the portico created by Bernini, and St. Peter was martyred here. Fact and legend coalesce on this spot, making it one of the most overwhelming and intoxicating places on Earth. Of the tens of thousands of works on display (spread throughout around 1,400 rooms), a few stand out from the others: The "Belvedere Torso" and marble "Laocoon" are both staple models, called upon by artists throughout art history. 960 1280

ullstein bild / Getty Images  

4: Galleria degli Uffizi (Italy)

4: Galleria degli Uffizi (Italy)

What the Prado is to Spanish art, the Uffizi is to Italian. But more so. It too has a small, but strong collection of foreign works, and some of its native creations are split between other institutions, like the National Gallery in London and the Louvre in Paris. The collection was born and cultivated by the enormously philanthropic Medici family over a number of centuries. The fruits of their generous patronage are beguiling. 960 1280

Allan Baxter / Getty Images  

3: The Natural History Museum (London)

3: The Natural History Museum (London)

In the late 19th century, the British national collection was split 2 ways: one half became the British Museum (the museum of all mankind); the other became the Natural History Museum (the museum of all creation). Here, in the Natural History's 70 million or so specimens, lies the evidence of what man has learned of all facets of creation over the last 250 years. So important is this collection, that parts of it have been presented over the centuries as evidence used to debate and argue the age of the planet and the evolution of life. 960 1280

Johnnie Pakington / Getty Images  

2: The Louvre (Paris)

2: The Louvre (Paris)

The Louvre is France's finest cultural institution, and one that bares its history on its sleeve. You can enter via a contemporary glass pyramid, walk around its 12th-century fortress perimeter underground, follow the ornate stairways of the 16th-century kings between galleries and, thanks to the 18th-century French Revolution, walk through nearly every room in the building. After viewing the "Venus de Milo," notice the ceiling of the small room beyond; it will tell you more about the Venus' influence on art history than the sculpture's explanatory plaque. 960 1280

kwanchai_k photograph / Getty Images  

1: The British Museum (London)

1: The British Museum (London)

A quick glance at what the British Museum has lost will tell you much about the importance of what remains; its natural history and library collections alone formed separate institutions, each taking their place amongst the greatest of their kind in the world. A (free-of-charge) visit to this museum is vital if you want to learn where not only our culture, but others too have come from, and where it is we each look to be going. In the words of its current director, in the British Museum "you can locate your culture in the context of the whole world." What a rare blessing that is, indeed. 960 1280

VisitBritain / Britain on View / Getty Images  

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