This is embarrassing exciting: a few weeks ago we did the first thing on our New York list and visited the Tenement Museum. (Let’s ignore the fact that we’re more than eight months in to this 2013 list and just now hitting number one. I’ve been busy!!)

The Tenement Museum is on the Lower East Side and is set up to show the living and working situations of immigrants in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. We took the “Sweatshop Workers” tour and wandered through the teeny apartments of two families, once of which doubled as a garment factory.

It was really interesting and enjoyable…I particularly love dollhouses and dioramas and historical recreations (Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts is one of my favorite places ever) so touring the true-to-life building was just great. I kind of can’t believe it took us so long to get there. It tells a story about an era and a movement that was so essential to what New York City has become; it almost feels like we owe it to the city to pay homage to the past as we take advantage of the present.

The only small hiccup of the day was when I got a little overheated (it was August and not air conditioned) and almost passed out. Not wanting to disturb any of the historical props, I stepped out of the apartment and sat on the staircase and got in trouble for leaving the group. I still think that was a better move than fainting in the middle of the tiny room…

So that was a fun way to kick of the list. Spoiler alert: we’re getting to the next one a little more quickly than the first.

Have you been to any cool museums this summer?