It’s not easy to get a New Yorker’s attention, but this museum has done that consistently, and is one of the few museums in town where you’ll see more locals than visitors. It draws them in with creative, sometimes wacky, exhibitions on design. One, for example, highlighted the pins worn by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, another used visitors’ sense of smell to delve into how perfumes are created. On the top floor, artists in residence work at their crafts—furniture, textiles, you name it—making the static exhibits below feel that much more vital. It also has one of the best gift stores in the city and a lovely restaurant on the top floor.
- Pauline Frommer