City Pulse

By Meredith Clinton Bell

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It’s easy to be intrigued by the larger than life existence of the late Harry Houdini. A man who became legend, Houdini performed unbelievable escapes from straightjackets, handcuffs, chests, and the famous Chinese Water Torture Chamber, in which he was suspended upside down in a tankful of water. Plus, he died on Halloween…cue the Twilight Zone music.

Now, for the first time ever, you can see authentic Houdini memorabilia — lock picks, handcuffs, photos, posters and more — at a museum dedicated solely to the mystery man himself, the newly opened Houdini Museum of New York.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind inspiration to magicians everywhere,” said Thomas Solomon, an escape artist who performed a few escapes of his own at the grand opening of the museum late last month.

Many of the museum’s artifacts have never before been seen in a public setting, including the bust (pictured above), which formerly rested at Houdini’s grave site in Ridgewood, Queens.

Admission is free (free!), so you can go explore, learn and uncover a few mysteries of your own. Mentalists, magicians and escape artists of today will also grace the small stage at the museum for intimate performances (ticket fee may apply).

Who knows? Maybe Houdini himself will even drop by for a visit…

Visit http://www.houdinimuseumny.com for more information and a schedule of any upcoming performances.

The Houdini Museum of New York @ Fantasma Magic
421 7th Ave, 3rd floor
Open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Originally published November 2012
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