On Day 40, one of my friends suggested we head to the theater district and skip Broadway in favor of a Spy Exhibit.
SPY: THE EXHIBIT, was an interesting way to start the evening.
I’m not sure what I expected but everything you might imagine such an exhibit to have, was included in this extravaganza:
- Dead mice used to stash secret documents during the cold war? Check.
- Aircraft designed to fly 3 times the speed of sound and pick up foreign secrets? Check.
- Fake bricks known as “dead drops” with secret containers for money/messages? Check.
- Laser room where one embarrasses oneself by fiercely dodging strobes of light while random passerby’s watch outside on screen? Check. (Uncharacteristically, I skipped this activity… but LOVED watching).
- Remote controlled catfish AND dragonfly developed to “explore the use of underwater and aerial vehicles?”… CHECK.
- Voice recording station where one records oneself and changes voice intonations (and broadcasts comments about said friend)? Check.
One of the coolest parts of the exhibit was the history lesson we received.
I’m no history buff! But even I shut up and paid attention once we entered “The Vault” with relics from WWII, the Cold War and the Russian Revolution. All of these hit close to home and I was mesmerized by two displays in particular:
- A limited edition copy of Dr. Zhivago captured by the CIA and originally banned by Soviet Union Officials (author was given the Nobel Prize but was forced to decline it by the Soviet Government)
- A letter written in May of 1945 by Richard Helms – a commanding officer in USA’s Office of Strategic Services – on Adolf Hitler’s stationary to his young son (age 3), explaining the significance of the victory.