Three Times a Museum-Goer

The first time I went to the Mob Museum—during the VIP/Media opening, with pop-up bars distributing free drinks every few feet—I knew that I would have to return at least once. Regardless of the cocktails, it was simply impossible to absorb the massive amounts of information presented within the walls of the former post office in one trip.

The second time I went to the Mob Museum was like seeing an old friend. I lingered in my now-favorite parts (the Prohibition area; the Las Vegas room; the interactive exhibits where you can “fire” guns), and I studied up on some of the aspects I’d missed. Even though it was my second visit, I was still overwhelmed by all the history presented. By the time I reached the final floor, I felt a debilitating mental fatigue that kept me from learning anything new. Another trip was needed.

The third time I attended the Mob Museum, I felt like a tour guide. I had to constantly stop myself from rushing my companion and giving away spoilers like, “Just wait till we get to the part about the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.” The third time round, I still felt the same sense of overwhelming fatigue. Instead of reading what I had previously skipped, I found myself returning to those familiar bits. It was like being on a long car trip with only one magazine that you keep flipping through to articles you’ve already read. Not that I didn’t enjoy it. I just felt a sense of guilt that I was unable to see, read and do all the museum had to offer.

Fortunately, I see a simple solution. On your first trip to the Mob Museum (if you haven’t gone, you must go), follow the prescribed route from the third to first floor. On subsequent trips, start at the end and work your way backward. That way your brain will be fresh to get the most of the mobsters.