When smushed into the far back corner of an overheated 6 train, nose way too close to something, let's just say, overripe, and having to stand on my tip toes to reach the ceiling pole, I often wish I was a master of escape. If you have ever been intrigued by the real master of escape, Harry Houdini, I would highly recommend a visit to the Jewish Museum before the exhibit Houdini: Art and Magic disappears.
In this well-organized compendium of photos, video, diaries and magical contraptions (including THE Chinese Water Torture Cell and THE straightjacket), you will learn more about the Hungarian-born boy turned Wisconsinite locksmith apprentice, turned worldwide magical wonder than you ever wanted to know. You will see images from perhaps one of the most disturbing tricks around, which involves swallowing needles and thread, and then pulling the threaded needles back out. Yeah, it makes me cringe too. You will also have the opportunity for a photo op with the master himself.
Head over to the museum on Saturdays for free admission. While you're there, be sure to check out the other exhibits, including the display of menorahs from the museum's permanent collection.