Requiem For The Troll Museum

New York City is known around the world for its peerless museums... The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, the Guggenheim, and countless more. But it also houses many lesser-known, eclectic museums.

Venture into a Chinatown alley and see Mmuseumm, the city's smallest museum, housed entirely in a freight elevator. Or go to Williamsburg and visit the City Reliquary, housed in a former bodega and featuring unique artifacts from NYC history. In SoHo, you can view the New York Earth Room,  a single room filled with 280,000 pounds of dirt. And let's not forget the Museum of Sex, in midtown.

Alas, NYC is losing many of these treasures. Brooklyn recently lost its Morbid Anatomy Museum. And last year, we also lost my personal favorite... The Troll Museum, a labor of love by local performance artist Reverend Jen Miller. Housed in her Lower East Side tenement, the "museum" consisted of Miller's well-curated collection of troll dolls and related memorabilia. She had hundreds of pieces in the collection. But last summer, Miller was evicted from her apartment, and thus the museum was no more.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Miller a couple of years ago, and arranging a private visit to her home/museum. To see this in person was breathtaking.

Rev. Jen Miller was not just a hardcore collector (and a true NYC character!), she was also an amazing storyteller. She regaled me with the history of troll dolls, and went shelf-by-shelf to explain the significance of everything. She took one room full of dolls and turned it into a thorough, memorable one-hour tour. Her presence in the Lower East Side is missed every day.

So don't wait to experience the unique museums and experiences that New York City has to offer. They might not be here for long!

In the meantime, you can take this virtual tour of The Troll Museum, from 11 years ago: