>The first thing I realized when I arrived at The Living Museum yesterday was that it is more a working studio than a museum or art gallery. Artists worked at stations and in installation rooms throughout the large, light filled building, which previously served as a cafeteria for patients. Other activities took place as well. During my tour, which was given by an extremely gifted artist and outpatient named John, we stopped into a room with two couches (painted a la Keith Harring) and a coffee table.

"This is our break room," John explained as we stood in the center. "We come u p here to sleep and sometimes have sex."

Yes, the museum lives up to the "Living" part of its title. I was sure not to touch anything. The same rule applied when I went to the bathroom. I have no idea what was in the sink, but it was full of some grayish, grittish substance. I decided that I should not wash my hands after squatting over the toilet and using Kleenex from my backpack to wipe.

After the museum, I headed down the street to Alley Pond Park, which is the second largest park in Queens and a nature reserve. I was so inspired by this sign that I decided to take a picture with my cell phone and risk huge fees by texting it to my email:

I love truth in advertising.

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