Review: SPYSCAPE Museum in Hell's Kitchen
SPYSCAPE, which opened on Friday, February 16, is an interactive museum where people are able to learn about real spies from the 20th century and do activities that make them feel like real spies themselves. Designed by English architect David Adjaye, the exterior looks like any other office building. When you walk in, you are surrounded by dark grey structural concrete. It gives the visitor the feeling of being underground and getting ready to be secretly briefed on their next mission.
Your ticket, which is an identity bracelet, helps you interact with the stations located around the exhibit. To get to the exhibit, you and 19 other people are gathered into a large elevator for your “briefing.” There are four interactive stations: encryption, deception, surveillance, and special ops. At other mini-stations, visitors are tested on personality, brainpower, and risk.
On opening weekend, the wait for the stations was a little long, which in turn prevented some patrons from experiencing all of the tests. To have the full experience, it’s recommended to go on a weekday, not at peak hours. It’s worth the wait because in the end, a profiling system, created by a former head of training at British Intelligence, tells you what kind of spy you would be. (I made special ops officer.) And who doesn't want to be a spy?