POINTS OF INTEREST
One of the first items to be auctioned at the New York outpost of this infamous auction house, when it opened in 2000, was the "Happy Birthday" dress worn by Marilyn Monroe when she sang to President Kennedy (it sold for more than $1.2 million, in case you were wondering). Yes, the auction house has come a long way since James Christie launched his business in England by selling two chamber pots, among other household goods, in 1766. You could easily spend an hour or more wandering the free, museumlike galleries, where on any given day, you find impressive works of art, estate jewelry, furniture, and other rarely displayed letters and objects of interest that are usually housed in (and most likely, soon to be returned to) private collections. The lobby's specially commissioned abstract Sol LeWitt mural alone makes it worth visiting the 310,000-square-foot space. Hours vary by sale, so call ahead to confirm.