The Explorers Club is a private club that began in Manhattan in 1904. Since its inception members have included everyone from Charles Lindbergh to Neil Armstrong and presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover. The club, which is housed in an old mansion on the Upper East Side, features exotic artifacts from expeditions that have taken place as far away as the moon and an impressive rare book library with over 15,000 volumes on exploration and travel.
Since 2009, Lorie Karnath has presided over the club as president. In addition to being a children’s book author and patron of the arts, Lorie has traveled the world setting up programs that help foster creativity, discovery and science. She has led several Explorers Club Flag expeditions, covering some of the Earth’s most remote locations in search of answers to the world’s most perplexing environmental concerns. Her most recent expedition involved following the migration patterns of white storks, for which she went on to create a German sanctuary.
The Explorer's Club is full of all sorts of stories and rituals in which members gather a few times a year to share the lore of their past adventures, plan future expeditions and compare notes on their recent discoveries. In additon to "members only" events the club offers a public events calendar in which anyone can sit in on presentations and screenings hosted by the likes of astronauts and the world’s most accomplished scientists and explorers.
John Burroughs - "Burroughs was an amazing character. He was one of the first people to actually seek out a land location and establish it as a sanctuary and I know that place very well. The beauty of the Hudson River inspires me everyday and I know it's partially like that because of what John Burroughs did for the Hudson area."
Ralph Waldo Emerson - "Emerson was a little bit trickier. He was so versatile. He did so many things, but it was his poetry and treaties on nature that particularly inspired me."
Henry David Thoreau - "I like Thoreau because if you read some of his works on Walden Pond he sort of teaches us about how to live in harmony with nature and he was one of the first people to really think about it in an orchestrated fashion."
SCIENTISTS AND EXPLORERS
Lady Hester Stanhope - "She came from a wealthy family and the second she got any money she took off. She had an amazing spirit. She was looking around saying, 'No, I won't get married to benefit my family politically when I know the world is out there', and just took off. She got rid of her petty coat, wore trousers and experienced the world."
Gustav Born - "He has a substantial knowledge of science and is the co-author of a book with me that we wrote on science for children. We feel language is important and science is a language and the younger that you’re exposed to science, the better off you are."
Burma (Myanmar) - "This is an absolutely beautiful country stuck in time because of the militaristic government that doesn’t allow for progress. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in this country; it’s beyond spell binding. My husband and I help foster a school and an orphanage there to try to help the people. But in terms of the beauty around them, it’s amazing."
Patagonia - "This is down in the southern most tip of Chile and is a very special place for me. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. It's hard to even describe let alone duplicate anywhere else."
Rangoon - Rangoon, also known as Yangon, is a former capital of Burma and the capital of Yangon Division.
Beijing - Beijing is a metropolis in northern China and the capital of the People's Republic of China.
Mumbai - Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra.
Shanghai - Shanghai is the largest city in China and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, with over 20 million people.
Buenos Aires - Buenos Aires is the capital, and largest city of Argentina. It's currently the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after São Paulo.
Helsinki - Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland.
National Geographic Films - "Their films really take you there in a way that even if you’re on the expedition, sometimes you don’t get to see what it is that these films bring to you. So in a way these people are the artists, the chroniclers of the expeditions of today. In the past, painters went on the early expeditions because this was the only way of visually capturing them."
MUSEUMS AND LIBRARIES
The American Museum of Natural History - "This is, of course, one of my favorite museums. When you can’t hop on a plane and get to the Borneo jungles or elsewhere, the Natural History Museum is a good place to stop."
Asia Society - "I love the Asia Society that’s right near the Explorers Club. They have very impressive exhibits. I’m very involved in Asian art overall so I just love the building."
Pierpont Morgan Library - "This library has always been my extra special favorite. When I was in University I studied early Christian manuscripts. They have an amazing selection of illuminated manuscripts and they always have excellent exhibits."
Patagonia - "I go to Patagonia a lot. I love the store overall. They have such a great selection. I have been shopping there for quite sometime, mostly because of their open forum and the knowledge of the staff and just the huge selection."
Gradisca - "This is a wonderful Italian restaurant on West 13th and the owner is from Bologna."
The Place - "I love The Place on West 4th street. It's a wonderful restaurant with great American and Pan European food. The atmosphere is really cozy and inviting."
Mr. Chow - "I love Mr. Chow on 57th street. I stop there just to get a little bit of my Asia fix from time to time."
Grand Central - "This is one of my favorite places. I love the celestial depictions on the ceiling and the fact that you’re looking at it as though you're above not below. This is because they copied the medieval maps where you were looking at it as if you were looking through another ethereal body."
Underneath Grand Central Station - "Underneath the station is the whispering wall where there's these ceramic arches that if you stand in one corner the sound travels along the arch and you can hear it louder than if someone was standing right next to you. It's so cool."
Central Park - "There’s a number of fantastic statues, but there’s one I especially like, this malamute dog named “Balto". He helped rescue Alaskans by bringing them needed medication when diphtheria broke out and he was the lead dog who got there fastest and saved hundreds of lives."
Santos Party House - "Santos Party House is a sort of indoor bazaar of cultural and social happenings."
Calder Quartet - "Calder Quartet is an incredible talent that successfully combines a number of classical and contemporary musical elements in unique ways."
Andrew W.K. - "Andrew performed at an Explorers Club affiliated event and was just spectacular. He's a true showman and a great guy. The women all loved him."