There’s no shortage of amazing things to see and do in New York City. Most of these places are pretty out in the open, but plenty of other ones are hidden away, available only to those who are willing to look for them. Here are a few of them, taken from an article I found online:
City Hall Station: If you’re riding the 6 subway downtown, don’t get off at the final stop (Brooklyn Bridge). Rather, stay on the train, and you’ll pass through the now closed City Hall Station. This small station is one of the most beautifully-designed in the city, with Guastavino tile vaults, skylights and Romanesque Revival architecture. Very rarely, the New York Transit Museum offers free tours of the station, but you need to sign up quickly.
The Henry C. Frick bowling alley: Housed in the former home of millionaire Henry Clay Frick is one of the best European art museums in the city. The cellar of the mansion is home to a private bowling alley that Frick added in 1914. Unfortunately, getting to see it is nearly impossible if you aren’t a member of the museum.
NYPL book vault: Attached to the NYPL is a two-story, underground vault holding some of the rarest books in the library’s collection. Although it isn’t open on a regular basis, it does host a handful of annual tours.
Harlem’s High Bridge: Built in the mid-19th century as an aqueduct, this once carried water from Westchester to Manhattan. It now serves as an attraction for walkers and park-goers. To get there, take the 1 train up to 168th and walk east to Highbridge Park.
Rockefeller Center’s Rooftop Gardens: Hidden at the top of Rockefeller Center is a beautiful rooftop garden filled with well-tended flowers and a reflective pool and garden. If you’ve got a lot of money lying around, you can rent the space for a private event.
GCT “whispering spot”: In front of the famous Oyster Bar in Grand Central is an archway. If two people stand at opposite ends of the arch, they can talk into the wall and have their partner hear what they’re saying on the other side.
Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital Ruins: Crowded as New York is, there remain plenty of abandoned buildings, including this 19th-century building on Roosevelt Island. Population density and a steady arrival of immigrants from Europe meant that New York suffered from smallpox for a long time, and the building served as a quarantine for those infected.
Fragment of the Berlin Wall: Around the corner from the MoMA is a section of the Berlin Wall, specifically in the lobby of 520 Madison Ave. This five-section wall is one of the largest sections still intact. Although it’s inside a building, the lobby is open to the public, so come and visit.
Loew’s Theater: Although it was once a thriving theater in earlier years, Loew’s on Canal Street is now vacant, awaiting restoration. It was one of the biggest movie theaters in the country when it opened in 1927, but fell into disuse in the 1960s. Although it’s vacant, its designation as an official New York City Landmark means that it can’t be torn down. Luckily, developers are in talks to get it renovated.
Speakeasies: Although speakeasies are now obsolete after the repeal of Prohibition, that doesn’t make the gimmick of a hidden bar any less appealing. In the past decade, a new wave of speakeasies, most of them cocktail-centric, have been springing up everywhere from Harlem to Brooklyn. Their entrances are seldom marked, and you often need to know where to look if you want to find them, but they’re a whole lot of fun if you can.