Psst... want to hear a secret? We’re uncovering some of the city’s coolest hidden gems. With pop-up restaurants, under the radar spots, abandoned subway stations and historic buildings, New York is one big mystery waiting to be uncovered.
Here are some of the city’s secrets we’ve found so far:
Inactive since 1945, the station is unlike any other, boasting glass skylights, tiled vaults, arches and brass chandeliers. The City Hall Subway Station can be seen from the 6 train heading south to the Brooklyn Bridge Station. The trick is to not get off, stay on while the train turns around the City Hall loop, giving you a view of the now closed station. Or, if you are a member of the Transit Museum you can have the rare opportunity to explore the station up close.
Located in the East Village it is the oldest non-denominational public burial ground. The deceased are buried in marble vaults underground and there are no tombstones, only plaques. Founded in 1830, the cemetery is well-hidden amongst buildings and those who gaze out at it often are unaware that it is actually a cemetery.
Those who possess a Bank of America card are privy to free admission on the first weekend of every month to 7 museums in the city including:
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Staten Island Children’s Museum
- New York Historical Society
- Whitney Museum of American Art
- Brooklyn Children’s Museum
- Queens Museum of Art
- The International Center of Photography
Habesha Nights is a secret dinner party series that combines vegan Ethiopian eating and drinking traditions with contemporary music, art and spaces. To find out when and where the pop-up dinner spot will take place you have to keep checking their website.
It’s NYC’s largest jail complex and one of the country’s most notorious jails residing on an island between Queens and the Bronx. Once used as military training ground during the Civil War, the island was turned into a jail that became known for violence and has housed several famous prisoners including: Tupac Shakur, Sid Vicious, Lil Wayne and more. The prison is difficult to find, as it is often omitted from maps, has no marked signs and there is only one way onto the island. The Q100 MTA bus takes you across the unmarked bridge to the entrance of the facility.
46th Street Loew’s Theatre
A theatre that once entertained New York’s finest and has hosted numerous famous acts including Jerry Lee Lewis, The Bee Gees and Grateful Dead has been forgotten and turned into a storage facility. It was the first atmospheric theater in the city and was once a symbol of grandeur.
Berlin Wall remnants
Located in Paley Park at 520 Madison Avenue there is a section of the Berlin Wall measuring 12 feet high and 20 feet long. It is often unnoticed by passersby, however there are tables and chairs in front where people can contemplate and reflect. Although often overlooked, the wall does stand out and can’t be missed once you realize what it is.
New York is home to many secret restaurants and Zenkichi (an authentic Japanese restaurant in Williamsburg) takes the cake for hiding spots. The door is a wood paneled wall with simply the number 77 above a dilapidated looking entrance. Once you find the hidden entrance, even the restaurant itself gives off a new feel as the tables are semi private and you must use a buzzer to call your waiter.
Another favorite hidden restaurant that is so secretive it doesn’t even have a name. Located in the basement of No Name Bar is a Thai shop that dishes up some of the best Bok Choy and Noodle Soup in the city. The restaurant is located at 597 Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn and you can find it in what looks like a run -own building with wood paneling in the front.
In a city as big as New York, we’ll never be able to uncover all of its secret hidden gems but we can try! Once you discover a secret place, you’ll want to keep searching for more, so don’t wait, start exploring now!