The Big Apple is much more than the Empire State, Times Square and Broadway. If you are staying in New York and looking to experience a more obscure and hidden side of the city, why not explore one of the lesser-known locations listed below.
Visitors who stumble upon Pomander Walk by accident would be forgiven for thinking they had suddenly been transported through space and time. This row of English countryside Tudor cottages, hidden away on West 95th Street at Broadway, was built in 1922 by nightclub manager Thomas J Healy. The story goes that Healy had wanted to build a hotel at the location but was unable to secure funding and so built Pomander Walk as a temporary solution. This temporary solution is still standing today, as a small oasis of English calm among the concrete jungle of Manhattan.
Dead Horse Bay
Take a walk along Dead Horse Bay and you will find glass bottles, porcelain, children’s toys and animal bones from another time washed up on the shore. The Bay, situated on Barren Island in the borough of Brooklyn, was given its gruesome name is the 1850s when it was the location of a horse rendering plant which turned animal bones into fertiliser and glue. When this practice stopped in the 1920s the Bay was used as a landfill site until 1953. Objects from the past are often washed up on the shore, giving visitors a unique and spooky view into the past.
The Berlin Wall
Discreetly tucked away in a courtyard in Midtown Manhattan, this 20 foot long stretch of concrete might be mistaken for just another piece of NYC street art. It is, in fact, a genuine piece of the Berlin Wall. These 5 concrete slabs formed part of the wall that divided East and West Berlin from 1961 to 1989. The sections were painted by German artist Kiddy Citny and Thierry Noir and installed in 1990 at their present location between the Jefferies office building and Paley Park on 53rd Street.
The Underground Vaults of the New York Public Library
30 feet below Bryant Park are vaults that hold treasures and manuscripts found nowhere else on the planet. The Vaults were opened in 1991 and contain 1.5 million books stored on 40 miles of shelf space and 500,000 reels of microfilm. The New York Public Library archive contains wonders such as George Washington’s recipe for brewing beer and the luggage Herman Melville took to sea.
The Abandoned City Hall Subway
The City Hall stop on the 6 Line opened in 1904 and was used by New Yorkers until it was closed in 1945, due to problems modernising the station to accommodate new subway trains. While the station itself is not open to the public, there is a way you can get a glimpse of its amazing stained glass, impressive arches and chandeliers. If you stay on the 6 train when it reaches the end of the line at Brooklyn Bridge, you will travel around the loop of track to the uptown platform and pass through City Hall station.