New York City seems kind of honest, doesn’t it? The city feels like it’s not hiding anything from us: the lights of Times Square, the openness of Central Park, the kitschy people hustling the streets, the adoring love for giant slabs of pizza. But, the thing is, New York City is actually quite mysterious. The secrets buzzing around in the big lights and hustle of Manhattan are ones you’re going to want to discover the next time you’re there.
The New Yorker Hotel, its giant red sign dominating West 34th Street, has a tiny secret. And it’s in the tunnel that ran from the lobby to Penn Station, which is still sitting under 34th Street. Through the basement and a sealed door of the hotel, the tunnel is filled with excess chairs, carpets, and Art Deco tiling. In the 1930s hotel goers used the tunnel as a private link to Penn Station (Editor’s note: can we ever be as fabulous as we were in the 30s)? Now, artifacts from the tunnel archive are on display in the New Yorker Hotel lobby next to a small museum, where visitors can experience the golden era of the hotel.
What if we were to say there was a 28-acre oasis that looked over the Hudson River in the Bronx? Sounds cool, right? It only costs a few dollars to get in there, but an afternoon of peace and quiet in New York City is hard to come by and definitely worth it. Depending on when you’re planning travel, they have a lot of beautiful events to attend here.
We all know the photo! The one where Marilyn grasps glamour and her white dress in 1954, dancing in the blowing subway grate air. Well, her subway grate is left very unloved and unmarked within the city, but it’s certainly fun to find. The grate is located on Lexington Avenue and 52nd street, the French restaurant Le Relais de Venise in the backdrop.
The pedestrian island in the middle of Times Square (the one you stand on with all the subway grates) singsongs a unique and purposeful….humming noise. If you’re wondering what it sounds like, this “tough to identify” hum resembles the faraway clanking of heavy machinery. The coolest part? The noise is entirely deliberate. It was originally an art installation by Max Neuhaus, called Times Square, created in 1977, to see if anyone on the world’s busiest street would notice. And the funniest part? No one did notice. So, here we are today, talking about its mysterious part of the city.
This restaurant is hidden in a loading dock. Yes, way! The small menu with Latin American comfort foods accompanies the tiny lunch corner amid the wholesale shops and newsstands within Manhattan’s Garment District. It’s very easy to pass by, as it looks identical to all the freight entrances of the city. Find it right between 7th and 8th Avenue.
A secret garden? Say it is so! Beyond the ice rink of 30 Rock or giant Christmas tree, the Rockefeller is holding another earthy secret. And it’s the outdoor roof home to The Channel Gardens.
A gushing waterfall in New York City? Who’d ever thought? Greenacre Park has just that and more delightful moments to enjoy. The park, composed of three levels, is highlighted by its dramatic, 25-foot high waterfall constructed by sculpted granite. The water trickles through the park and welcomes visitors at the entrance, a tranquil haven for such a busy city. Enjoy some virtual tranquility here.
The women’s lounge on the first mezzanine at Radio City Music Hall is a gorgeous slice of history. Go ahead and take the tour, it’s worth the $26.95 ticket to see the inner working of 1932 art deco architecture and history.
Yes, there’s a forest growing inside a Midtown Manhattan office. That office is called The Ford Foundation Building. Just tucked away on East 43rd Street inside grows a remarkable tropical jungle you can enjoy for a quick midtown stroll. The building, built by Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo, was designed as a hub for the Ford Foundation. It is twelve stories high and decked with glass and steel, inside housing a bizarre lush garden of magnolias, dwarf shrubs, and water pools. Believe it or not, (just go and see it) rainfall is collected on the roof and added to steam condensation to water the plants and fill the pools. Note: the building is undergoing renovations throughout the summer but will reopen fall of 2018.
Brittany is a member of the Communications Team at Sun Country Airlines. Her favorite things about Sun Country are the close-knit family vibe and the passion behind the people, as if the employees and customers grew up loving the “airline next door.” Her favorite destination? The whimsical forests and rain of Seattle’s coast.