Although most people visit New York City to get a firsthand look at the common tourist attractions that are available, there are a number of hidden gems that add to the character of the destination and are scattered throughout the city. From quaint coffee shops to serene parks, there are a number of places to explore when you want to go somewhat off of the grid and rub shoulders with the locals.
Stumptown Coffee is a well-known establishment among coffee snobs who keep their French press close and their glass carafe even closer. The coffee shop is situated in Greenwich Village and is a place where hipsters and students are known to congregate throughout the day. The wood-paneled interior setting is urban with modern features that include herringbone wood floors and oversized lights that are covered in fishnet. The establishment prides itself in its cold brew and full espresso bar for fresh brew-by-the-cup offerings.
Explore manicured gardens in the heart of New York City by visiting the Rockefeller Center where flowers grow on the top of the art deco building at 620 Loft and Gallery in a location that is surrounded by skyscrapers. It’s an incredible place to lounge and read a book at one of the tables while taking in the nearby views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The Atlantic Avenue Subway Tunnel is hidden beneath Brooklyn Heights, which is the oldest standing subway tunnel in the world and was originally constructed in 1844. Although the tunnel was abandoned for several decades, visitors began exploring the location in 1980 and it continues to be revisited today with guided tours available in a spot that is now open to the public.
Located at 520 Madison Avenue, there are five slabs of the former Berlin Wall that are present, which have one side that is covered in the artwork that was painted on by German artists Thierry Noir and Kiddy Citny with the eastern side left blank. It makes for an interesting spot to photograph when exploring the small plaza.
The Blockhouse is situated in Central Park but often goes hidden. It’s located in Central Park North Woods and is the remnant of a series of fortifications that were originally built along the northern end of Central Park to use as a defense against the British incursions. Although the building is locked and cannot be toured, the public can still visit the location and take photos of it.
Loew’s Theater on 4515 New Utrecht Avenue first opened its doors in 1927 but has since deteriorated and is a historic attraction in the city. Although it no longer houses live performances, it’s now used as a furniture storehouse where the public can view a building that once was made to resemble an Italian garden at night.