Undiscovered New York: The guide which still needs to be written.
New York City is a true mecca for holidaymakers and attractions like Times Square, Chinatown, Central Park, the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are all well and truly on the tourist trail. However, visitors who want to see a different side to this metropolis aren’t stuck for options either. There is a whole other side to this cosmopolitan conurbation and by digging just a little under the surface, visitors can enjoy a wealth of novel experiences.
Rather than simply taking snaps of Brooklyn Bridge on a cheap holiday to New York, visitors can walk over this beautiful structure, and become part of the Big Apple cityscape themselves. As well as offering awe-inspiring views over both Manhattan and Brooklyn, this two-mile round trip is dotted with historical plaques and it even features a timeline of the city’s ever-rising skyline.
Vacationers can also take trips to Roosevelt Island, which features a Gothic lighthouse, Four Freedoms Park and hospital ruins, among other things. An aerial tram takes visitors to the island; an unmissable experience in itself.
On a similar theme, holidaymakers can make their way to Staten Island’s Snug Harbor. This is a short ferry ride from Manhattan and it features a former complex for elderly sailors. The harbour location boasts some beautiful views, with a modern art center and a botanic garden, as well as a hedge maze to its name.
Meanwhile, those who are keen to take in a little culture while in the Big Apple can head to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans in the Bronx Community College. This open-air attraction features the names and faces of greats like Alexander Graham-Bell and Franklin Roosevelt, all housed in a classical colonnade. People can also enjoy a panoramic vista incorporating the Cloisters Museum from this picturesque spot.
But it’s not just the natives who have made an impression here over the years. Another superb attraction is the Noguchi Museum. This small building is located in Queens by the East River and it is devoted to the Japanese artist Isamu Noguchi. In it, visitors can see his collection of modernist works, lantern designs and an outdoor sculpture garden.
Holidaymakers may also wish to venture to the Irish Hunger Memorial, which is based near to the Ground Zero site. It was built in remembrance of those lost to the 19th century potato famine in Ireland and it offers a sobering experience of one of New York’s most influential communities.
Dine with a difference
New York is known for its tasty tucker; a hybrid of influences from all around the world. From pizza and burger joints to fine dining establishments, there are lots of options for hungry sightseers. However, rather than sticking to traditional restaurants and takeaways, holidaymakers can broaden their horizons and target the city’s food trucks.
These vehicles serve everything from ice cream, waffles and coffee to authentic Indian food and Korean barbecue dishes. Then there are the international markets, such as New Amsterdam and Hester Street Fair. Foodies should also make their way to Arthur Avenue in The Bronx. This street, which is little known to visitors, is a great place to pick up Italian meats, cheeses and pastries.
A little research and an adventurous spirit is all it takes to discover much more in New York than first meets the eye. With a heaving population of over 8 million, NYC may own one of the busiest urban landscapes in the world, but it’s definitely possible to get away from the tourist magnets and conduct your own tour, giving those undervalued spots a little more attention…
Images credits (used via Flickr Creative Commons):