11 NYC Spots You Probably Don't Know Exist
But should visit
Listen, we know you know the city like the back of your hand--even the “secret” spots. The whispering corner in Grand Central? Old news. Please Don’t Tell inside Crif Dogs? Been there, done that.
But even we were surprised to discover some of these blink-and-you’ll-miss-them, downright hidden spots around the city, from to a discreet cemetery behind a hotel to a bomb shelter under a bridge.
A Bowling alley at the Frick Collection mansion
Hidden beneath the floors filled with 18th-century porcelain and walls of 16th-century paintings is, of all things, a bowling alley. It was commissioned by Frick in 1914. The lanes are super cool looking, but they’re kept under strict lock and key, so you’ll probably have to stick to Brooklyn Bowl.
A grain elevator in Red Hook
Talk about eerie: This grain terminal (behind the Brooklyn IKEA and at the mouth of the Gowanus Canal) is made up of 54 circular silos, has been abandoned for more than 50 years and could definitely be the set of a horror movie.
A train platform under the Waldorf Astoria
It’s no longer in use, but at one time VIPs (including F.D.R.) used this train platform as a secret entrance into the hotel.
A brownstone subway station
It looks identical to the buildings on either side, but the “brownstone” at 58 Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights is actually an emergency exit for the 4 and 5 trains.
A Lenin statue in the East Village
Next time you’re near the Red Square building in the East Village (at 250 E. Houston St.), look up and catch a glimpse of a massive statue of the Russian revolutionary.
A boat graveyard in Staten Island
Looking like a creepy scene from a pirate movie, the Staten Island boat graveyard is the city’s dumping ground for old and unusable ferries, tugboats and barges.
A Cold War bomb shelter under the Brooklyn Bridge
On the Manhattan side of the bridge you’ll find a shelter full of supplies including blankets, food and other survival necessities that were just discovered by city workers in 2006.
A piece of the Berlin Wall in Midtown
That’s not just another mural in a Midtown East courtyard at 53rd and Madison; it’s actually a 12-foot-high, 20-foot-long segment of the Berlin Wall.
North Brother Island
It exists, and not just on Broad City. Turns out, North Brother is an island in the East River between the Bronx and Rikers Island, and it was most notably the home of Typhoid Mary for two decades until her death in 1938.
The cemetery behind the Bowery Hotel
The New York Marble Cemetery, founded in 1830, is in plain sight from the back windows of the Bowery Hotel, but there’s more to it. The deceased are interred in marble vaults underground and the burial spots are marked with discreet plaques instead of tombstones.
The abandoned City Hall subway station
The next time you take the downtown 6 train, stay on at the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall station. As the train loops around to go uptown, take a peek at the abandoned City Hall station, which hasn’t been used since 1945.