One of the many best parts about New York City? No matter how long you’ve lived here, there are always, ALWAYS surprising, pretty, exciting, amazing new things to discover. The city is full of secret streets and hidden gems that most people are not aware of.
Heck, I lived in various Upper West Side rental apartments for 20 years and still to this day will find myself walking down blocks for the first time. And if, like me, you consider the entire city to be “your neighborhood” well, the possibilities for surprise are almost infinite.
Of course, there are always new stores, restaurants, parks, galleries, pop-ups, or whatever opening all the time… but the secret streets and hidden gems I’m talking about are those cool NYC spots that may have been around forever but, for whatever reason, have yet to be explored by you.
Anyway, this all comes to mind because all three of the City’s daily newspapers ran articles recently about different sorts of secret streets and hidden gems. By no means even remotely exhaustive, there’s definitely some cool stuff to be found here.
The New York Times profiled five “off-the-grid” oddities in Manhattan, those small secret streets, a block or two in length, that break through the famous Manhattan grid to form charming enclaves.
Take Pomander Walk, on the Upper West Side, pictured at top, which is kind of like the prettiest alley you’ve ever seen, running mid-block block and lined with eight of the cutest little Tudors in town. Or Cherokee Place, parallel to the East River, and near several Upper East Side rental apartment buildings whose de facto back yard is the excellent John Jay Park and playground.
In a similar vein, the New York Post takes a look at five “secret” (really, just under-traveled) gardens, one in each borough. The Manhattan entry is West Side Community Garden, next to lots of Upper West Side apartments; and their inclusion of Wave Hill in the Bronx (two above) is a nice reminder that I’ve been meaning to revisit that super-quiet, super-lovely spot up in Riverdale, with those spectacular views of the Palisades across the Hudson.
Finally, the Daily News takes a look at the waterfronts of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, which have been given such an extraordinary (and much-needed!) amount of time, energy and money from the city this past decade or so.
Highlights include Brooklyn Bridge Park and Jane’s Carousel, pictured above, right by all of those great DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights apartments; Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island; and the “starchitecture skyline” that’s completely transformed the Chelsea rental apartment landscape.
So which secret streets and hidden gems will you be visiting this summer?
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