5 New York City Hidden Treasures

I am a life-long tourist. Anywhere and everywhere is an opportunity to learn and explore. This is especially true here in New York City. Every corner and every borough - Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx - has the obvious tourist spots and then the places that are a little out of the way but really special and really worth it. From learning about past generations or going to museums or spending time outdoors, I love to dig in and experience part of New York that lifers and tourists alike don’t necessarily have on their “must” list.

Here are five of my favorites - one from each borough in New York City!

Manhattan - The Merchant House Museum

The garden alone is worth the trip! Who knew such a beautiful garden lay behind this house on East 4th Street? The Merchant’s House Museum, known formerly as the Old Merchant’s House and as the Seabury Tredwell House, is the only nineteenth-century family home in New York City preserved intact — both inside and out. It is the only historic house museum in the Greenwich Village/Soho/NoHo neighborhoods and celebrated 75 years as a museum in 2011. It’s a self-guided tour that takes maybe 45 minutes. There are also ghost tours and live music on certain nights during the summer. This house is an awesome step back in time and a great way to learn about what life was like in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Bonus points if you can find the pie safe!

Queens - The Noguchi Museum

What a lovely slice of zen within Long Island City! The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, was designed and created by the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. It opening on a limited basis to the public in 1985 with the purpose to preserve and display Noguchi’s sculptures, architectural models, stage designs, drawings, and furniture designs. Long Island City is exploding with development now, I can’t imagine what it was like in the 1960s when Noguchi first started working and living in this area. This museum has 12 galleries and is spacious and simply stunning. It’s a great date spot - you get major points for finding something special off the beaten path.

Staten Island - The Alice Austen House

Alice Austen was the original Humans of New York photographer! She discovered photography as a child in the 1880s when it was a new art form. It was certainly not an accepted profession for women but Alice pushed forward. She took hundreds of photos of friends and life in not only NYC but also around the country. This is her house where she lived and worked for a good portion of her life, and it is listed as one of the oldest houses in New York City. There are also rotating photo exhibits in the house and other events held on the grounds. Bonus for the gorgeous views of NYC from the lawn.

The Bronx - Wave Hill

So green! So lush! So quiet! Wave Hill is a 28 acre estate, consisting of public gardens and a cultural center, in the Hudson Hill section of the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx in New York City. It is situated on the slopes overlooking the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the estate includes two houses and a botanical garden. They also have visual arts exhibits on display. I love walking around the grounds and spending an afternoon here.

Brooklyn - Brooklyn Cyclones

The Brooklyn Cyclones are a minor league baseball team - affiliated with the New York Mets. They play at MCU Park just off the Coney Island boardwalk. I know most people go to Coney Island to ride the Cyclone or go to the beach or walk the boardwalk but baseball is the real find here! Tickets are cheap (so is the food and the beer) and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon or an evening.

Everyone has a hidden New York. That’s one of the best things about the city. All you have to do to discover your own is step out your door!

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