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Hidden spaces in New York City the locals don’t want you to know about
Whether in person or in the films we’ve all seen them, the bustling city streets teeming with life and iconic landmarks that make New York City so distinctive. When asked chances are you know all about the Statue of Liberty or Times Square, and these are amazing locations you must see, but what about the places you haven’t heard of? In a city full of life and culture it’s important to discover the hidden gems the locals don’t want you to know about.

If you’re planning a trip to the city that never sleeps, consider adding these secret spaces to your itinerary.

Midtown East’s Greenacre Park

Located on East 51st Street between Second and Third Avenue is a hidden gem that may surprise you. Nestled between lush greenery is a 25-foot-high waterfall providing a moment of tranquillity and a perfect space for you to decompress from the crowded streets.


Designed by Hideo Sasaki and opened in 1971, it has since been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior. The 3 levelled peaceful milieu features a centre area of twelve mature honey locust trees, russet brick paving, sunning seating areas and an outdoor Café. It’s the place to be to escape the hustle and bustle of modern city life.


Brooklyn’s Vinegar Hill

We’re all familiar with New York Cities incredible skyscrapers, with the tallest structure measuring an awe-inspiring 546m, but did you know there’s a quiet 10th century neighbourhood in Brooklyn that feels like you’re stepping back in time?


The area gets its name from the Battle of Vinegar Hill from the Irish Rebellion of 1798, as it was commonly known as ‘Irishtown’ in the 19th century due to it’s sizeable Irish population but has since become a popular area for locals due to its colourful townhouses and quiet atmosphere.


High Bridge between Manhattan and the Bronx

To soak up the stunning views of New York City without crowds blocking the view, head over to High Bridge between Manhattan and the Bronx. Originally open as part of the Croton Aqueduct in 1848, it was reopened after over 45 years in 2015 as a public walkway. It’s the oldest bridge in the city and offers a gorgeous uninterrupted view of the forest.


Dead Horse Bay

A small body of water in between two inlets near Jamaica Bay in South Brooklyn and located on the shore of what was once known as Barren Island, Dead Horse Bay is a secret worth discovering. Don’t be discouraged by the name, despite what you may be thinking, it was actually names for the horse-rendering plants that operated along the coastline throughout the latter half of the 1800’s. Though there is a chance for treasure to be discovered so keep your eyes peeled!


The Whispering Arch of Grand Central Station

If you’re familiar with the movie Arthur featuring Russell Brand, this location may ring a bell. The Whispering Arch of Grand Central station is located near to the Oyster Bar restaurant on the lower level of the terminal and is special due to the magical way the acoustics work there. To experience it, you’ll need two people. One person stands at one end of the arch whilst the other stands at the opposite. From there you can whisper to each other! This magical experience is a must-try and not very well known. It’s perfect for sending silly messages or maybe even a romantic exchange.


Tiny little doors

Not technically a location, but it deserves a mention because of it’s uniqueness to New York City. Since 2014 tiny doors are being spotted across the city, making it seems as if there’s a tiny population living in the walls of the streets. Originally thought to be by artist Cynthia Von Buhler, it was later discovered they were created by her fans, making it a unique way to explore the creativity of the locals. Though difficult to spot, it’s worth keeping a close eye throughout pedestrian areas to see if you can spot the quirky community art installations.


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