New York City is a bustling metropolis with countless attractions and activities to explore. From iconic landmarks to hidden gems, the city offers a myriad of experiences for both locals and tourists. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, here are five unique things to do in NYC that will transport you to different eras, hidden worlds, and unexpected wonders.
1. Go Back in Time at the Vintage Lexington Candy Shop
Step into a time machine and travel back to the 1920s at the Vintage Lexington Candy Shop, a delightful relic from the past. Located on the Upper East Side, this old-fashioned soda fountain has been serving delicious treats since 1925. As you enter, you’ll be greeted by an authentic vintage interior, complete with a long marble counter, swivel stools, and classic signage.
Indulge in their signature egg creams, malted milkshakes, and homemade ice cream sundaes, all made with love and attention to detail. The friendly staff in crisp white uniforms adds to the nostalgic atmosphere, making you feel like you’ve stepped into a bygone era. The Vintage Lexington Candy Shop is a charming escape from the modern world, offering a taste of the past in the heart of NYC.
2. Get Drinks at a Hidden Speakeasy
Experience the thrill of the Prohibition era by visiting a hidden speakeasy, reminiscent of the clandestine bars that operated illegally during the 1920s. These secret establishments were often disguised as ordinary shops or unmarked doors, requiring a special password or secret knock for entry. Today, speakeasies have made a comeback, offering a unique and immersive drinking experience.
Discover hidden gems like Please Don’t Tell (PDT), located inside a phone booth within a hot dog joint, or Attaboy, accessed through an unmarked door in the Lower East Side. Step into a world of vintage decor, jazz music, and expertly crafted cocktails. These speakeasies capture the essence of a bygone era, giving you a taste of history while enjoying a delicious libation.
3. Visit the Graffiti Tunnel at 191st Subway Station
The New York City subway system is famous for its vibrant and ever-changing art scene. While street art can be found throughout the city, there’s a hidden gem in the 191st subway station known as the Graffiti Tunnel. Located in Washington Heights, this tunnel serves as a canvas for local artists, showcasing their talent and creativity.
As you walk through the tunnel, you’ll be surrounded by an explosion of color and intricate designs. Every nook and cranny is adorned with graffiti, murals, and street art that tell stories of the community. The Graffiti Tunnel is a living art gallery, constantly evolving with new pieces and providing a unique glimpse into the underground art culture of NYC.
4. See the Tiny Wonders in Mmuseumm
Step into the world of the peculiar and unexpected at Mmuseumm, a micro-museum that celebrates the extraordinary found in ordinary objects. Located in a converted freight elevator in Lower Manhattan, this small but captivating museum offers a different perspective on everyday artifacts.
The exhibits in Mmuseumm are curated with care and showcase objects and stories that often go unnoticed. From peculiar gadgets to fascinating personal collections, each display tells a unique tale. You might come across a collection of handwritten love letters, unusual food packaging, or even an assortment of prison contraband. Mmuseumm challenges our perceptions of what is considered worthy of attention and invites visitors to see the world through a different lens.
5. Trek Up to the Met Cloisters
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and journey back to medieval times by visiting the Met Cloisters. Tucked away in Fort Tryon Park, this branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is dedicated to the art and architecture of medieval Europe.
As you explore the tranquil gardens, cloisters, and galleries, you’ll encounter exquisite medieval artworks, including illuminated manuscripts, stained glass windows, and sculptures. The architecture itself is a marvel, with authentic elements transported from European abbeys and reconstructed in New York City. The Met Cloisters offers a serene and immersive experience, allowing you to connect with the art and history of a bygone era.
New York City is a treasure trove of unique experiences, and these five attractions provide a glimpse into different eras, hidden worlds, and unexpected wonders. Whether you find yourself sipping an egg cream at the Vintage Lexington Candy Shop or exploring the underground art of the Graffiti Tunnel, these offbeat activities will leave you with memories that truly capture the essence of NYC. So, go ahead and embark on a journey that takes you beyond the typical tourist destinations and allows you to discover the remarkable and unconventional side of the city that never sleeps.