As a cultural center of the world, New York is perhaps one of the most well-traveled cities around the globe, and it’s greatest beauty is the unexpected surprises lurking around every corner. No matter how many times you visit, there will always be something new to experience. Whether you’ve already hit places like Times Square and the Empire State Building and are looking to fill a new itinerary, or it’s your first time in the Big Apple and you simply want a more unique travel experience, these five off-the-beaten-path attractions are sure to delight.
You’ve likely heard of the Museum of Modern Art, and maybe you’ve even paid it a visit or two. But have you been to its younger, edgier sister? MoMA PS1, named for the former school in which it’s housed, plays host to art exhibits even more cutting edge than the ones you’ll find in the original MoMA. Outside, you’ll find an architectural garden with a constant rotation of thought-provoking pieces, and during the summer, the museum hosts monthly dance parties.
Fort Tryon Park
New York may have remarkable patches of urban beauty and loads of character, but Manhattan is still the last place you’d expect to see an English-style country chapel. Yet that’s just what you’ll find in Fort Tryon Park. Designed by the same man who created Yosemite, Fort Tryon is home to both a gorgeous public garden and the Cloisters, a collection of medieval art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Superhero Supply Store
With the advent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and DC Comics getting into the blockbuster movie game as well, there’s never been a better time to embrace your inner geek. Brooklyn’s Superhero Supply Store is popular with kids and adults alike, as they line their shelves with things like wall-scaling tools, invisibility paint, and cans of Courage. It’s the ultimate novelty shop, and also provides the front for 826NYC, a nonprofit children’s writing lab.
New York is so often lauded as a place of possibility and new beginnings, it can be easy to forget its long history. Dive into the deep end of turn-of-the-century New York at the Lower East Side’s Tenement Museum, a five-story brick building that was once home to as many as 7,000 people from over 20 countries. On weekends, you can meet a costumed actor portraying Victoria Confino, one of the many residents of 97 Orchard in 1916.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Finding green spaces in the city that never sleeps isn’t as hard as you think. And it’s also not all about Central Park, or even Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. Brooklyn also lays claim to the city’s stunning botanic garden. From the classical Rose Garden to the zen Japanese Garden, this is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life for an afternoon.
Museum of the American Gangster
Here’s another unique slice of New York history: the Museum of the American Gangster. Modern New York has a torrid love affair with anything from the 1920s. Prohibition-era-style speakeasies are booming in popularity, and 20s cocktails like the Sidecar and the French 75 have made a comeback as well. If you’re after a museum experience no other tourist would think of, make a beeline for the Lower East Side, where you can learn all the ins and outs of organized crime.