Get Our FREE Newsletter!

Casual Friday Corner!

6 “Hidden” Gems in New York

iStock_000023155919_Small

New York is unarguably one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. It is famous for its cultural diversity, fast paced lifestyle and numerous entertainment options. Visitors walk the streets with stars in their eyes, as the skyscrapers and lights consume them. There isn’t a lack of popular sites in NYC, landmarks like the Empire State Building, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty are iconic for the concrete jungle. But lets forget about the famous and over-exposed sites for a minute, and explore a few hidden gems in New York that deserve equal attention and praise.

1. Stone Street

To me, Stone Street is the heart of the Financial District. This centuries-old pathway recalls the magic and ambience of nineteenth century New York, and is home to an international mix of restaurants and bars. Located right next to the Goldman Sachs building, with skyscrapers towering over it, Stone Street stands out as foreign and uncharacteristically charming for its neighborhood. You will feel as if you walked in to a small side street in Barcelona, or Rome, rather than in New York City. The narrow, cobblestone alley includes the swath of land between Hanover Square and Stone, Pearl and South William Streets and during the warmer months, umbrella-topped tables fill the narrow, pedestrian-only street. Seating from one restaurant flows right into the next, and the atmosphere is priceless. You can enjoy Swedish meatballs at the Scandinavian restaurant, Smorgas Chef; on the weekends you can eat all you want at Greek-Irish pub Ulysses, for only $40; delicious Mexican food at Mad Dog and Beans; or try the gourmet pizza at Adrienne’s Pizza Bar.

2. The Brooklyn Flea Market

Brooklyn is only a hop and a skip away from Manhattan, and the borough has so much to offer. The Brooklyn Flea Market offers a great mix of art, clothing, and not to mention food vendors on a different level! From April through Thanksgiving, the markets take place outdoors: on Saturdays in Fort Greene and on Sundays in Williamsburg. From Thanksgiving through March, the market moves indoors to Skylight One Hanson, an event space in the landmark former Williamsburgh Savings Bank. And every summer you can find Flea food vendors at the Central Park SummerStage outdoor concert series, where the Flea operates the food and beverage concession. I would recommend the Williamsburg market on Sundays, as it located on the waterfront between North 6th and North 7th street, just south of East River State Park and it features a mix of vintage, antique and handmade stuff + the food is worth the trip even if you end up leaving empty handed – your belly will be full and satisfied. The gorgeous skyline view doesn’t hurt either.

The New York Times called the Flea “One of the great urban experiences in New York”; Travel + Leisure, Country Living, Budget Travel, and Fodor’s have ranked the Flea one of the best markets or antiques shows in the U.S. and the world; and Time Out NY named the Flea one of New York’s Essential Pick-Up Spots.

3. Williamsburg

Williamsburg is known as “hipster heaven,” and it is by far my favorite place in Brooklyn. It is divided into two sides (North and South), and the area has undergone a massive transformation in the past 15 years. It’s hard to imagine that it was once a largely industrial landscape spotted with modest housing for the immigrants who worked in its factories. Williamsburg has become an eclectic mix of renovated luxury loft buildings, art galleries, breweries, indie and vintage shops and top class eateries all geared toward the artistic, music-loving,  vintage-clad hipsters that now populate the local streets. Rest assured, you do not have to be a hipster to love Williamsburg. It is a laid back area, filled with awesome boutique shops, cafees, restaurants and surf lodges and you’ll get great food at fair prices. A WB visit is a refreshing change from the hectic and somewhat high-strung Manhattan environment.

4. The Highline Park

The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and was founded in 1999 by community residents. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a beautiful summer day in New York with good friends. The High Line is open from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily and access to the park is possible via any of the access points listed below:

  • Gansevoort Street
  • 14th Street
  • West 16th Street
  • West 18th Street
  • West 20th Street
  • 23rd Street
  • West 26th Street
  • West 28th Street
  • West 30th Street

5. Hudson River Park

Hudson River Park is a waterside park on the Hudson River that runs through the Manhattan neighborhoods of Lower Manhattan,  Battery Park City, Tribeca, Greenwich Village, Gansevoort Market/Meatpacking District, Chelsea, Midtwown West and Hell’s Kitchen (from 59th Street south to Battery Park). Bicycle and pedestrian paths span the park north to south, opening up the waterfront for a good time for every taste, with tennis and soccer fields, batting cages, children’s playgrounds, dog parks, recreational piers, and lots of other fun features. This is an awesome place to go for a jog, bike ride, rollerblade, powerwalk, or a stroll (whatever floats your boat), or simply bring a blanket and some food and enjoy a picnic with good friends.

6. HBO Film Festival in Bryant Park

The Bryant Park Film Festival has become a summer tradition in New York, and inspired other outdoor movie screenings all over Manhattan and other boroughs. You can choose from recent blockbusters, classic movies, indie films, and cartoons. All films begin at dusk (usually between 8 pm and 9 pm), but the lawn opens at 5 pm for blankets and picnicking. Just a tip: You’re better off arriving early, anytime before 6 should be fine but after that the place gets pretty packed. Don’t forget to bring food and snacks, and enjoy a movie night outdoors right in the heart of the greatest city in the world!

Visit this site to find out when the movie festival starts, and which movies are screening this year: http://www.bryantpark.org/plan-your-visit/filmfestival.html

Related Posts

  • Christmas in New YorkChristmas in New York Christmas is one of the best times to come and visit New York City. Everything is beautifully decorated, there are tons of sales everywhere, the restaurants offer special holiday menus, […]
  • Christmas Time in New YorkChristmas Time in New York New York City reserves the holiday season for its moment of magical transformation, and the city tends to swell in size over the holidays, as millions of tourists rush to take in the […]
  • Unraveling the Mystery at Death ValleyUnraveling the Mystery at Death Valley Death Valley National Park in California is home to a mysterious place called the “racetrack playa”. It is a three square miles dry lakebed that has hundreds of stones, some of which weigh […]
  • NY Brunch PartiesNY Brunch Parties When it comes to nightlife, New York is a beast of its own. I have been fortunate enough to travel all around Europe and no city can come close to the insanity that goes on after the sun […]
  • Cesme – The Perfect EscapeCesme – The Perfect Escape For those of us who live abroad, vacation time usually means taking a trip back to hometown to visit family and friends. There are always a lot of people to see; sometimes it doesn't feel […]
  • The Culture of Dim SumThe Culture of Dim Sum Possibly the most popular eats in the Chinese culture is Dim sum, which means, “little snacks.” It is well known for its unique serving style. Dim sum dishes are very similar in portion to […]

April 6, 2012 By Lauga Oskarsdottir

Comments

Comments
  • Feray Yuksekbas Kavas April 6, 2012 at 10:33 am

    This article reminded me good old memories at Stone Street ,used to be one of my favorite spot in NYC. Thank you for this nice article Lauga

    • Lauga Oskarsdottir April 6, 2012 at 10:45 am

      Ah, yes, Stone Street is my favorite summer weekend spot :) You’re most welcome Feray, thank you for the nice feedback.

  • Walter March 8, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    If you want a REAL hidden GEM in NEW YORK CITY, check out ROCK STAR CRYSTALS! They carry more than 140 different REAL GEMSTONES and crystals from around the world! This is more than a pun, because this small NYC store in Midtown Manhattan in awesome gem in itself! Fins out for yourself by calling 212 675 3065 or go to http://www.rockstarcrystalsmanhattan.com

  • Olen September 9, 2014 at 5:51 am

    Hi there friends, fastidious piece of writing and nice arguments commented at this place,
    I am truly enjoying by these.

  • Post a comment
    You must be logged in to comment. Log in