New York can, at times, feel incredibly tedious. It's a big city, in a (relatively) small space, with a shit ton of people, and at this time of year when there's dirty slush everywhere and it's so cold you can't do anything except hunker down in your apartment, you kind of want to flee to somewhere "easier." Until you stumble upon one of the many hidden gems this city has to offer. It's in those moments that you realize — or remember— the true magic of New York, and you find yourself reenergized, and likely, falling in love all over again. And even if you're new to NYC, the discovery of the lesser-known spots can feel like you've struck cultural gold. There are likely hundreds more of these around town, but these are our 7 faves at the moment, and we wanted to share them because if you're in this city right now, you probably need a reason to remember why you stay. Happy hunting!
99 Margaret Corbin Drive
Fort Tryon Park
+1 212 923 3700
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Cloisters are located on 4 acres overlooking the Hudson River in northern Manhattan's Fort Tryon Park. Basically, the entire park is reminiscent of a Medieval castle, and given our current collective obsession with Game of Thrones, I suggest you head up there and see if you can find Jon Snow, stat.
The Beekman Hotel
123 Nassau Street
+1 212 233 2300
The recent location of Cinq a Sept’s NYFW presentation, The Beekman Hotel is a true New York wonder. The atrium is simply divine, and the wrapping rooftop is spectacular. It was built in 1882, and was the third building in the city (third!) to accommodate an elevator. Doesn't get much cooler than that.
4 Cortlandt Alley
+1 888 763 8839
This teeny, tiny museum is housed in a New York freight elevator, and specializes in the "overlooked, dismissed, or ignored." Mmuseumm is a curated display of artifacts that include the shoe thrown at George W. Bush at the Minister’s Palace in Baghdad. Random! But also amazing.
The Campbell Apartment
15 Vanderbilt Avenue
+1 212 297 1781
Located in Grand Central Terminal, The Campbell is a hidden gem of a bar. Since its days as Jazz Age financier John William Campbell’s private office and reception hall, the space has been thoughtfully and meticulously restored and now serves some of the best drinks in town. Winning. The semi-secret bar, hidden in the upper level of the city's Metro-North train hub, is a perfect spot for a cozy drink. Even if you're not en route to anywhere.
Vanderbilt Tennis Club
15 Vanderbilt Avenue
+1 212 599 6500
Hidden on the upper floors of Grand Central Station, a regulation-size tennis court is waiting to be played. Located behind the top portion of the famous facade windows, the view from this court is one for the books.
The General Theological Seminary
440 W 21st Street
+1 212 243 5150
I have never in my life been so shocked as I was the day I walked down West 21st Street in Chelsea and stumbled upon this magnificent church and grounds. Connected to the High Line Hotel (where you can grab a genius cup of coffee from Intelligistia), the General Theological Seminary is STUNNING. It was founded in 1817 and the architecture is unlike anything else in NYC. Try to sneak a peek at the interior Close, or courtyard. I promise — it’s worth it.
The Back Room at The Lower East Side Toy Company
102 Norfolk Street
+1 212 228 5098
For a true 1920’s prohibition experience (Boardwalk Empire, anyone?) try the Back Room at The Lower East Side Toy Company. Here, you’ll find a dimly lit lounge that's sure to give you major throwback vibes, complete with drinks served in teacups or paper bags and a hinged bookcase ready to reveal a secret room.
Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle
35 E 76th Street
+1 212 744 1600
Tucked inside the Carlyle Hotel lies this swanky bar perfect for a martini or a Manhattan. Named for Ludwig Bemelman, creator of the Madeline series of books, the walls are decorated with his whimsical murals and the atmosphere is pure Old New York. Fun fact: Bemelman received free board for a year and a half at the luxury hotel while he painted the murals.