If you have visited the Big Apple before, or simply find yourself uninterested in major tourist destinations, it might be time to get a different perspective of New York City.
Every city has its secrets, with some so well hidden that even the people who live there don’t know about them. These secrets make for interesting stories, memorable events, and different photos and souvenirs than the ones commonly displayed on social media. With that goal in mind, here are some unique things to see and do in New York City.
The Earth Room
The Earth Room is an art installation hidden in the trendy neighborhood of Soho. This second-floor room is home to a 22-inch layer of rich soil, spread over a 3,500 square-foot gallery style studio. It has been there since 1977 and weighs 280,000 lbs.
Curators regularly water the soil to maintain its damp, earthy appearance and aroma. To get into this art installation, you simply ring the buzzer to be let in. The best part? The Earth Room is a free exhibit.
The Broken Kilometer
Since you’re in the area, you might as well visit The Earth Room creator’s other art exhibit. In 1979, artist Walter de Maria followed up on his astounding 1977 exhibit by creating The Broken Kilometer. At 45-feet wide and 125-feet long, The Broken Kilometer consists of 500 polished brass cylinders placed in five parallel rows of 100.
This art piece is a tribute to De Maria’s Vertical Earth Kilometer installation in Germany, which was inserted one kilometer into the ground. Like The Earth Room, admission to this installation is free.
The High Line
The High Line is more than just a way to get from one point to another; it is an attraction in its own right. This walkway, constructed on an abandoned railroad track 30-feet in the air, spans from the Meatpacking District to Hell’s Kitchen. It offers beautiful views of the city from a different perspective than usual.
The High Line is landscaped with lively greenery, adding a wonderful natural element to the cityscape. If you plan on traveling by foot, consider walking through the High Line.
The Old Stone House
The Old Stone House is a great spot for history buffs hitting the Big Apple, especially if kids are along for the ride. This replica of an old Dutch Farmhouse is a lasting tribute to the Battle of Long Island in 1776. Now, it is a community icon, complete with a playground and farmers market.
Entry is by donation and grants you access to local art displays, interactive tours, and various special events.
Another must-see spot for history buffs is Pier 54. This pier is shrouded in mystery and infamy due to its dark history. This is the spot where the Titanic was supposed to dock after its maiden voyage. It is also the pier from which the ill-fated Lusitania departed during World War One.
Pier 54 is now nothing more than a dilapidated gate. Recent attempts to purchase and develop the land have been met with strange setbacks and failures. This mysterious little spot is conveniently close to the High Line, should you wish to stop by.
In its past life, the Sphere once stood proudly in the World Trade Center. Despite experiencing extensive damage on that terrible day, the sculpture remained structurally intact. In doing so, it became a symbol of tenacity and hope.
The Sphere was temporarily moved to Battery Park and has since been relocated to Liberty Park where it will stay. This once piece of art and now monument is close to the 9/11 memorial site, both of which are worth visiting if you are sightseeing in Manhattan.
New York City is filled with secret art attractions and whispers of the past. What adventures will you stumble upon?