Hidden Gems of New York City

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There are some of the most famous places in the world in New York City, places that anyone could look at and recognise it a heartbeat.  But anyone wants to travel to NYC and see something a little different, then here are a few hidden gems that may be worth checking out.

Amazing Undergound

Everyone knows about the Subway in New York and if anyone staying there for any length of time, they will use it.  But there are actually some fascinating sites to be seen down there as well.

One example is the Old City Hall subway stop, which closed down in 1945 as it was little used and couldn’t be modernised.  It opened in 1904 and was quickly designated as one of the most beautiful stations on the system with skylights, coloured glass tile work and ornate brass chandeliers.

Another spot is the Freedom Tunnel that was an abandoned train tunnel that used to house a homeless shanty.  It is near Riverside Park and is still used by Amtrak.  It is now a perfect area for urban exploration and seeing amazing graffiti.

The Atlantic Avenue Subway Tunnel is the oldest subway tunnel in the world and was built in 1844.  It was abandoned and not rediscovered until 1980.  It is closed to the public but there are pre-arranged tours.

Getting Around

These are all part of the Subway, which is an iconic system that runs 24 hours a day to get around the city.  The heart of it is Grand Central Terminal, also known as Grand Central Station, the largest railway of platforms.  The airspace over New York is also one of the busiest in the world and there are three airports used to enter the city: LaGuardia, JFK International and Newark Liberty International.  Regardless of which airport travellers arrive at, a Visa is required to be allowed to enter.  A recent alternative to this is an ESTA visa waiver, a new system, which allows travel to the US without a traditional Visa obtained from the embassy.  The ESTA form can be used from a whole host of countries across the world and is valid for 90 days per trip.

Pieces of History

At 520 Madison Avenue, there are five slabs from the Berlin Wall that was decorated by two German artists, Thierry Noir and Kiddy Citny.  This is an open plaza so visiting the spot is easy.

An eerie reminder of the past comes at the Roosevelt Island Smallpox Hospital that was once the premier treatment facility in the city.  It was opened in 1856 and was in operation for a century, now being a registered landmark.

Part of the Museum of Jewish heritage is the Garden of Stones.  This poignant spot features plants placed inside stones by the survivors of the Holocaust and their families.  Over time, the plants will grow and break open the stones, creating an evolving landscape.  It is open to the public but only through the museum.

Photographic specialities

Not necessarily, one for the casual tourist, the boat graveyard at Staten Island is official known as the Witte Marine scrap yard.  It is the official dumping ground for decommissioned ships and features an eerie landscape of broken and wrecked ships, which makes for moody and atmospheric photo opportunities.

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