Even if you’re new to NYC, you’re probably very familiar with the city’s most iconic landmarks. Around the world, spots like Times Square, the Empire State Building, and Yankee Stadium are well known, but beyond that, New York is home to countless fascinating locales that can escape even homegrown New Yorkers’ purview. Here’s our favorite of the lesser-visited landmarks to be found around the city that never sleeps.
NYC is positively brimming with historical landmarks, but few are as closely tied to America’s past than this Revolutionary-era saloon in Manhattan’s Financial District. Taverns in those days were about more than just having a drink: they were central to common life, and a place where people mingled and met up with peers and friends in a relaxed setting. Here, visitors can garner a taste of those old days, with regular tours and exhibits centered around New York’s fascinating Revolutionary War history. The oldest standing structure in the city, the Tavern is also a functioning bar/restaurant, where entrants can drink like George Washington and his contemporaries. The site of Washington’s post-war farewell address, there’s no better place to drink in the historic significance of Lower Manhattan.
Brooklyn Academy of Music
New York is home to countless cultural institutions known worldwide. The Theater District, Lincoln Center and concert venues like the Beacon Theatre draw in visitors of every origin, and for good reason. But if you want to take in a show the way locals do, there are few better venues than the Brooklyn Academy of Music, affectionately referred to as BAM. Open since 1908, the 3-building BAM campus in Fort Greene is home to the borough’s premier rotation of cutting edge, multicultural performance and cinematic art. Whether in the 2,000+ capacity Howard Gilman Opera House, the BAM Rose Cinemas, Harvey Theater or the more recently opened BAM Fisher Building around the corner, taking in a show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music is one way for residents and tourists alike to participate in the artistic life of NYC’s most creative borough.
While it lacks the vaunted silhouette of its neighbor to the southwest, this blue and white steel-trussed span is all New York. A stroll across the Manhattan Bridge’s pedestrian footpath (or bike lanes on the opposite side) amounts to a trip through city history–taking visitors from frozen-in-time Chinatown through a chain-link fenced and graffiti-covered journey recalling the gritty city of the 70s and 80s, into the bustling and perpetually growing Downtown Brooklyn that’s become the most dynamic locale of the 21st century city. Perhaps most remarkable about the span (besides the unforgettable South-facing view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Lower Manhattan skyline) is the Canal Street entryway, a triumphal arch flanked by 30 stately Roman columns. For those leaving Manhattan to journey to Brooklyn, this bridge offers no finer passage.
Edgar Allan Poe Cottage
If you can believe it, the iconic author and poet moved out to this cottage for the fresh air and natural splendor of the Bronx. Of course, in 1847 the city as a whole was a very different place, but now in 2019, this quaint cottage remains mostly as it was then: a perfect out-of-the-way experience off the beaten path. The poet died just two years later, but the house has entered into eternity, having served as a museum since 1913, now run by the Bronx Historical Society. Poe completists can follow up this trip by heading to Poe’s previous residence on West 3rd Street in Greenwich Village, whose facade has been preserved by the current tenant, New York University.