Secrets of New York
How well do you think you know New York? Chances are that you have not heard of all of these Secret's Of New York, no matter how long you have lived here. And whether you just moved into a new neighborhood or you fit in with the locals, there is always something new to find. Below are just a few of our favorite hidden gems in New York. Do you think we missed any, let us know!
The Office NYC
This new speakeasy, located inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel at Columbus Circle, is the first bar in NYC from famed Chef Grant Achatz (Alinea). And while the prices may seem scary, they are well worth it.
The Office NYC is an intimate speakeasy serving classically inspired food and cocktails, a collection of vintage spirits, and other eclectic delicacies. We are currently previewing The Office NYC as we prepare for The Aviary NYC grand opening. -Manderin Oriental
Chelsea Market "Secret" Entrance
As any New Yorker can tell you, the worst part of visiting Chelsea Market is the crowd at the entrance. Recently though a "secret" entrance has been added on the north side of the building. This makes popping in for a quick bottle of wine from Chelsea Wine Vault or a fresh baked baguette from Amy's Bread a breeze. This new entrance also takes you to the newly added lower level of Chelsea Market (The Chelsea Local) that contains; Manhattan Fruit Market, Buon Italia, Dicksons Farm stand, Ronnybrook Farm stand, and Saxelby Cheesemonger’s.
Grand Central Terminal has many secrets, but the Whispering Gallery is it's most romantic. This unmarked archway, located in front of the Oyster Bar & Restaurant, possesses a mystifying acoustic property: when two people stand at diagonal arches and whisper, they can hear each other's voices "telegraphed" from across the way. According to rumor, jazz legend Charles Mingus proposed to his wife, Sue, in just this manner. Today, the Whispering Gallery remains popular for such murmured sweet nothings.
Another whispering NYC secret is the Whisper Bench in Central Park. Out of the park's 9,000 benches, it's the only one of its kind.
The bench—named for Charles B. Stover—sits inside the 4-acres of Shakespeare Garden. It works similarly to the Grand Central wall, you can whisper into one end, and the sound travels to the other end.
According to the Parks Department, Robert Moses had a hand in making it all happen:
A group of prominent citizens, concerned with preserving the memory of Stover and his deeds, formed the Charles B. Stover Memorial Association and commissioned this monument through private donations. The bench is not of the standard wrought iron or cast-concrete variety, but a curved 20-foot exedra of Deer Isle granite. On November 5, 1936, Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, Dr. John H. Finley, and the associate editor of the New York Times gathered in the Shakespeare Garden to dedicate the memorial. The bench is situated on a natural rock outcropping. At the time of the unveiling, it was noted that the location was apt, since during Stover’s time as Parks Commissioner, he had changed this place “from a dilapidated stone mass covered with poison ivy to a rock garden with an artificial stream of water and pools of water lilies.”
Open for over 22 years, Angel's Share is still one of the best kept secrets of the NYC speakeasy scene. Located above Village Yokocho restaurant at 8 Stuyvesant St, Angel's Share has a strict rule that parties cannot exceed four people, and you can’t stand at the bar. There’s almost always a wait (it’s very popular), but it’s quite worth it. With a creative cocktail program and a romantic room with a view of Stuyvesant Triangle, it's become known as one of the best places to drink downtown.
Sunshine Laundromat & Pinball
Tucked into the back of a Laundromat in Greenpoint Brooklyn is a surprising find for a fun night with friends. The fully functioning Sunshine Laundromat has a pinball arcade and full bar located in the back. Perfect for hanging out with friends on a weekend or a little fun while your sheets dry, the retro games are fun for everyone. Come on Friday or Saturday nights to make new friends or during a weekday to have a full arcade to yourself, just like you always wanted as a kid.