There are certain landmarks that are always associated with New York City — the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square. These locations are constantly mobbed by tourists who are eager to see what they know to be the epitome of the Big Apple. But there are other attractions that capture the essence of Manhattan without hoards of people. The city is full of unique places that are smaller and
lesser-known than some of the bigger, pricier attractions. Here are New York’s top five hidden gems.
1. The City Reliquary
The City Reliquary is a hole-in-the-wall museum that features quirky artifacts from New York City’s past. It is so small that if it not for the colorful window display, you might walk right past it. Make no mistake though, the museum makes full use of its two rooms. Walls and shelves are packed in an organized chaos with New York memorabilia of all kinds. The museum is home to permanent exhibits of bizarre artifacts and rotating exhibits for community collections.
370 Metropolitan Ave.
$5 suggested donation
2. The Paley Center for Media
The Paley Center for Media is a hidden gem for television enthusiasts. Paley’s media collection contains almost 150,000 archived television shows, advertisements and radio programs — all of which can be watched on either private or group consoles in the center’s viewing library. Useful for both research and catching up on your favorite television program, the Paley Center is a great resource for students. Be sure to check out Paley’s upcoming public events, including fall TV previews and digitally remastered “Doctor Who” screenings.
25 W. 52nd St.
$8 with an NYU Student ID
3. Bodies: The Exhibition
Rejoice, biology majors. Housed at the South Street Seaport, “Bodies: The Exhibition”
displays over 200 perfectly preserved human bodies and organs. Specimens offer a deep look at the intricate workings of the human body, allowing for a thorough understanding of human anatomy and biology. “Bodies” offers discounted tickets for students.
11 Fulton St.
$22.50, Monday through Thursday; $23.50, Friday through Sunday
4. The International Center of Photography
The International Center of Photography features beautiful exhibitions and photograph collections. Exhibits are supplemented with film clips, newspaper articles and other assorted documents that enhance the understanding of the images. The ICP is currently featuring an exhibit on everyday life during South Africa’s Apartheid Era, and also offers a wide range of photography courses.
1133 Sixth Avenue
$10 with a student ID
5. Socrates Sculpture Park
A large, artistic billboard over the main entrance identifies Socrates Sculpture Park as something special from the moment you enter. The park is not an ordinary public park: It exhibits large sculptures year round. The current exhibit is the “EAF 12: 2012 Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition,” which includes pieces by 15 artists selected for their passion for public art. The park also features a weekly farmers market, outdoor movie screenings, live performances, concerts and festivals — all with a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline.
3205 Vernon Blvd, Queens.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Sept. 13 print edition. Bryna Shuman is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]