Hidden between retail shops, on nearby islands, in Central Park, and in other public spaces are little-known places to go and things to do in Manhattan.
While the list is subjective and the options endless, here are a few treasures.
At 1 FDR Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island, takes its name from the speech FDR gave on Jan. 6, 1941 during which he delineated four freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Designed by architect Louis I. Kahn, the park opened on Oct. 24, 2012. Though tens of thousands already have visited the park, it is still relatively unknown to New Yorkers. Littleleaf Linden trees are among the attractions. Free and open to the public; daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; closed Tuesdays. The Four Freedoms Park Conservancy’s Historic First Sunset Garden Party is scheduled for Tuesday, June 4, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a benefit evening; 212 .486.0194.
Between Madison and Fifth avenues at East 53rd Street is a small “vest pocket” park in midtown, developed by William Paley, former chairman of CBS.
Completed in 1967, the tiny park similar in size to a storefront, includes 4,200 square feet of space. Created by Zion and Breene Associates for the William S. Paley Foundation, it is designed to create an oasis of serenity in the center of midtown. The park’s 20-foot cascading waterfall running at 1,800 gallons per minute masks the sounds of the surrounding city. Drop by and relax at the wire mesh table and chairs. Besides the rush of water, you’ll be ensconced in ivy and honey locust tresst. have lunch and stay awhile in thei provately-owned public space.
Located in lower Manhattan at 39 Battery Place, The Skyscraper Museum celebrates the City’s architectural heritage and examines the historical forces and individuals that shape its skylines. One of the permanent exhibits covers the world’s tallest buildings with models of Burf Khalifa, Taipei 101, and Shanghai World Financial Center. Museum hours:noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. General admission is $5; students and seniors, $2.50; 212.968.1961.
If you like secrets, this may be a well-kept one. The Whispering Gallery, located in Grand Central Terminal, is an unmarked archway that has an intriguing ability to transfer the sound of one’s whispering voice from one diagonal arch to another. For the uninitiated, head to the spot just outside of the Oyster Bay Restaurant, and start, well, whispering.
Fraunces Tavern Museum
At 54 Pearl St. in lower Manhattan The Fraunces Tavern Museum is best-known as the site where George Washington gave his farewell address to the officers of the Continental Army in 1783. After the Revolutionary War when New York was the first capital, the space was rented to the new government to house the offices of the departments of war, treasury, and foreign affairs. Built in 1719, it opened as Fraunces Tavern Museum in 1907. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. daily; $7, general admission; $4, seniors and children under 18; children 5 and younger, free.
Who knew there was an unassuming bed and breakfast very far east on the Upper East Side where you can put out-of-town guests who simply don’t fit in your Manhattan apartment. Located at 502 East 81st St. just off York Avenue, the Gracie Inn features “urban farmhouse” décor in a more than 100-year-old residence.
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