New York is one of the world’s most iconic cities and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Everyone who heads to New York will tick the usual items off the list in terms of attractions such as the Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building, The World Trade Center memorial and Times Square, but what about the slightly weirder attractions that New York has to offer?
If you are looking at booking flights to New York and you want to visit something a little more strange during your time in the Big Apple, here are some of the coolest and most unusual attractions which you should consider.
Bank Vault Cocktails
Right in the heart of New York city’s financial district you will find an old bank vault which is hidden below the surface. The bank vault was built in 1904 by the Mosler Safe Company for the New York Realty bank, and when it was built it had to be sailed down the Hudson River such was its sheer magnitude. The bank vault is no longer in action and it has been turned into a Swiss bar and restaurant called Trinity Place Vault Bar. The bar still features all of the vaults details and monstrous steel doors weighing in at 35 tonnes each! If you like the idea of dining out or heading for a cocktail in a bank vault then head to 115 Broadway for a unique experience.
Feature in Lewis Carroll’s Masterpiece
If you love Alice in Wonderland then you can have the chance to star in it yourself as part of a project by a theater group called Third Rail Projects. This is an experience which you must immerse yourself in entirely and it offers a unique style of storytelling. The play is called ‘And Then She Fell’ and to add even more weirdness to proceedings it takes place in an old mental hospital. You will attend the play in groups of 15 and move from room to room as the plot takes twists and turns which you won’t be expecting. You can find this awesome artistic experience in Brooklyn at Kingsland Ward, St Johns.
The Doyers Street Tunnel
In the early 20th Century Chinatown in New York was a collection of secret allies and back passages which were the ideal spots for talks of smuggling, illegal gambling and all manner of interesting practices. Between the streets of Pell and Mott you will find a place on Doyers Street which is named the Bloody Angle because this is where the gangs used to wait for people as they came around the corner. During that time there were two Chinese gangs vying for control of Chinatown and this street bore witness to some of the most bloody battles of the time. The walls here were stained red with the blood of victims for many years. A section of the tunnel has been since removed but you can still head to the Bloody Angle and walk in the footsteps of the madness which took place here.
The Earth Room
If you are looking for a kooky art exhibition then the Earth Room in Soho is the perfect place to go. Artist Walter De Maria put this installation here in 1977 which features a 23-inch layer of Earth spread out across a 3,500 square foot gallery. This display was only supposed to be here for 3 months but ended up staying for 42 years! You can find this mad art exhibition at 131 Wooster Street, why not check it out and see just what 280,000 lbs of dirt looks like?
Track 61 exists underneath Grand Central station and it was once used by presidents and public officials looking to escape the public. This private railway was built in 1938 and it has direct access to the Waldorf Astoria hotel, offering the perfect getaway for an important person. Famously Franklin D Roosevelt used this access point to arrive in his bulletproof train and limo, and when he arrived the limo and the president were whisked upstairs by the freight elevator. The track ceased operations in the late 70s and became something of a squatter’s paradise. No tours are available to track 61 but if you know what you are looking for then you can head down and check it out for yourself.
New York is not only packed with amazing world-famous attractions, but this is also an old city which hides a great deal behind the facade of a bridge, a home, a train track or a doorway. Next time you hit the Big Apple, do a little bit of digging and you can discover all kinds of incredible places to visit.