Manhattan's Hidden Gems: The Barton Barrett Marshall Team's Insider Picks

Manhattan's Hidden Gems: The Barton Barrett Marshall Team's Insider Picks

  • Lindsay Barton Barrett Team
  • 06/18/24

Manhattan, known for its iconic skyline, famous neighborhoods, and bustling streets, is also home to numerous hidden gems that provide residents and visitors a glimpse into its rich and diverse history. Beyond the city's most famous attractions, these lesser-known spots, from tranquil green spaces to historic landmarks, provide unique experiences for residents and visitors.

Below, we explore the lesser-known but no less fascinating side of a city that never ceases to amaze us with our guide to Manhattan's hidden gems.

The Met Cloisters

99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Washington Heights

Our first hidden gem, The Met Cloisters, is in 67-acre Fort Tryon Park. More hiding in plain sight than it is hidden, this otherworldly landmark is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art located in Washington Heights. Hidden from view when on Broadway or the Hudson Parkway, the Met Cloisters is dedicated to medieval Europe's art, architecture, and gardens. The building itself is a work of art constructed from elements of medieval monasteries transported from Europe. Visitors can explore beautiful gardens, chapels, and a vast collection of medieval artifacts.

On your trip to or from The Cloisters, it's worth stopping off at Fort Washington Park on the Hudson River Greenway for a photo op with the Little Red Lighthouse, an iconic yet often-overlooked landmark tucked beneath the George Washington Bridge.

The Elevated Acre

55 Water Street, Financial District

Located at 55 Water Street, The Elevated Acre is a hidden urban oasis. This one-acre park is elevated above street level and offers stunning views of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge. The park features lush landscaping, a lawn, tiered steps for sitting, and an LED-lit beacon tower.

It's a unique space for a peaceful escape from the city's hustle and bustle. For an additional dose of history, a glance over the northeast barrier, and you're at eye level with the top floor of the First Precinct Police Station, a beautiful neo-Italian Renaissance landmark built in 1909.

The Morgan Library & Museum

225 Madison Avenue, Midtown

Originally the private library of financier J.P. Morgan, The Morgan Library & Museum in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Midtown boasts an extensive collection of rare books and manuscripts, including originals from the hands of Dickens and Mozart and three of the 50 surviving copies of the Gutenberg Bible.

In addition to its impressive collection of words, the library is a repository for art, including its own interiors, which feature opulent, ornate ceilings, wood-paneled walls, and intricate decorations.

The Plinth

30th Street and 10th Avenue, on the High Line Spur in Chelsea

Manhattan features popular attractions that often include lesser-known, "off the beaten path" experiences. Grand Central Terminal, for example, boasts a tennis court, a Whispering Gallery, and, as well touch on later, a 1920s-era lounge. But one of Manhattan's more recent attractions, the hugely popular and one-time hidden gem High Line, holds a few surprises of its own, including The Plinth. Opened in 2019 as part of the Spur High Line extension, the Plinth is dedicated to displaying larger-than-life works of art.

Greenacre Park

217 East 51st Street, Midtown East

While most know about Central Park's waterfalls, there's an urban oasis in the heart of Midtown East that's been there for half a century and features its own brilliant cascade of water. The serene Greenacre Park on 51st Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue is a 7,000-square-foot pocket park featuring a 25-foot cascading waterfall, lush plantings, and ample seating. It's an ideal spot for a quiet lunch break or a moment of relaxation amid Manhattan's buzzy landscape.

The Campbell Bar

15 Vanderbilt Avenue, in Grand Central Terminal in Midtown

Those with an affinity for the Roaring Twenties will appreciate our next hidden gem. Another tucked-away find in Grand Central Terminal, The Campbell Bar, is a lavish cocktail lounge once the office of 1920s financier John W. Campbell. The space retains its original, lavish decor, with a stone fireplace, a leaded glass window, and a beamed ceiling.

Can't get your fill with just one 1920s Prohibition-era cocktail lounge? Another "hidden" gem is Bathtub Gin, which is tucked behind a real, functioning coffee shop in Chelsea. The lively hole-in-the-wall is a classic yet wonderfully garish 1920s speakeasy, complete with a copper bathtub in the middle of the bar.

The Merchant's House Museum

29 East 4th Street, NoHo

If you're curious about what domestic Manhattan life was like in the mid-1800s, the Merchant's House Museum, on the eastern edge of NoHo, is the only fully preserved Federal-style house in Manhattan. It offers a rare, fascinating glimpse into the city's urban lifestyle between 1835 and 1865, complete with original furnishings, clothing, and personal items.

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Manhattan's hidden gems offer a rich tapestry of experiences, from historic landmarks to peaceful green spaces in various Manhattan neighborhoods. These spots provide a deeper appreciation for the city's history, culture, and natural beauty, making them perfect destinations for residents and visitors looking to explore beyond the usual tourist attractions.

If you're ready to discover even more about the city, including Manhattan homes for sale, Contact The Lindsay Barton Barrett Team to start your home-buying journey across this one-of-a-kind urban landscape.

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