Tag Archives: City Secrets

VIP Tour Of The Historic Woolworth Building

BTSNYC Experiences On Going VIP Tour Historic Woolworth Building View

This is one of the most exclusive tours in New York! Why? Because no one else offers it, besides BTSNYC and our partner! Be part of the VIP Tour of the historic Woolworth Building!


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BTSNYC Experiences On Going VIP Tour Historic Woolworth Building

Never heard of the historic Woolworth building? We are sure you have! You’ve certainly seen the criminology expert, Lincoln Rhyme, played by Denzel Washington in the film The Bone Collector, find a clue to the crimes related to the building!

Well, the Woolworth Building, in TriBeCa, is privately owned and operated, and is not open to the public.It was appointed as the tallest building in the world, back in 1913!

Plus, their completely renovated Penthouse is on sale for astounding price of $110million!

We are excited to offer this new, exclusive tour of the normally off-limits Woolworth Building led by building architect Cass Gilbert’s great granddaughter, Helen Post Curry – who runs the Woolworth Building tours.

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Cass Gilbert was Curry’s paternal great grandfather and she began running tours in the Woolworth Building on the 100th anniversary of the landmark.

And, as Curry says herself, “there are so many behind-the-scenes secrets about the Woolworth Building”! It’s so exciting to share them with you on this special, insiders tour.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Special access to the gorgeous mezzanine level;
  • The tour will include a guided visit through the spectacular “cathedral-esque” lobby;
  • Visit the cellar level where the bank vault is located and where the former entrances to the nyc subway are.

TOUR DETAILS:
Price: $45 / person
What to know: 
The tour is one-hour long and is happening rain or shine! Please do not enter the Woolworth Building without our tour guide. So, wait outside until the tour guide arrives. They allow photographs but no flashes or videos permitted. In addition, there are no public restroom facilities available, and no food or drink or pets allowed in the building. Children under 10 years old are not permitted.
What to wear: 
Bring comfortable shoes.
Ticket Confirmation: After you book this experience, you will receive a confirmation email from our partner confirming you are attending the tour!

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BTSNYC Experiences On Going VIP Tour Historic Woolworth Building Penthouse


Moreover, if you’re into architecture and art, we are sure you’ll love other Art Tours in New York and upstate! Plus, this a look at this super cool post where you can see the 7 Best Places in Long Island City for Art Lovers.

So, contact us to learn more about them. For Corporate Requests, let our experts know what you need!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Williams New York and Wikimedia Commons
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Secrets Of The Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Secrets Of The Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour Details

The Brooklyn Bridge is certainly one of New York’s timeless attractions. Opened to the public on May of 1883, it became one of the world’s most famous – and gorgeous – bridges! Come experience the “Secrets Of The Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour”!


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BTSNYC Experiences On Going Secrets Of The Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour Details

The Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour will share with you some of the most amazing stories and secrets of this amazing landmark.

Beyond the Brooklyn Bridge’s stately exterior lies an epic origin story. Now, over 130 years old, the granite and limestone structure has dazzled both tourists and residents alike.

On this newest tour author, playwright and tour guide, Justin Rivers, will not only unpack the history behind the Brooklyn Bridge, but also explore its many hidden secrets. And there are countless!

For a brief teaser, take a look at the story and secrets behind this massive landmark.

This unique walking tour will give you a whole new appreciation for one of New York’s most iconic landmarks. Plus, you’ll have a change of capturing some of the most Instagrammable pictures ever!

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Explore the perimeter of the Manhattan and Brooklyn anchorages of the bridge;
  • Discover Brooklyn Bridge’s various secrets, including its old Cold War fall out shelter, the love locks, the Russian fur vaults, the bridge jumper survivor’s support group and so many others;
  • Cross the bridge span, which offers one of the best vantage points in New York City.

TOUR DETAILS:
Price: $35 / person
What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes.
What to know: The tour is 2-hours. Please consult with the MTA for weekend subway schedules and routing changes. NOTE: While this tour will cover the history of the bank vaults and Cold War shelter, we will not be going inside.
Ticket Confirmation: After you book this experience, you will receive a confirmation email from our partner confirming you are attending the tour!

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We’re normally pretty modest, but when it comes to our countless tours, we have to say that we offer some of the coolest, and most exclusive ones in New York City!

Besides the Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour, take a look at the Underground Art In The NYC Subway Tour for some pretty cool exploration underneath Manhattan!

If you’re into Food Tours, you’ll love the “Bushwick Graffiti, Bites & Drinks Photo Tour” that happens in the super hype Bushwick neighborhood, in Brooklyn.

Lastly, go on your own to the 5 Offbeat Museums in NYC you should visit.

For Corporate Groups, let our experts take care of it for you! If you’re looking for Private Tours, we can also help you out!


Photo Credit: Courtesy
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Underground Art In The NYC Subway Tour

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Underground Art NYC Subway

New York is a haven for art lovers! You’ll not only see great exhibitions at the top museums and breathtaking street arts, but you can also explore the underground art in the NYC subway! Take a look at our NYC tours!


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BTSNYC Experiences On Going Underground Art NYC Subway

The New York City subway system is the largest in the world and with hundreds of art installations scattered throughout its 430 stations. And we’re here to tell you a bit more about the Underground Art in the NYC Subway tour.

It’s also one of the world’s largest public art galleries. Yeah! We bet you didn’t know this, right?!

Join the tour guide, Justin Rivers, as he takes you on an in-depth tour of the subway art tapestry, weaved together to tell the complete history of the NYC commuter from Fulton’s first steamboat to the newly minted Second Avenue subway riders.

Co-conceptualized by artist Aaron Asis, it’s a perfect compliment to the popular Underground New York Subway Tour or a fun stand alone for art, history and subway lovers alike.

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BTSNYC Experiences On Going Underground Art NYC Subway Police

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Explore the hidden terra cotta tiles in Fulton Center;
  • Explore two interactive art pieces hidden in plain sight and the often unseen art of TimesSquare;
  • Learn about the highly anticipated new art in the Second Avenue subway stations;
  • Learn about how an artist framed the 14th Street Union Square station to preserve its history.

TOUR DETAILS:
Price: $35 / person
What to know:
 The tour is approximately 2-hours long; please consult with the MTA for weekend subway schedules and routing changes.
What to wear: 
Bring comfortable shoes, as the tour requires walking up and down stairs.
Ticket Confirmation: After you book this experience, you will receive a confirmation email from our partner confirming you are attending the tour!

BOOK NOW!


Did you enjoy the Underground Art in the NYC Subway Tour?

If you’re one of the incurably curious people that loves everything about the NYC’s subway stories and off-the-beat access, you’ll most likely enjoy reading why we love uncovering the NYC subway secrets!

But, if you want some down time, you might want to go to the Greenwich Village Coffee Tour & Tasting. It will give you time to recharge and still have fun!

For Corporate Groups or request for Private Tours, contact our experts!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y. C. (aka NYCLovesNYC)
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

7 Best Places In Long Island City For Art Lovers

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best Places For Art Lovers LIC Sculpture Center Hand

You’ve done Museum Mile, hit up the Chelsea galleries on a Thursday, and perused the sidewalk art in SoHo. So, for your next art fix, head to Queens’ Long Island City for a less touristy roster of artsy offerings. See the 7 best places in Long Island City for art lovers.

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists 7 Best Places For Art Lovers LIC MoMA PS1 Façade

We are huge fans of Queens and we love exploring this beautiful Borough. It’s the largest Borough in size, but loses to Brooklyn regarding the total population. Yes, Brooklyn wins! Almost 50% of the neighborhood are foreigners which is an astounding number right?

We just love this diversity and everything that comes with it! Different cultures, styles, fashion, accents, languages, points of view, music, art. It’s all so inspiring!

Diane Pham and Dana Schutz, from 6sqft have put together the 7 best places in Long Island City for art lovers. The neighborhood is also know as LIC – short and intimate.

And, just because you’re crossing into Queens, don’t think you’ll be sacrificing any creativity or imprimatur.

From world-famous contemporary art collections to smaller spots like a workspace dedicated to figurative drawing.


Noguchi Museum

Curiosities- Our Bucket Lists 7 Best Places For Art Lovers LIC Noguchi Museum Garden
Curiosities- Our Bucket Lists 7 Best Places For Art Lovers LIC Noguchi Museum Installations
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It’s not uncommon for a museum to be dedicated to a specific artist, but it is rare for it to be designed and established by the artist himself, in this case Japanese American artist and landscape architect Isamu Noguchi.

In 1985, his Noguchi Museum opened, displaying what he considered the most representative examples of his life’s work and becoming the catalyst for change in the neighborhood.

In addition, a decade earlier, the artist had purchased a small photogravure plant and gas station across from his studio and filled it with his sculptures, architectural models, stage designs, drawings, and furniture designs.

After a major 2004 renovation, the museum now features two floors of indoor exhibition space, indoor-outdoor galleries, and an outdoor sculpture garden. So, temporary exhibits are now part of the programming, and these explore Noguchi’s influence on contemporary culture.

Hours:
Wednesday – Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11am – 6pm
Closed Mondays & Tuesday

Location: 9-01 33rd Road

http://www.noguchi.org 


Socrates Sculpture Park

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A block away from the Noguchi Museum is the Socrates Sculpture Park, a waterfront park and public art museum.

The location was previously an abandoned landfill and illegal dumpsite, but in 1986 a group of local artists and residents, headed up by artist Mark di Suvero, transformed the four-acre site into a public sculpture museum.

Guests have the option of a self-guided tour or a guided tour, and the organization also offers a farmers market, seasonal outdoor film screenings, and activities such as yoga, capoeira, tai chi, and kayaking and canoeing.

And, throughout the year there are plenty of performances, ranging from dance to theater to opera. Plus, it’s free and open every day of the year.

Hours: 365 days a year from 9am to sunset

Location: 32-01 Vernon Blvd

http://socratessculpturepark.org


Sculpture Center

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NYC has plenty places to see contemporary art, but this is the only such museum dedicated to contemporary sculpture.

The Sculpture Center moved to its current location in a former trolley repair shop in 2002, and today this building serves as a sculptural piece in itself.

Artist and designer Maya Lin handled the initial redesign and just a few years ago, Andrew Berman Architects expanded and renovated the building, adding an enclosed courtyard for outdoor exhibitions and events.

Furthermore, unlike many institutions, the Sculpture Center is a non-collecting museum, meaning every year you’ll get to see a fresh batch of experimental, innovative exhibits.

They commission new work, as well as present exhibits by emerging and established artists and also have a series of free public programs and events such as artist talks, open studio days, and film screenings.

Hours:
Thursday – Monday: 11am – 6pm
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Location: 44-19 Purves Street

www.sculpture-center.org


Fisher Landau Center for Art

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Adaptive reuse is a theme when it comes to the locations of LIC arts institutions and the Fisher Landau Center for Art is no exception, housed in a former parachute harness factory.

Designed by the late English architect Max Gordon, the modern museum (which offers free admission) houses the 1,500-work contemporary art collection of Emily Fisher Landau.

Moreover, these includes the work of some of the past 50 years’ most influential artists, like Andy Warhol, Kiki Smith, Glenn Ligon, Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Jenny Holzer, and Robert Mapplethorpe, many of whom she supported early in their careers.

Also, on display is Ms. Landau’s 150-piece collection of mid-century furniture designer Warren McArthur, as well as a rotating exhibit series.

Hours:
Thursday – Monday, 12pm – 5pm
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Location: 38-27 30th Street

www.flcart.org


Eleventh Street Arts

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Eleventh Street Arts veers from the modern to the traditional, presenting new works of drawings, paintings, and sculptures that invoke, challenge, and celebrate classical tradition.

Also unique is the fact that its exhibitions are curated by artists who lend their own interpretation to a specific style or theme such as still life, nudes, or architecture.

In addition, Eleventh Street Arts offers a chamber music series, from Chiaroscuro to Bach, and sponsors a resident chamber music artist.

Hours: Monday – Saturday: By appointment only.

Location: 46-06 11th Street

www.eleventhstreetarts.com 


Grand Central Atelier

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Adjacent to Eleventh Street Arts is the Grand Central Atelier, a collaborative workspace dedicated to figurative drawing, painting, and sculpture.

In addition to exhibitions, concerts, lectures, concerts related to this study, the organization provides rigorous training and open sketch nights, as well as artistic competitions and fellowships.

So, those interested in more formal study of the traditional art form can enroll in a full-time program that lasts up to four years.

In addition, the shorter, one-day workshops and classes, ranges in topic from self-portrait and foundations of figure drawing, to still life to the classical architecture methods of the École des Beaux-Arts.

Hours: By appointment only.
Wednesday evenings – 5:30pm
Friday afternoons – 12:30pm

Location: 46-06 11th Street

http://grandcentralatelier.org


MoMA PS1

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MoMA PS1 became an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art in 2000. But, it’s actually one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the nation.

They’re located in an abandoned 19th-century public school building, which they often transform into site-specific works. The most well-known of which, may be their annual summer Warm Up. There, a winning entrant turns the open-air courtyard into a temporary, environmentally focused installation that accompanies a music series.

Satisfying their commitment to displaying the world’s most experimental art, past retrospectives have included Mike Kelley, Franz West, and Gordon Matta-Clark.

So, be sure to see light artist James Turrell’s permanent installation “Meeting,” one of his famed skyspaces. Plus, other long-term installations by Sol LeWitt, Cecily Brown, Alan Saret, and Richard Serra.

Hours:
Thursday – Monday: 12pm – 6pm
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays

Location: 22-25 Jackson Avenue

www.moma.org/ps1


Lastly, if you are loving the idea of heading out into Long Island City, in Queens to explore these 7 best places in Long Island City for art lovers, but prefer going with a fantastic tour guide, contact us! Our experts can provide art specialists to help you around.

Plus, we work a lot with Corporate groups of all sizes, so let our experts cater a fantastic experience for your team or your clients.


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Scott Hoffmann for MoMa PS1; Nicholas Knight/©The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, NY/ARS; Kyle Knodell for Sculpture Center, Kelly Akashi for Sculpture Center; Mariana Hernandez-Rivera for Grande Central Atelier; and all museums & galleries.
*Last Update on March/2020.*

31 Curious Facts About New Yorkers We Just Love

Curiosities City Secrets 31 Curious Facts About New Yorkers

We all know that New Yorkers are very unique types of human beings and that we do have our peculiarities! Some might even say we’re a bit crazy but, then again, we don’t really care. See 31 curious facts about New Yorkers we just love!

Curiosities City Secrets 31 Curious Facts About New Yorkers
Photo Credit: Help us find out! Claim it if it’s yours!

As we said, New Yorkers are pretty interesting human being, with very unique, and weird habits.

So, we decided to put together a list of several pretty hilarious things New Yorkers commonly do.

Some of these were extracted from an article we found by our friends at BuzzFeed! It’s short and sweet!

We have to emphasize that #31 is definitely the ultimate best one in our point of view. Or, at least in our Founder’s point of view. This is something that she mentions almost ever single day after commuting to work.


31 Curious Facts About New Yorkers:

1. Strategically jaywalk in zigzags so that not a second is wasted.

2. Craftily weave through the crowds to get on that fully packed 6 train.

3. If they’re not talking to someone, they have their earphones on. All. The. Time.

4. Lean over the yellow subway line to see if a train’s coming – as if it’ll make it come any faster.

5. Gets crazy mad at places that aren’t opened 24h a day. Why in the world would they ever even close? Specially a pharmacy or a pizza spot.

6. Ride bikes in traffic, during blizzards, with no helmet on.

7. Roll their eyes to people that can’t swipe in their metro card on the first try.

8. Listen to music while reading a book and standing up on the subway.

9. Ask how much you pay for rent and how big your apartment is, even if they’ve just met you 5 minutes ago.

10. Pretend like crazy stuff isn’t happening while it’s happening.

11. Talk about how you can’t wait for winter during the summer…and then how you wish it were summer in the winter.

12. Avoids eye contacts so that people don’t fee like you’re opened to talking to them. You need directions? They might not stop…

13. Considers every single park as a type of “urban beach”, and can simply strip down to get a sun tan.

14. Make fun of Williamsburg, especially if you live in Williamsburg.

15. Eat bagels as drunk food.

…and still…

16. Take random pictures of people on the train to show friends.

17. Love cursing. A lot. Like, really, a “shit load” of cursing.

18. Look up at night to see what color the Empire State Building is.

19. Jaywalk so that not a minute is wasted.

20. Get crazy mad that they encounter a line of 5 people walking side by side, blocking the entire sidewalk. Damn tourists…

21. And walk at super speeds to avoid anyone with a clipboard. And, would probably win the Power Walking marathons.

22. Squeeze into super-crowded (but free!) yoga classes, which sort of defeats the purpose.

23. Can eat pizza at any time of the day, specially at 3am.

24. Can’t understand why people literally walk into the subway, before people are able to step out. WTF!?

25. At every new year, reduces the radius in which they actually commute to and from. At some point, they’ll sleep, work and play in only 1 neighborhood.

26. Can see a snake wrapped around the subway’s bars, and just look away like there’s nothing there and continue reading.

27. Are probably the worst drivers on the planet…but are experts in ordering Ubers in a split second, or hailing a cab in the middle of 42nd Street.

28. Are considered rude and snobbish, but are actually very hot hearted people. Deep deep inside.

29. Although they all seam impatient, they’ll silently stand in massive lines at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, or simply to grab a coffee.

30. Complains about almost everything but, in the end, couldn’t see themselves living anywhere else on the planet.

31. Ride over a bridge on the subway or in a cab, look at the skyline, and remember why you live here in the first place! 


Photo Credits: We’re not sure who’s picture is this! Please claim it, if it’s yours! We found it online with no credit.
*Few excerpts from BuzzFeed.*
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Alice Austen: An Influential NY Photographer Born In 1866

Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Austen House Clear Comfort by Floto Warner

We are pretty fond of strong women that have changed or influenced certain periods in time. Alice Austen was one of America’s earliest and most prolific female photographers. She as an influential NY photographer born in 1866.

Curiosities City Secrets Alice Austen Photography Staten Island Austen House Clear Comfort by Floto Warner
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Photography is one of our biggest passions and we are proud to say that New York is the home of the most groundbreaking and influential photographers on the planet.

Alice Austen was born in 1866 in Staten Island and her life was certainly an exciting journey, specially considering the time in history she was born.

She is well-known for her documentary work, but she was also passionate about landscape designing. Austen was a pioneer in many things, from being a women photographer, to being the first women to purchase a car. And still, to have a ‘forbidden’ relationship with Gertrude Tate. Wow, we just love her! Powerful, independent, strong, willful, devoted, driven!

Her quest into the photography universe started at the age of 10, when her uncle, Oswald Müller, brought home a camera from one of his trips. He was a sea captain. She was completely enchanted and hypnotized by that wooden box and, in no time, she got pretty familiar with it.

So, by 18 she was already a professional photographer. Some of the earliest works found date back to this time.

Her photographs demonstrate her interest in America’s social challenges as well as her aesthetic sensibility.

Clear Comfort, as the Austen House is known, dates back to a 1690’s one-room Dutch farmhouse.

It is one of the oldest homes in New York and it is considered a National Historic Landmark. The house has an amazing panoramic view of New York City. Today, they offer around 3 exhibitions every years with historic images and also more contemporary ones.

The Staten Island Historical Society, at Historic Richmond, owns over 7,000 original items by Alice Austen. From glass plate negatives, film base negatives to countless original prints. Note: Her career compiled actually over 8,000 images.

If you are interested to head that way and explore more the life of his extraordinary woman, contact our experts to set up this experience for you! We are also able to arrange this for Corporate groups.

Also, take a look to see what are the current exhibitions.

Location: 2 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island

www.aliceausten.org


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Alice Austen Org and Floto-Warner
*Last Update on March/2020.*

We Love Uncovering The NYC Subway Secrets

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Secret Subway FDR Tracks Waldorf Astoria

One of the things we love the most in New York City, is uncovering the NYC subway secrets. We compiled a few of what we most enjoyed!

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Secret Subway FDR Tracks Waldorf Astoria
Secret FDR Tracks beneath the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – ©Behind the Scenes NYC

There is just so much to talk about when the subject is: NYC subway secrets. It’s hard even to know where to start from.

To start, maybe we should go back and see how it all began:


“At 2:35 on the afternoon of October 27, 1904, New York City Mayor George McClellan takes the controls on the inaugural run of the city’s innovative new rapid transit system: the subway.

At 7 p.m. that evening, the subway opened to the general public, and more than 100,000 people paid a nickel each to take their first ride under Manhattan.

IRT service expanded to the Bronx in 1905, to Brooklyn in 1908 and to Queens in 1915.

Since 1968, the subway has been controlled by the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA). The system now has 26 lines and 468 stations in operation; the longest line, the 8th Avenue “A” Express train, stretches more than 32 miles, from the northern tip of Manhattan to the far southeast corner of Queens.

Every day, some 4.5 million passengers take the subway in New York.”

~ via History.com


That said, we can still list some other peculiarities that we love about the NYC subway secrets:

1. Did you know that there are many abandoned platforms, like the one underneath 42nd street on the A/C/E line?

2.  The FDR Subway Track – Track 61 (picture above!), beneath the Waldorf Astoria Hotel is one of the most protected sites. FDR, stands for Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was used exclusively by him during his Presidency, due to his physical impairment, after contracting Polio. Even though we had to luck of going down there, today Track 61 is completely out of bounds for the public.

3. Wanderlust Projects, know for their illegal parties, that trespasses authorized areas, has organized an illegal party in an abandoned Subway Station. We love these guys!

4. Up through 2006, the New York City transit system operated an armored Money Train that took all money collected from fairs to a safe place at 370 Jay Street, Brooklyn. (You can see more at the New York Transit Museum).

5.  Joralemon Street, in Brooklyn Heights, has a fake townhouse, in the middle of several others colored ones, that hides a ventilation shaft for the Subway.

6. MTA Arts for Transit invited the sculpture Tom Otterness, in 2004, to create those beautiful little bronze creature spread through out the 14th Station and 8th Avenue. See more about his project below:

…and still:

7. The Knickerbocker Hotel was once a very acclaimed hotel, where names like F.Scott Fitzgerald and John D. Rockefeller used to “hang”. The forgotten white door at Track 1 on Times Square/42nd Street station.

8. When you get the Q Line from Dekalb into Manhattan (the abandoned Myrtle Ave station), you will be able to witness the Masstransiscope artwork by Bill Brand, installed in the year of 1980. This was once the is located in the abandoned Myrtle Ave station. Facing the front of the train, you need to sit on the left side seats.

9. We love the Underbelly Project, dating back a few years to 2009. See below where some of the most amazing works of art are secretly hidden.

10. Decommissioned in 1945, the famous City Hall Subway Station has maybe the most amazing architectural designs of all. How to see it? Stay on the 6 train after its last stop, at Brooklyn Bridge. It will continue running, and you’ll be able to see a bit from this station, when you pass by. Beware: it might get a little dark, since lights might go out at some point. Just, stay cool.

11. The Woolworth Building had an exclusive and direct access into the subway, for all the tenants. For an exclusive tour into the building, contact our experts!

12. The weird “finger-pointing” moment that every conductor does before opening the train’s doors, is simply for safety reasons, indicating that the train is completely stopped.

…finally:

13. Famous people have done fantastic works of “art” in the subway. Take a look at what Aaron from Underground_NYC has created through the dance moves of the famous Brazilian ballerina, Ingrid Silva:

Curiosities City Secrets NYC Secret Subway Ingrid Silva by Underground NYC
Ingrid Silva by Underground_NYC.

…there is just so much more, but we’ll leave it for a second article about the NYC subway secrets!

So, with all this, there are a few books and gadgets we’d like to recommend, if you’re into these secret subway stories and adventures like us:

1. Beneath the Streets: The Hidden Relics of New York’s Subway System
2. The City Beneath Us: Building the New York Subway
3. Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure: A TOON Graphic (Toon Graphics) (for Kids)
4. Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: The True (Maybe) Story
5. The New York City Subway: The History of America’s Largest and Most Famous Subway System
6. My Subway Ride (for Kids)
7. The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America’s First Subway
8. Sterling Industries 138-094 Double Sided Wall Clock with Map of New York Subway
9. New York Puzzle Company – New York City Transit MTA Subway Kids – 36 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle (for Kids)
10. Glossy Paper Subway Gift Bags
11. and still, a New York City Subway Map Poster Print

And last, we hope you enjoyed this post, as much as we enjoyed doing it!

Yup, we are fascinated with uncovering the NYC subway secrets!


Text Excerpts: History.com
Photo Credits: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of Underground_NYC
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Brooklyn Bridge: Story And Secrets Behind This Massive Landmark

Curiosities City Secrets Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge has an amazing story and secrets worth telling! The secrets behind this massive NY landmark are very interesting and some, even a bit hilarious!

Curiosities City Secrets Brooklyn Bridge

This is probably one of the three top touristy spots in New York City! We know…not “behind the scenes” at all but, then again, some attractions are just impossible to ignore.

We are completely in love with this Bridge! When we commute into Manhattan through the Q Line in the morning, that goes over the Manhattan Bridge, it’s usually the highlight of the trip! We are able to see the entire Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan’s skyline. Plus, at the very back, the State of liberty.

Yes! A perfect way to start the morning and to remember “Why” we once decided to live here! It just feels…perfect.

Any way, lets getting back on track! Let’s talk about the story and secrets behind this massive landmark in New York.

The Brooklyn Bridge was opened to the public on May 24, 1883 and connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, passing over the East River. Back then, it was a separate city from New York, and only in 1898 it was formally merged and New York City started growing into the different Boroughs.

It’s hard to even guess how many years to took, back in the late 1800’s to build it right? Well, it was a total of 14 years.

Over 600 workers were hired to be part of this massive construction and it costed a total of $15 million. Today, if we convert this cost to, it adds up to $320 million! It’s a lot of money, right?

The engineers and architects responsible for this landmark are John A. Roebling, his son, Washington Roebling and David B. Steinman.

John A. Roebling was a pioneer and a fantastic German engineer specialized in suspension bridges back in those days.

Unfortunately, Roebling had a fatal work injury and died of tetanus. His son, Washington Roebling, took over the project.

The entire process was quite challenging for the time. Specially regarding the air tubes that took workers deep under water. When then resurfaced (probably too quickly), their bodies had severe pains, many irreparable damages and sometimes, even death. Washington himself had a lifetime partial paralysis due to this process.

Today, it’s calculated that more than 120,000 vehicles, 4,000 pedestrians and 3,100 bicyclists cross the Brooklyn Bridge every single day.

Here are also a few secrets facts of the Brooklyn Bridge:

1. In 2006, a Fallout Shelter was discovered inside the masonry of the bridge, most likely created during the Cold War. They found an infinite number of paper blankets, water drums, lots of medical supplies and even canned food.

2. John A. Roebling made a conceptualization of a shopping arcade. It never came to life, but became a storage for several years and, in the beginning of the 2000’s, it was closed down due to security reasons.

3. To help counteract the costs of the bridge, a wine cellar was created inside the bridge and was rented out to store products at a stable temperature.

4. This is actually a bit funny. George C. Parker is known of having “sold” the bridge many times to different new prospect owners. He did a huge load of money out of this hoax and was eventually sent to jail for life. It’s said that he even negotiated and sold the Statue of Liberty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). Ha!

5. The was a terrible and fatal day where a few dozen people died due to a bluff that the bridge was going to collapse. This was only 6 days after its opening – a disaster, for sure. Due to this, a while later, it is know that the showman P.T. Barnum organized the crossover of 21 elephants, to secure the population that the bridge was safe. This was, in essence, to promote the coming of his new circus. Smart guy.


In addition, after crossing the bridge, you can take some time and explore the area close by!

So, you can start by simply heading down below the bridge to the  Brooklyn Bridge Park. There are great food vendors, a stunning skyline view of Manhattan, Jane’s Carousel is for all ages, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is a great pitstop.

As we said, yes, it is quite touristy. But, nonetheless, it’s definitely worth checking off your list! We still love crossing it sometimes, despite the touristy mess.

If you want to cross, but you’re interested in booking a tour guide telling you more in depth details of the se stories above, or even, if you want to cross biking, contact our experts to arrange it for you. It’s also a great activity to do with Corporate groups.


Photo Credit: Courtesy
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Cortland Alley, In Tribeca: An Alley That Dates Back To 1817

Curiosities City Secrets Cortland Alley TriBeCa by Jason Homa

Cortland Alley dates back to 1817 and has had several lives. Today it is a walk through time, located at the tip of Tribeca in Manhattan.

Curiosities City Secrets Cortland Alley TriBeCa by Jason Homa
Photo Credit: Jason Homa

Cortland Alley is located on the West tip of Tribeca, almost bordering the neighborhood of Chinatown. Actually, some people may disagree, since Google Maps actually shows it’s in the last block on the East tip of Chinatown.

Well, regardless of this, the story today is different.

See what our friend, Jason Homa has to say about it’s history!


“It is one of the last true gritty alleys, particularly in an otherwise beautified Tribeca.

It feels like the New York City of the 1970’s or 1980’s. Loading docks falling apart, rusted metal shutters, a feeling of abandonment and graffiti best describe this three block stretch.

Tribeca is revered for its former warehouses turned residential and lofty living spaces.

Most of these buildings still feel like warehouses or manufacturing business that won’t give in.

But, that is certainly starting to change as evidenced by luxury developments like Six Cortland Alley, which does preserve the exterior of a building dating back to 1857.

I found the modern business person in an otherwise dank alley to be a sure sign of things to come.”


Take a look to see where exactly this alley is located!

In addition, if you search google, or even hashtags on Instagram, you’ll find out that may of the pictures taken by famous bloggers are in this Alley! So, be sure to pass by it to experience some time.

It’s definitely worth the time!

Lastly, if you are looking for a customized tours and experiences of the city or any other Borough, far away from touristy spots, contact our experts so they can tell a bit more about how they can help!

For Corporate tours and requests, we have worked with big groups of executives from the largest multinational companies across the globe. So, see what we can do for your team, or your clients.


Photo and Text Excerpts: Jason Homa
*Last Update on March/2020.*

8 Disappearing Districts And Neighborhoods By Untapped Cities

Curiosities City Secrets Garment District Bettmann Corbis Workday

See what our friends from Untapped New York have to say about the 8 Disappearing Districts and Neighborhoods of NYC!

Curiosities City Secrets Garment District Andrew Herman Sewing
Curiosities City Secrets Garment District Andrew Herman Quilt
Curiosities City Secrets Garment District Andrew Herman Eastman Cutters
Curiosities City Secrets Garment District Bettmann Corbis Workday
Curiosities City Secrets Garment District Cyberwearz Statue
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Our friends from Untapped New York posted a great article about the disappearing districts and neighborhoods in NYC!  Since we love to learn about the city’s history, we want to share the great work they’ve done!

Plus, maybe if we write about them here too, we are able to keep their story and their tradition alive!

Read the full post at Untapped New York’s website and breathtaking nostalgic pictures!!!


1) Music Row was located on 48th Street between 6th & 7th Avenue. If you were a musician in New York City, this area was the place to go. Whether it was rock & roll, R&B, punk, classical, jazz or whatever, this once thriving block was a one stop shopping for any instrument, sheet music and instrument repair.

2) The Meatpacking District, located west of 9th Avenue and south of 14th Street, once housed 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants. By 1930 it produced the third largest volume of dressed meats in the country.

3) Bookseller’s or Book Row was an area of used book stores located on 4th Avenue from 8th Street to 14th Street that had 48 bookstores. This mecca for second hand books started in the 1890’s and lasted until the late 1960’s.

4) The Flower District is located on 28th Street between 6th & 7th Avenue. This area became a magnet for flower and plant businesses likely due to its proximity to Midtown, Madison Square Garden and Macy’s, all a driving force behind recent low cost hotel development.

…and still:

5) The Kitchen Restaurant Supply District is located on the Bowery between Houston and Canal. The Bowery is the oldest thoroughfare in Manhattan and was once one of New York’s most elegant streets.

6) Shoe Row was an area of 8th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues that housed many mom and pop shoe stores. This was a bonafide footwear destination with over two dozen shoe stores mostly catering to the younger clientele that began to take off in the 1980’s.

7) The Garment District occupies one square mile between 35th & 40th Street west of 5th Avenue. New York is known as one of the world’s fashion capitals, so it makes sense that it has a vibrant Garment Center.

8) The Fulton Fish Market was one of the largest wholesale fish markets on the east coast. Started in 1822, at South Street, fish were delivered by boat right to the market from the East River.


It kills us to know that so much of New York City’s historical spots and facts are dying. We are part of the group of people that have as one of the goals, to keep it all alive!

The stories are endless, the details are breathtaking, the facts are infinite! Let’s spread to word to keep it alive!

If you area also a big fan of keep these stories alive, and you want to have a private tours and experiences of any Borough to learn more. Contact our experts so they can organize it for you! We also work with Corporate requests!

NOTE: The Image Gallery above illustrates only The Garment District – Place #7.


Text by: Untapped New York
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Andrew Herman Federal Art-Project/Museum of the City of New York, Arthur Brower/The New York Times via Redux, Bettmann/Corbis and Cyberwearz

All the images used on this website are the property of BTSNYC or used with proper credit.
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