If you are a traveler interested in something “different” during your trip to NYC, you have plenty of options to keep you in the company of the locals and unconventional types. Secluded bars, avant-garde films and even remnants of the early days of medicine are just a few of the untraditional attractions the city has to offer.
Look death in the eyes at this museum devoted to everything from the slightly odd to the highly macabre. Rotating exhibitions showcase historical relics such as wax models of diseased bodies, early erotic imagery and literature, taxidermy and other art and ephemera. The museum also holds lectures, workshops, screenings and other events.
There is almost always something playing at this East Village institution. For over 40 years, the center has been devoted to preserving the history of film. In keeping with its mission to share the legacy of classic cinema and promote film as an art, the Anthology screens more than 900 programs per year including its Essential Collection.
Definitely not your standard chain bookstore, Housing Works Bookstore Cafe sells only used books and all profits go to supporting Housing Works in providing services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Grab a coffee and a sandwich from the cafe in the back, pick out a good read or make use of the free Wi-Fi. The store also holds events.
With a permanent collection of over 3,000 pieces of Himalayan art ranging in age and media, the Rubin Museum in Chelsea displays modern and ancient works from South Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The museum also holds gallery talks, museum tours, art workshops, yoga classes, film screenings, concerts and more.
Be transported back to a time when liquor was off limits at this sophisticated speakeasy. Skilled bartenders mix some of the best cocktails in town while patrons lounge on velvet couches or stand at the bar and soak up the 1920s themed atmosphere. All of this awaits you behind an inconspicuous doorbell.
As host to the first poetry slam in New York City back in 1989, the venue has kept the tradition alive with weekly slams as well as open mic nights, Latin Jazz concerts, Hip Hop jam sessions, and theater events. The Cafe celebrates diversity and encourages the use of spoken word as an instrument for change. Most shows are under $20.
This quaint teashop on Saint Marks Place has an extensive list of fair trade and organic teas available by the cup or pot. The multi-page menu includes classics like peppermint and chamomile as well as special herbal blends with medicinal qualities like the Memory Aid made from ginkgo, maté, peppermint, fire ginseng and rosemary leaf.
There is something for everyone on Littlefield's calendar. The Gowanus venue hosts comedy nights, concerts, story telling events, game shows, dance parties, theatrical performances and art exhibitions. During events, patrons can take advantage of the bar's finely curated menu of micro-brewed beers, artisanal cocktails, wine and sake.
Try something new at Africa Kine in Harlem. The restaurant serves classic and seasonal Senegalese dishes for lunch and dinner as well as desserts like thiakry, a mix of couscous, vanilla extract, sour cream and fruit. The menu has many delicious options for meat and fish lovers, though vegetarians may leave feeling hungry.
Not quite as big as nearby Central Park, Riverside is a great alternative when the crowds at Central Park become too great. The park includes Grant’s Tomb, the Joan of Arc Statue, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the 79th Street Boat Basin, plus lots of greenery, benches and majestic views over the Hudson.