Underappreciated Spots In New York City You Must Visit
by Brianna Cousins
New York City is one of the most appreciated cities in America. However, at the same time, there are many underappreciated places in New York City that I personally feel would make a lot of people happy. When New York City comes to mind the first thing most people think of is Times Square and Madison Square Garden. Those places are great but there is so much more in New York City that visitors never end up seeing because underrated attractions live in the shadow of New York’s mainstream attractions. Listed below are three underappreciated places in New York City you may be interested in visiting.
Inwood Hill Park
This spot is located in upper Manhattan and also happens to be the most special to me so I am most biased towards it. Inwood Park also happens to be my personal clandestine wonderland I run away to when I need a break from the city. Other than the fact that Inwood Park is the perfect place to go to relieve stress there is a plethora of monumental history that took place there.
Inwood Hill Park Is One of The Most Historical Sites In New York City
During the 17th century, the entire park was once land that Native Americans of the Lenape tribe resided in. There are many plaques with information and historical sites placed throughout the park. The first time I went deep into the park on a much relaxing walk I saw the caves that were once used as a seasonal residence by Lenape Native Americans. I remember feeling so amazed by the fact that I was in the presence of something so sacred and remarkably aged. Inwood Park has a nature trail like no other.
A Place Where You Can Find Inspiration
As the last natural forest in Manhattan, Inwood Park provides a real platform of eutierria in the city. Inwood Park is more than just a lawn of grass and few a trees it is a place you can go to, to feel inspired. I wrote my very first creative writing project at Inwood Park. It was a rainy day and I had spent my entire train ride to Inwood, thinking about what I could write and who my characters were. Then as soon I stepped foot in the park I saw my story come to life. At that point in my life, I had never lived anywhere outside of New York City so going to Inwood Park for me was like leaving the city while being in the middle of the city. A feeling like that is powerful and can inspire and hopefully, others visitors of Inwood Park will feel that way too.
Strand Book Store
Strand Book Store is located in the East Village of Manhattan and is truly one of a kind. Strand Book Store is pretty much the ultimate supreme ruler of bookstores. Strand Book Store is a used bookstore comprised of books, specifically 18 miles worth of books. Strand Book Store has almost every book imaginable and I know at first it doesn’t seem like a big deal because almost every book imaginable is available for purchase on the internet. Admittedly, I was guilty of taking this literary palace for granted until I remembered the power of holding a book in your hand. The magic of reading words directly from the paper that has been all across the world (or at least New York for sure) being read and held by many. Book Stores are a great place to hang out and are somewhat of a popular hangout space in the city the same way coffee shops are.
Visiting One of The Biggest Bookstores In America
As a writer, being surrounded by 18 miles of books is a dream beyond my wildest come true. A dream I wasn’t aware of until I lived it. My first memorable experience at Strand Book Store was when I spent a break (from my dead-end part-time job at the time) there. As I was walking around, I was looking for a place where I could use my phone and just sit down for a while. I couldn’t go to a nearby park because it was raining. Most of the time I’m pretty much a relaxed go-with-the-flow kind of person so I didn’t really care where I was as long as it wasn’t my workplace and it was inside. The harder the rain began to pour the harder I began to think about where I could go, in a moment of spontaneity I remembered there was a huge bookstore that was bound to have a nice isolated area where I could sit down and use my phone in. Convientally, Strand Book Store happened to only be a few blocks away from where I was. Once I got there I ended spending my entire break time reading. Till this day I’m still confused as to how it happened. Up until that point, I had stopped reading regularly and invested any free time I had into writing. Usually, when I was in Barnes & Nobles or even a library I would spend that time on my phone or writing. It wasn’t until I put those books down in Strand Book Store I realized how unappreciative I was towards this spot. Books may seem boring at first, especially to people who don’t enjoy writing or reading but a place like Strand Book Store can bring a person an enjoyment and appreciation for books. At least for a little while.
Governors Island isn’t located in Manhattan but it is considered a part of Manhattan because it stands 800 yards away from the southern tip of the borough. Located in the heart of the New York Harbor Governors Island is 172 acres of pure underappreciated beauty. Governor’s Island is open to the public from Spring to Fall. Governor’s Island is usually more popular during the summer, even though the island is enjoyable even when events aren’t occurring. Similar to Inwood Park, Governor’s Island provides a break from the city due to its suburban nature. The island has a unique set of art and culture placed throughout. From food trucks to statues, Governor’s Island’s charm is often overlooked due to the fact that it is a ferry ride away from Manhattan. Governor’s Island is still a great place to go if you’re looking to try something new.