Despite its innumerable tourist attractions, New York City still has many secrets, hidden in the most unlikely places. There is the Edison Hotel in Times Square, where magicians gather 'round the Magic Table to socialize and compete. There is Hua Mei Garden in the Lower East Side, where elderly Chinese men meet to display exotic birds. And there is Sahadi's in Brooklyn, where the culinary arts thrive, and New Yorkers go for just the right ingredients for a Middle Eastern meal. This book details thirty-two unusual locations such as these and enhances them by including a cluster of additional, related spots. Hidden New York shows you why these places matter and guides you through the historical and cultural significance of each one.
Many of them matter because of the opportunities they provide for socializing, such as the Empire Roller Disco in Brooklyn that attracts a community of skaters and the Cube sculpture on Astor Place, which is a meeting spot for homeless youth. Others matter because they are focal points for communities and the spaces are intertwined with how people share in each others' lives. Still others have been lost, like the house under the roller coaster in Coney Island, made famous by Woody Allen in Annie Hall.
This book is not just about Manhattan, but covers all five boroughs in New York City. It is an invitation to visit, revisit, learn, and enjoy all that you didn't know the city has to offer. It will show you what's there, what used to be there, and why it will be there for years to come. The chapters, illustrated with appealing black-and-white photos, include first-person remembrances and commentaries from New Yorkers themselves. Each entry functions as a small travel essay, evoking how certain destinations are experienced. As a guide to the New York City that is less traveled, this unique book shows that some of the best places to visit are ones that you never even thought existed.
The 32 Places That Matter
Hua Mei Bird Garden
Russian and Turkish Tenth Street Baths
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden
The Magic Table at the Edison Hotel
The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesman
Stickball Boulevard and the Stadiums of the Street
Thomas Jefferson Park Pool
Empire Roller Skating Center
The Lemon Ice King of Corona
Coney Island Bialys and Bagels
Sahadi's Specialty and Middle Eastern Foods
Arthur Avenue Market
Union Square Greenmarket
The Village Vanguard
Casa Amadeo Record Shop
Richmond Barthé's Frieze at Kingsborough Houses
Quirky Features of the Landscape
Art in the Subways
Casita Rincón Criollo, Magnolia Tree Earth Center, Liz Christy Bowery-Houston Community Garden
The Flower District
Fishing around New York
Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum
Ganesha Hindu Temple
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grotto
The Memorials of the Battery
Marci Reaven is the managing director of City Lore, an organization dedicated to the preservation of the living cultural heritage of New York City and America. Within City Lore she heads up Place Matters, a public history and historic preservation initiative to advocate for the city's places of historical and cultural significance.
Steve Zeitlin is the director and cofounder of City Lore. He received his Ph.D. in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to arriving in New York, Steve served for eight years as a folklorist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.