The Top 5 Must-See in New York City (That Are Off the Beaten Path)

| September 21, 2011

We Meet Our New York City Tour Guide Who Speaks in Fluent, Big Apple Argot

So, what? Youse in New Yhork? Lookin’ for sumthin’ diffrent tah do? Whatsamatta? Times Square, Rockefeller Center and the freakin’ Statue of Liberty not good enough for youse?! Wanna get off the beaten path and lookin’ for a little advice from a local like me? Well, fuhgeddaboudit!

Our New York City Tour Guide Takes Pity on Us

…Unless, that is, youse actually pays attention ‘cause I don’t waste my breath on nobody, see? So youse still want a tour? All right. Shore. I’m feelin’ generous. But first, I’ll stop typin’ like I actually talk ‘cause it’ll drill your gramma’ and spell checka’ a new one, know whatta mean? Bada bing, bada boom.

Our Local New York City Guide Begins The Tour

So let’s get moving. The first rule on New York City sidewalks is don’t stop. Tourists from places like Kansas and Kentucky stop and gawk at all the tall buildings and wonder much how much freaking hay they could stuff in them. Those folks get trampled from behind, know what I mean? So don’t do it. You can stop and look around when we get off the beaten path. I’ll tell you when.

Okay, when.

We Arrive at Our First Stop… a Restroom

Right, we’re here. The Bryant Park Bathroom. Even if you don’t have to go, it’s a good place to go: clean as a freaking whistle, fancy fixtures, fresh-cut flowers, soft, absorbent bathroom tissue, and the soothing sounds of Bach and Vivaldi wafting through the air. (I don’t know about you, but there’s just something about Baroque music that relaxes the bowels, know what I mean?) I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bryant Park Bathroom has the fanciest public toilets in the world; thrones fit for kings and queens, so to speak. Plus, it’s right across the street from our next stop, the New York Public Library. Come on, let’s go check something out.

Off the Beaten Path Number 2: New York Public Library

Ever been inside a building that makes you feel smarter by just walking through the door? That’s what this one does. Originally designed in the Rundbogenstil – didn’t figure I freakin’ knew that, did youse? – during the mid-19th century, the building was added to until it reached its present form in the early 20th century. Anyway, after enjoying a lion’s eye view of some of the best people watching in the world, go inside and see an original Gutenberg Bible, in addition to learning something new from all the non-stop classes, programs and exhibitions. Only be careful. As my Uncle Vinny used to say: “as the island of our sapience grows, so too does the shoreline of our freaking ignorance.” That means if you spend too much time in this library, you might come back out the most ignorant person on the planet.

Our New York City Tour Guide Gets a Call from His Mother

Hey, maw. How’s youse? Yeah, I’m walkin’ some tourists through town. On our way to the freakin’ Dakota. What’s that? Yeah, I can get there easy from anywhere. I got Wireless Internet New York City. Youse know it’s the best. When you’re visitin’ town and need to get some directions or make some reservations, havin’ wireless Internet makes everythin’ easier. Yeah, I’ll bring home some freakin’ pork chops. Love youse too, maw.

Off the Beaten Path #3: The Dakota

Not only is the Dakota the former home of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, (and the place where he was tragically shot and killed), but the building itself actually starred in a movie, Roman Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby,” a film you should definitely not watch by yourself late at night. The structure is an excellent example of an architectural style called “North German Renaissance” and was built during the 1880s. It remains a private apartment building with a nearly constant cluster of fans paying homage to John Lennon. Just across the street in Central Park lies “Strawberry Fields,” a place to hang out quietly in honor of who many consider the greatest Beatle.

Off the Beaten Path #4: High Bridge

No, don’t jump off it, but, if you like history, definitely go across it. High Bridge is the city’s oldest surviving bridge, a good fifty years older than its much more famous cousin farther to the south, the Brooklyn Bridge. Back in the day, and we’re talking the 1840s here, this bridge was not only a way for people to cross between the Bronx and Manhattan, but it also served as an aqueduct to pipe in clean water for a thirsty and seriously growing city. After we check it out, we can practice our Spanish and eat at one of the many local restaurants in the area. Now how do you say “enchiladas” in Spanish because I’m really hungry?

Off the Beaten Path #5: The Hispanic Society Museum

Now that we’ve had lunch, we can stick with the Hispanic theme and visit the Hispanic Society’s Museum and its newly renovated Bancaja Gallery. In a city filled with spectacular museums, this one stands out, yet remains one of the lesser known. It features an awesome collection of art from such freaking geniuses as El Greco and Goya. Plus, it’s a good place to slow down a bit after a delicious but heavy lunch covered with melted cheese.

Our New York Guide Signs Off and Goes Full Circle

So there it is, just a little slice of a really big apple. But at least it’s a slice that not every tourist and his sister get their grubby hands all over. No doubt, the list could keep going until the Mets win the series – hah! – but I don’t want to live half that long. I’m outta here. Next stop, Bryant Park!

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Category: North America, Travel

Comments (2)

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  1. The Journey says:

    Well, a lot of great and historic buildings here. Visitors have many choices.

  2. Greg says:

    The High bridge looks amazing… I love when you kind find a place in a big city that makes you feel miles from the big city!