I covered cliche touristy things to do in New York last week, so I thought it only fair that I try to present a few alternatives.
Walking along the Hudson at sunset
Not many tourists make it around from Battery Park to the Hudson River, and they’re missing out.
It probably has a lot to do with how this is predominantly reclaimed land, but the area is far more modern and well-planned than the rest of Manhattan. There are also a number of attractive parks and quiet spaces.
As the sun sets on this side of the island, you can get some beautiful views of Jersey City later in the day.
Irish Hunger Memorial
At the corner of Vesey and North End Avenue, this really sticks out among the modern architecture of Battery Park City.
The Memorial opened in 2002 and commemorates the Great Irish Famine of the mid-19th cenury. The centerpiece is an authentic cottage from County Mayo, shipped to the US and fully rebuilt. Don’t be surprised to have the entire Memorial to yourself.
It’s a bit off the tourist trail (out in Queens), but isn’t that the point?
As the name suggests, this is a museum devoted to all things involving moving imagery: film, television, even conceptual art. Some of the exhibits get a little trippy:
But those interested in the history of visual broadcasting will enjoy the display of equipment through the ages and film buffs will probably latch onto the section featuring famous props (The Mask from The Mask!), so there’s a decent hour of exploring in the offing here.
Public art is pretty big in New York (both literally and figuratively) and you can find most of the best stuff in the Financial District and along Park Avenue. The median strip dividing the latter has some good stuff, but the most photogenic can be found outside otherwise bland office buildings.
A lot of tourists skirt the area as it is near the pedestrian entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge, but the handsome City Hall and US Court House buildings often get ignored.
Also, any fan of the movie Crocodile Dundee should check out the Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall subway exit at Chambers and Center. It’s where the famous “that’s not a knife” scene was filmed.