• Homosapien

20 unusual things to do in NYC

Updated: May 17, 2019

Just check out these 20 unusual things to do in NYC whenever you are in the city and find out my quirky observations while I was there eating pizzas and watching skyscrapers.

So, First of all, let me tell you my story with the buildings I came across in my life, I have seen only those buildings till date where I can hypothetically jump from and land safely to the ground. I do not intend to perform that stunt though. So now you have a pretty good idea that how infinitesimally number of #skyscrapers I might have seen(or not) in my life.

One World Trade Center, Lower Manhattan, NYC

So Folks now let's talk about NYC.

I reached JFK International Airport which is in #Queens, I was ready for some hot skyscraper show but then I had a look around and was like, oh okay! Hold your horses.

Now let me now take you to my #New #York city expedition.

I have listed things which I have personally done (except, mentioned otherwise) or explored in 2 and half days timeline.

1. Ride Subways

This is one of the many iconic structures built in the heart of #NYC(or in the veins of NYC, anatomically speaking). When I landed at #JFK International Airport I took the ##Air-train ($5) from the terminal taking me to Howard beach subway station which then connects to other subway routes. Air-train is free if you have to travel only within the airport terminals.

The underground subway (or 'subweb' - some good pun right here) is present all over New York City.

This image is from the Grand Central Station, NYC and not subway


A single ride costs you $3 however multiple rides cost $2.75/per ride.

You can avail 7-days or a #monthly #pass costing you $32 and $121 respectively.

When I reached Howard Beach station, I availed a metro card adding an initial amount for my first train ride as below:

  • $5 for Air train

  • $3 or $2.75 for a ride to my Airbnb room in Brooklyn.

  • plus taxes.

I took the C train to Brooklyn and after reaching Nostrand Ave, I got off the subway and reached my Airbnb room.

More information regarding subway can be found here.

TIP: You can also take cabs or book an Uber but I found #Subway cheaper.

2. 'Brick'y Brooklyn

With this made up adjective given to #Brooklyn, you can guess what I am talking about. There are many reddish-brown buildings in every other corner of Brooklyn. Seeing no paint and finishing touches on the outer wall, they seem exposed to the weather yet standing since the beginning of time.

Brooklyn is more than that though, it is cheaper to stay at, (compared to Manhattan) though it takes 45 min - 1 hr to reach Manhattan depending on where exactly you are staying in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn offers a variety of

  • eating options

  • shopping centers

  • lots of delis for breakfast on every nook and corner

  • car(almost all) parked on the road (How they drive in NYC is beyond my comprehension)

  • old (& ancient, I must exaggerate) buildings still standing tall and glowing in the sun.

3. Take a free ferry with a statue of liberty view

So there is something to do for free. This is a ferry which takes commuters from Lower #Manhattan to the #Staten island. The journey takes about half an hour(one way) and you can get a pretty good view of '#Statue of #Liberty' national monument, on the Liberty Island situated along the way.

I came to know of this free ride much later so, unfortunately, I missed it.

You can find more information here.

4. Open Bus tours

Many Bus operators are offering these tours. Their representatives are available in prominent areas mostly in Times Square for tourists to book these buses.

They are mostly #hop-on #hop-off bus tours, it means that you can get off from your the bus to any favorite location on the predefined route, spend your time on that venue and get on the next bus of the same operator which will take you to the next venue. This is not a time-bound tour so you explore the places at your pace without getting left behind.

TIP: These tours offer great deals and discounts if you book your ticket online.

A hop-on, hop-off city tour bus, New York City

5. Times Square

The revenue from the advertisements put up on the digital hoardings around Time Square is in millions or may be in billions per month. Yes, I am a statistics expert (sarcasm).

#Times #square got its name from New York Times as they moved their headquarters to the Times building and subsequently the previously named 'Longacre Square' came to be known as present-day Times Square.

The iconic #ball-drop event occurs on New Year's Eve and gets millions of Viewership around the world.

Two clocks present in Times Square with the iconic ball drop.

Revelation: Now I know why spider-man can find his resourcefulness only in New York City, swinging from one skyscraper to another. I got this fact from the movies also, but still, it is good to get some confirmation on it through personal experience.

6. M&M World shop

Those who like to eat M&Ms will definitely dig this store. I would call it the Mecca of M&Ms.

There is candy EVERYWHERE. They have M&M merchandise you can buy. My First exclusive M&M store visit.

7. Grand Terminal Railway Station

This is one of the oldest railway stations in New York with trains connecting to different cities. It has a medieval architecture and offers various restaurants underground which I was surprised to know about. A WHOLE. NEW. WORLD below the station. I had delicious Indian food. Being a #vegetarian, I mostly gorged on Veg #Biryani, 2 Curries, and a Salad for like $12.

8. Walk a lot

Be prepared for walking long distances as the most iconic venues and structures in New York are just within a few feet from each other. #Walking nonchalantly is a way of life in New York, I must add. Most of the places are connected with Subways and the commuters walk from these subway stations to their desired places and around.

TIP: If you are not used to walking in shoes with heels, then I recommend you drop the idea altogether and wear sneakers preferably. This is how I personally avoided the wear-n-tear of my legs.

9. Just a slice of Pizza

New York is famous for its #Pizza so take a bite. If you are not willing to eat a whole Pizza then there is an option to buy only a slice of Pizza which is quite suitable for New Yorker's busy schedule. I personally had a slice from ......

TIP: IF you are more into #exploration and less into food then have some heavy #breakfast at the start of your day in New York which I did and felt like I am full for most of the day. I could explore the city of uninterrupted. It's not like you need to starve thinking about costly restaurants.

10. The High line

It is a park built on a rail network or #rail yard I can say. The railway route is visible through the park. It provides an excellent view of the New York skyline if taken from a good spot. The high line is located in lower Manhattan looking over the Hudson River.

Railway dockyard, NYC

11. Observe people

New Yorkers are busy and if you have the knack for serious observation, you can find some interesting and quirkiest stuff at the same time.

New Yorkers going to the office

12. Central Park:

#Central park is the closest you can be to nature in New York. It has a zoo which closes at 5 PM however the park remains open. Central Park consists of various trails for people to jog, run, do cycling and hang around.

It has lawns, reservoirs, gardens, tiny hills you can go above or under, lake, information booth, etc. Central Park is so big that it would have taken my whole day to explore if I put my mind to it. However, time was running out for me and I got to see the park in bits and pieces.

TIP: If you love parks, take a whole day out for it as there are a lot of activities waiting for you.

13. One world trade center: One World Observatory

This is the highest building in the #Western #Hemisphere standing proudly at 1776 feet in #Lower #Manhattan near the 9/11 memorial. I got to go up with a $37 ticket + taxes.

It took me to the 102nd floor in record-breaking 47 seconds. I do not know if it really was record breaking but it felt like a record to me.

14. Empire State Building (ESB as it should be called, it's a long name, you know)

Apart from being a historic building, it had sent me into some nostalgia. I recalled movies in which it has been shown like Sleepless in Seattle, King Kong and many more which I do not even know about. I made sure that I get to see it from every possible place in NYC.

Below are the various spots and places I got to see the building from:

a. the base of ESB

b. the #Hudson river

c. one #world #observatory

d. the #Brooklyn #bridge

e. the sky (from the flight if you are lucky enough!)

15. Chrysler Building

This was built around the same time as ESB and gave some tough competition to it, in the sense that which will be the tallest of them and eventually #Chrysler was the tallest building for like 11 months till ESB was completed and took over the crown.

Fun Scenario: If a meteorite were to fall on Manhattan, it will definitely scream with pain because of all the #pointy #skyscrapers piercing its butt.

16. Paid cruises

There are multiple #cruise options on the banks of Hudson river which offers #panoramic views of the New York City #skyline. The cruise I took started from the Pier 83 Water #taxi, West Manhattan and covered prominent places like:

The tour was spanned for 2 straight hours and had a bar and snacks counter for people to enjoy the occasion of 'skyline watching'.

17. Oculus

#Oculus is the Transportation hub or the terminal subway station near 9/11 memorial or Ground Zero. Along with subways running under its belly, it has shops underneath and some awesome structure to boost around.

A shopping mall in itself, it looks like a bird with the wings and all, from outside. I wonder at all the marvels, homo sapiens have created over the years in NYC.

18. Ground Zero - 9/11 Memorial

These memorials were built in place of the #Twin #Towers that fell as a result of the unfortunate terrorist attacks of 2001. The names of all the victims are written over the memorial which reminds us to stay united as human beings.

These structures are particularly surrounded by trees and are located near the OCULUS and the newly built One World Trade Center(2006).

Between these twin structures, there is a #museum built underground to showcase all about the Twin Tower history, the aftermaths of the attacks and the preservation done after that.

9/11 Memorial, Lower Manhattan, New York

19. Little Italy

I got some good Italian vibes when I went there. #Little #Italy is a lane spread over 6-7 blocks offering various #Italian #restaurants, children shops, shopping centers for #souvenirs (NYC themed). I had a delicious vegetarian spaghetti pasta for $18 + taxes.

#TIP: Inquire specifically about the dinner prices, they are different than what is shown on the menu (lunch prices).

One more #joke: The buildings are so huge in NYC that I wondered if they might interfere with the satellite routes, causing the satellites to take detours whenever they are approaching New York City just to avoid their outer body getting scratched by the skyscrapers.

20. Really ?

Are you asking me ? Start exploring your own 20th thing in New York City and let me know in the #comments.

Check out our other posts on New York City.

That old time when I visited crazy NYC

About Me

I had been a Software Engineer for half a decade doing my 9 to 5 job. Always craving to have new experiences with the help of travel, I started exploring places for a while. Now I love to roam around (or 'roll around' I would prefer) and share my experiences, with folks around. :) 

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