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Visiting NYC: Non-Touristy Things You Can Do

Photo credit: NY City

Photo credit: Flickr

New York is probably in the top 5 of most famous cities around the globe, and that’s well deserved. The Dream City has so much to offer, to natives and tourists alike; but if you’re one of those visitors that don’t like to do the obvious tourist things, here are a few suggestions.

Really getting to know the soul of a city can’t be done by doing the obvious, over-done tourist things.

NYC’s soul is in its people and the everyday little things that they do, like visiting the market or eating a hot dog on a sun-bathed bench.

You can see what the subway was once like by visiting a defunct underground City Hall station. If you really don’t want to have anything with tourist group, you can see it for yourself by taking the Brooklyn Bridge-bound train past its last stop, Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall. The train will make a loop through the defunct station before traveling back uptown. It’s spooky and cool at the same time.

Try out authentic Chinese cuisine in Flushing, Queens; forget about Chinatown. There’s a wide array of authentic dishes to try out, and it’s one of the few places in America that stick to the original recipes. If you want to mix it up, you can sample more of diverse, authentic cuisines in Dumbo and Williamsburg.

Photo credit: NY City

Photo credit: Flickr

Food vendors from all over NYC set up booths once a week. The smell of different dishes get mixed up into one big, direct call for your stomach. And there’s no way you can say no.

After a great meal like that, you can relax and digest in community gardens in the East Village. One of the larger ones is at 6th St. and Ave. B. If something like a medieval museum made of parts of European abbeys is more to your taste than basking in small nature oases, you can visit a lovely, quiet museum in Washington Heights that houses The Met’s medieval collection.

Or if you prefer something contemporary and not so well-known (oh, you hipster), there’s always The Whitney with its modern works of art. Also, if you’re interested in the story of NYC through the eyes of immigrants, check out the awesome Tenement Museum, which is located in a historical brick tenement building (hence its name).

And if you still haven’t digested all of the authentic food you absorbed, take a stroll along the Washington Mews. That surely has to count as a workout.