The Big Apple… the city that never sleeps… the city light… With as many nicknames as New York has, you just know there’s bound to be endless things to do and see. When people visit New York, they’re thinking of seeing the standard attractions such as the Empire State building and Yankee Stadium, the ones which usually spring into mind. However, what about the different sights? If you’re about to explore the US and will be stepping off flights to New York, and want to experience the unusual, this guide is for you.
The Stickball Hall of Fame
The humble sister of baseball, stickball gained popularity in busy cities where land was at a premium. Instead of a wide open field, this game is played in the streets, with manhole covers and streetlights as bases. In east Harlem, where the Hall of Fame is located, visitors will find memorabilia such as a signed “Sanitation Department, 1950” broomstick and old black and white photos. However, the real draw is a warm Sunday morning on 109th street. Here, the streets are transformed into a stadium, with stickball players both old and new showing off their talents.
A nuclear reactor in the heart of the city
That’s right, there’s a nuclear reactor in the middle of the city. Thankfully, this reactor was never fueled and never radioactive. In 1960, during the height of the cold war, Columbia University was given permission to begin working on a nuclear reactor. Permits ran out in 1972, and ever since then it’s laid dormant as a tourist draw.
A subway map
New York’s subway system is famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask), and if you plan on riding it you might want to check out a map first. Instead of an electronic or paper version though, why not view it on a sidewalk? On Greene Street in SoHo, the subway map has been recreated as a piece of functional art, with routes painted on the ground. While it may not be the most efficient way to find out where you’re going, it may be the most fun.
The Earth Room
Simply put, it’s a room full of dirt. More specifically it’s a 22 inch deep layer of dirt spread across a 3,600 square foot gallery space in the middle of SoHo. Why was this created? Who knows, but 280,000 pounds of dirt is impressive to see in one place.
As you can see, there are all kinds of strange and wondrous sights in New York. Some make you think, some make you laugh, but they’re all enjoyable. They city that never sleeps? Of course. It’s just too zany for that!