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The Abandoned Palace At 5 Beekman Street

Update 9/11/2013 – Been meaning to update for a while. 5 Beekman is NO LONGER AVAILABLE FOR FILMING, EVENTS, OR ANY OTHER RENTAL PURPOSE due to ongoing construction. 5 Beekman Street has a secret. You’ve probably passed it a million times in your travels through downtown Manhattan. Certainly anyone who has ever visited J&R Row or hit the Starbucks on ... Read More »

The Smallest Plot of Land In New York City

One of my favorite bits of unusual New York City history is located on the sidewalk in front of West Village’s iconic Village Cigars store. It’s pretty well known, but I’m going to re-tell it because it’s such a great story. Set into the sidewalk is a small triangle (see my sneaker for size comparison), with the mysterious message: “Property ... Read More »

A Mad Look At 225 Lafayette Street

You’ve probably passed 225 Lafayette Street at the corner of Spring Street in Soho a zillion times in your travels and not thought much of it. Built in 1909, it was converted to condos in 1988; a typical unit now goes for over $1.5 million. The ground floor space, formerly the East River Savings Bank, has housed a number of ... Read More »

Owls With Glowing Eyes in Herald Square

I took this picture of Herald Square (6th Ave btw. 34th & 35th) this morning at about 6:45. A second later, I took the following picture. See if you can pick out the difference. Hint: the change is only a few pixels in size. If you noticed it, no, you’re not going crazy. Let’s get a bit closer.  Perched on ... Read More »

The Scouting NY Tourist Guide To The Big Apple

Dear Scout – Love your site! I’ll be visiting Manhattan for the first time in a few weeks, but I’ll only be in town for a few days. Can you offer any advice on what to see/do in my short time there? Thanks! – A Frequent Reader Every week, I receive a number of emails asking what I’d recommend covering ... Read More »

45 Years Late to the World’s Fair

By the time I got there, it was gone. The World’s Fair, you ask? Nope. I am referring to something far more unbelievable… That’s right: Queens once had an honest-to-God Parks Department-approved fountain named “Fountain of the Planet of the Apes.” And if that’s not odd enough, an identical fountain on the opposite side of the Queens Zoo was named ... Read More »

Remnents of Kleindeutschland (Little Germany)

If you live in New York, you’ve probably passed by these two beautiful buildings on 2nd Ave at 9th Street in the East Village a zillion times. On the left is a branch of the New York Public Library; on the right is a former medical clinic. What comes as complete surprise to me is that these buildings contain rare ... Read More »

The Abandoned Boyce Thompson Institute

I recently posted about scouting Alder Manor, a dilapidated yet beautiful abandoned mansion in Yonkers. The manor was owned by William Boyce Thompson, an extremely rich copper magnate in the early 1900’s. This past winter, I had the opportunity to check out the former Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, a beautiful brick structure located across the street from the ... Read More »

An Abandoned Country Estate in Yonkers

TO CONTACT ALDER MANOR ABOUT FILMING, PHOTO SHOOTS, WEDDINGS, OR ANY OTHER RENTAL PURPOSE, EMAIL joan@theplantmanor.com. PLEASE BE SURE TO SAY YOU GOT THE CONTACT FROM SCOUTING NY! It sits on a hill just outside of New York City, completely empty and, for years, decaying and nearly forgotten… This is Alder Manor, and it’s without question one of the most ... Read More »

On the corner of 23rd and Fourth…Or Is It Park?

I’m standing on the corner of 23rd and Park Ave South… So why does that building on the corner say 4th Ave? This is another one of those great “walked by it a thousand times, never noticed” quirks. Now the shortest avenue in Manhattan, Fourth Ave was once all of Park Ave until it was renamed in the 1800s. You ... Read More »