Hidden Surprises

What Will Happen To Times Sq’s Historic Embassy Theater?

Last year, I wrote a post encouraging everyone to visit the Times Square Visitor Center, regardless of whether you were a tourist or not. At the time, I had ducked in to use the free bathrooms, and was completely surprised to find chandeliers, marble accents and gold-framed posters in the entranceway… …wood-paneled walls with gilded decorations further in… …and beyond, ... Read More »

The Hidden Courtyard At The Plaza Hotel

A few months ago, I was scouting some apartments in the Plaza Hotel when my guide asked if I wanted to see the Plaza’s courtyard. Now here’s the thing: not only did I have absolutely no idea the Plaza had a courtyard, I couldn’t even figure out where a courtyard would fit. But, after winding our way through a maze ... Read More »

How To Visit New York’s Nuclear Lake (Yes, This Exists)

A few weeks ago, I was using Google Maps to search for lakes north of the city. Most seemed to have your typical lake names, like Green Mountain Lake, or Harmony Lake, but one in particular caught my eye… Does New York really have a Nuclear Lake?? Of course, the first image to pop into my head was the Nuclear ... Read More »

Inside the Paramount Theatre, Shuttered For Over 25 Years

Whenever I drive down Bay Street in Staten Island… …I always wonder about the boarded-up movie theater between Union and Prospect. Shuttered for over 25 years, this was once the art deco Paramount Theatre, one of Staten Island’s grandest movie theaters. Built on the site of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s childhood farmhouse, the Paramount opened in October, 1930, with seating for up ... Read More »

Searching For An Underground River in Morningside Heights

About a year ago, I got a letter from a reader about an underground river hidden somewhere in Morningside Heights: Years ago, I lived at [removed]. My father swore there was a stream running under a lot of the buildings there. I’m endlessly fascinated by Manhattan’s underground rivers. Once an island covered in streams, brooks, rivers, swamps, and marshes, many ... Read More »

A Trip To Execution Rocks: New York’s Most Unusual B&B

Over the past week, I’ve been scouting for islands around New York City, easily one of the more fun scouting assignments I’ve had in recent memory. After a boat ride out to take some pictures last Wednesday, we were heading back to shore when I noticed a small lighthouse on a rocky island in the distance. I asked my guide ... Read More »

The Incredible Secret of the Pool at the Hotel St. George

On Monday, I wrote an article about the Hotel St. George’s former pool and my attempts to find any hidden remnants that managed to survive. As it turns out, I missed the biggest secret of all… It might still be there. After I posted the original article, I received an email from a man who worked as an expediter during ... Read More »

Searching for the Lost Pool at the Hotel St. George

A few months ago, I was researching Brooklyn’s Hotel St. George for my article on The Godfather’s shooting locations… …and found myself fascinated by its former indoor pool, now long gone: Once the largest hotel in the United States and occupying an entire city block of interconnected buildings in Brooklyn Heights, the 30-story Hotel St. George played host to everyone ... Read More »

A Visit To The Daily Planet

A few weeks ago, I was scouting office spaces during a particularly ugly snowstorm, and found myself heading to an option located at 220 East 42nd Street. It wasn’t until I’d parked my car and was walking through the doors that I looked up and realized I was going into the Daily News building… Home to one of the greatest ... Read More »

A Very Unusual Marriage Proposal in Queens

For the past week, I’ve been searching meticulously through Google Maps satellite view for a particular style of rooftop, and as I made my way across Long Island City… I happened to notice something unusual on one of the rooftops… A marriage proposal! But what was the story behind this? Did the suitor have his or her beloved read it ... Read More »