Some of NYC’s best, lesser known public places

One Fulton Square in Flushing, Queens.

Elevated Acre, FiDi

View from Elevated Acre to the FDR Drive.

Hidden a few stories above the Financial District’s commotion, this city park is actually an elevated courtyard built into 55 Water St. After hiking up its many stairs, you can see the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, or just glance up at the canyon of a tower you’re standing within. It also has a connected bar and restaurant so this walk in the park could turn into a lovely evening downtown.

Ford Foundation Building, Midtown East

The Ford Foundation’s gardened lobby.

Want to get the very best of nature but aren’t up to brave the bitter cold? This Midtown East building offers both a beautiful and free indoor garden within a massive atrium that’s fully open to the public.

Paley Park, Midtown

Paley Park at twilight.

This little hideaway boasts one of few waterfalls flowing in NYC let alone near Rockefeller Center.

One block down from Washington Street, Brooklyn

Plymouth Street in Brooklyn.

If you’re looking for that perfectly Instagrammable shot of the Manhattan Bridge or if you’re like us and want to laugh at the people that do, then this intersection in DUMBO is a place that you need to see. Although the photoshoots on Washington Street usually happen at its intersection with Water Street, there’s an equally gorgeous, somewhat less known angle of the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan just a block over at Plymouth Street too. Plus the entire area looks like a set from “Captain America: The First Avenger.”

Hall of Fame for Great Americans, The Bronx

The Hall of Fame for Great Americans.

Back when NYU called The Bronx’s University Heights neighborhood home, the prestigious academic institution built this walk that’s claim to fame is being America’s first hall of fame, ever. Now busts of the many historic and American icons sit on a terrace within the campus of Bronx Community College, which the public can tour for free year round.

Fulton Square, Queens

One Fulton Square in Flushing, Queens.

Flushing, Queens is home to some of the world’s greatest Asian cuisine and culture—it’s also experiencing a real estate boom that resulted in the construction of Fulton Square, one of the city’s most uniquely designed, multi story public plazas. While in the area, you can’t go wrong popping into 39 King’s Café for a quick bite.

Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island on a foggy morning.

Urban adventurers could invest an entire day in walking around and exploring this narrow isle between Manhattan and Queens. From a river walk that feels much the iconic one in Chicago to the newly built FDR Four Freedoms Park on its south shore, there’s plenty to keep you busy on Roosevelt Island free of charge.

Alex Mitchell