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City Island Diner. Image via NY Daily News.

City Island – even to New York locals – feels idyllic, a world away from the commercial and cultural hub we tend to envision when we think of “the city.” The small town getaway and resort, located in the northeastern corner of the Bronx, is considered by some to be one one of the best kept secrets. Its charm may lie in the fact that it gives off a nautical vibe: you’ll notice the standing boats and the abundance of seafood restaurants available. Or maybe it’s just that the rent is actually affordable. Whatever the reason, City Island has piqued our interest.

Here are 10 secrets about this quaint, waterfront neighborhood:

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fraunces_tavern-george_washington-headquarters-financial_district-historic-nyc-copyFraunces Tavern, a major setting in Hamilton: An American Musical

We ran into New York City-based writer B.L. Barreras at the Brooklyn Book Festival, where he was promoting his recently self-published book Where Was the Room Where It Happened? The Unofficial Hamilton: An American Musical Location GuideThe guide is intended to offer expanded information on locations included in the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton.

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new-yorker-hotel-sign-art-deco-secrets-nycPhoto via Flickr by George Estreich

The New Yorker Hotel at 34th Street and 8th Avenue is one of those storied Manhattan icons – so much history and so many secrets, it’s hard to whittle them down. The Art Deco building, completed in 1930, is renown for its setback architectural style and famous sign but inside, you’ll discover something new on every visit. As a handy guide, we’re getting you started with ten of our favorite secrets that we learned while touring the hotel with Joe Kinney, senior project engineer at the New Yorker Hotel and creator of the archives and museum. He’s been on the hotel staff since 1996.
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brooklyn-bridge-park-view-of-lower-manhattan-2Image via Brooklyn Bridge Park by Etienne Frossard

Once a bustling commerce site and entry point for immigrants, Brooklyn Bridge Park has since transformed into one of New York City’s most visited tourists attractions, boasting six piers and a wide array of recreational facilities. Today, visitors and locals alike revel in the panoramic views of the iconic skyline while strolling along the park’s famous promenade. It’s easy to be distracted by such a sight since Brooklyn Bridge Park does offer the perfect backdrop for photographs. However, it also holds a rich and fascinating history that’s worth exploring.

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triborough-bridge-robert-moses-secrets-nyc-untapped-cities-susanxu12Aerial view of Randalls and Wards Islands. Image via Wikimedia Commons by Roy Googin

Robert Caro, author of The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, once referred to the Triborough Bridge (known officially as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge) as “a traffic machine.” This nickname could not be more suited to the superstructure. Regarded as one of the most significant achievements of the Public Works Administration, R.F.K. Bridge is comprised of a complex of three bridges that connect the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. Thousands of commuters speed over its roadways every day. Yet, despite its renown, it still holds many secrets.

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Chelsea Hotel-NYC New York-Untapped Cities-Lara Elmayan

To say the least, the Chelsea Hotel is not your average New York City hotel. One notable guest, sci-fi author Arthur C. Miller recalled in his memoir that you could get high from solely the marijuana fumes lingering in the elevator of the hotel. For over 100 years, this counter-cultural landmark has served some of the world’s greatest poets, musicians, and artists of all time. Although sold for $80 million in 2011, the hotel remains home to several eccentric New Yorkers, including nightlife darling and event promoter Susanne Bartsch. The hotel is currently undergoing a massive renovation, but it is anticipated that it will reopen its doors to hotel guests in 2017.

Without further ado, here are our favorite secrets of the infamous Chelsea Hotel:

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