Open House NY: A Follow-Up

I had written earlier about Open House NY, a weekend where the secret spots of NYC are open to all. I take part in this event every year, and this year was a lot of fun.

Here are some of the sights I visited:

The Wyckoff House: Most people assume that the oldest surviving building in New York City must be in Manhattan, but it's actually this Dutch farmhouse, in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, built in 1652, and restored as a museum in the 1980s. Dutch settlers in then New Netherlands far pre-date the English colonials who eventually founded "New York".

The Wyckoff House: Most people assume that the oldest surviving building in New York City must be in Manhattan, but it's actually this Dutch farmhouse, in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, built in 1652, and restored as a museum in the 1980s. Dutch settlers in then New Netherlands far pre-date the English colonials who eventually founded "New York".

And then...

The City Reliquary: NYC is known for its world-famous museums. It also has numerous small & eclectic ones. This one is housed a former bodega and features a wide display of city relics and artifacts.

The City Reliquary: NYC is known for its world-famous museums. It also has numerous small & eclectic ones. This one is housed a former bodega and features a wide display of city relics and artifacts.

Then off to Manhattan to see a similar sight...

Mmuseumm: NYC's smallest museum(s) are Mmuseumm 1 (on left) and Mmuseumm 2 (far right), housed in a former freight elevator & loading dock, respectively. They are open weekends in Chinatown's unique Cortlandt Alley.

Mmuseumm: NYC's smallest museum(s) are Mmuseumm 1 (on left) and Mmuseumm 2 (far right), housed in a former freight elevator & loading dock, respectively. They are open weekends in Chinatown's unique Cortlandt Alley.

Then up near Gramercy Park for...

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace: 28 E. 20th St is no ordinary Gramercy Park brownstone... it was the birthplace & childhood home of Theodore Roosevelt. This beautifully preserved home is managed by the National Park Service.

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace: 28 E. 20th St is no ordinary Gramercy Park brownstone... it was the birthplace & childhood home of Theodore Roosevelt. This beautifully preserved home is managed by the National Park Service.

The next day, I started in historic Harlem to see...

The Apollo Theater: This historic Harlem venue first opened in 1914 as Hurtig & Seamon's New Burlesque Theater, reopening as the Apollo in 1934. It has been a home to rising talent for over 80 years, and is anational landmark. 

The Apollo Theater: This historic Harlem venue first opened in 1914 as Hurtig & Seamon's New Burlesque Theater, reopening as the Apollo in 1934. It has been a home to rising talent for over 80 years, and is anational landmark. 

Next, down toward Lincoln Square for...

WABC Studios: This TV station and production facility is the home to Live With Kelly!, local Eyewitness News, and other ABC productions.

WABC Studios: This TV station and production facility is the home to Live With Kelly!, local Eyewitness News, and other ABC productions.

My final Open House stop was the closest to home...

Kings Theatre: In the 1920s, Loews opened 5 "wonder theaters" in the NYC area. The fates of each vary, but the Kings Theatre in Flatbush reopened in 2015 after a $95M renovation. It is a stunning 3,000-seat venue for music, theater, and movies.

Kings Theatre: In the 1920s, Loews opened 5 "wonder theaters" in the NYC area. The fates of each vary, but the Kings Theatre in Flatbush reopened in 2015 after a $95M renovation. It is a stunning 3,000-seat venue for music, theater, and movies.

The thing that makes Open House weekend great is getting jaded New Yorkers to visit the parts of their city they might normally have the chance to discover. That same philosophy is why I founded Custom NYC Tours... to help guide folks to the New York City that we all take for granted.

Where do you want to go today?