The other day, I tried to make a Key Lime Pie. It was a disaster, and afterwards, I thought, “Why don’t you pick up a homemade pie from Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies—you read it in Off the Beaten (Subway) Track by Suzanne Reisman. While reading the book again, I remembered what I liked most: Ms. Reisman’s short stories of a tall and wide place, New York City—that is ever changing; that has neighborhoods of a country-inn; and a one-way fare that can take you anywhere for $2.25.
Ms. Reisman is a travel writer, and in Off the Beaten (Subway) Track she categorized everything one needs to know to personalize an adventure by: Art and Architecture, Eating, Ethnic, Factory Tour, Fort, Hall of Fame, Historic, Home-based, Libraries, Money, Music, Nautical, New York City-related, Oddities, Outdoor/Nature, Religious/Spiritual, Science and Technology, Shrine, Shopping, Sports, Store-based, Toys, and World’s Largest/Tallest.
“Off the Beaten (Subway) Track is designed to help people find the unusual and quirky sites in New York City that even many lifelong New Yorkers don’t know about,” she writes, “I love road trips, strange museums, and eccentric people who share their unusual talents, passions, and obsessions with the general public.”
In short, I have listed 20 of the Off the Beaten (Subway) Track treasures and treats to explore:
Lower Manhattan (Below 14th Street)
Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl Street, www.FrauncesTavernMuseum.org
The Lower East Side Troll Museum, 122 Orchard Street, www.revjen.com
OTBST Treats: Pickle Guys, Economy Candy and Yonah Schimmel’s Knishery
Middle Manhattan (14th Street to 59th Street)
Theodore Roosevelt’s Birthplace, 28 E. 20th Street, www.nps.gov/thrb/
OBTST Treat: Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop
Horticultural Society of New York, 148 W. 37th Street, 13th Floor, www.hsny.org
Upper Manhattan East (Above 59th Street, East of 5th Avenue)
Corning Gallery at Steuben Glass,667 Madison Avenue, Phone: 800.STEUBEN
Museum of American Illustration, 128 E. 63rd Street, www.societyillustrators.org/
Upper Manhattan West (Above 59th Street, West of 5th Avenue)
Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame, Frederick P. Rose Hall, The Shops at Columbus Circle, Broadway at 60th Street, www.jalc.org/jazzED/ejhf_web/about_ejhf.html.
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, www.StJohnDivine.org
OTBST Treats: Hungarian Pastry Shop, Harlem Market/Malcolm Shabazz Mosque and Amy Ruth’s
Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, 4881 Broadway, www.DyckmanFarmhouse.org
OTBST Treat: Scavengers of Inwood
Judaica Museum of the Hebrew Home for the Aged, 5961 Palisade Avenue, www.HebrewHome.org
OTBST Treat: Loeser’s Kosher Delicatessen
Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, Poe Park, East Kingsbridge Road & Grand Concourse, www.BronxHistoricalSociety.org
OTBST Treats: Original Products and 258th Field Artillery Armory
Steinway & Sons Piano Factory, 1 Steinway Place, www.steinway.com
OTBST Treats: Astoria bakeries and food; Mini-tour
Louis Armstrong House, 34-56 107th Street, www.satchmo.net
OTBST Treat: El Indio Amazonico
Brooklyn Brewery Tour, 79 N. 11th Street, www.BrooklynBrewery.com.
Waterfront Museum, 290 Conover Street at Pier 44, www.WaterfrontMuseum.org
OTBST Treats: Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. and Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies
Harbor Defense Museum, US Army Garrison Fort Hamilton, 230 Sheridan Loop, www.HarborDefenseMuseum.com
OTBST Treat: John Paul Jones Park
Staten Island Museum, 75 Stuyvesant Place, www.statenislandmuseum.org
OTBST Treat: Professional Baseball Scouting Hall of Fame
Garibaldi Meucci Museum, 420 Tompkins Avenue, www.GaribaldiMeucciMuseum.org
OTBST Treats: Castleton Hill Moravian Church and Labyrinth Walk
Moreover, Ms. Reisman’s personal stories are humorous and historical while providing a detailed track to make your own adventure light and easy.