Our Secret New York

Here are our most beloved off-the-beaten-path spots in New York.

Everyone's from somewhere, but right now, the Sweet team's home is New York. And we spend a lot of time exploring it. Up and down, left and right, crisscrossing the boroughs every weekend by subway, Citi Bike, Uber, bus, water taxi, and, of course, foot. Fashion Week naturally sees an influx of visitors, most of whom go from hotel to shows to parties to hotel. But we think it's as good an excuse as any to let you in on a few of our favorite places, many of which are far from what you might call "the action." If you're visiting, try and slip away for a few moments, and if you see us, come say hi! We'll have a lot to talk about.

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The Lock Yard

Tanya Weston, project manager

@imtanyaweston

The Lock Yard is a great little bar in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, specializing in beer and hot dogs. They have an ever-changing menu of American-only craft beers on tap, and artisanal hot dogs, including tofu dogs and sausages. It's popular with Bay Ridge locals—the bar threw a goodbye party for a regular when he moved away, complete with a cake. It's the small-town, old-school Brooklyn feeling that's surprisingly hard to find these days (in a neighborhood still full of authentic Brooklyn accents!).

9221 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn

Astor Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Molly Elizalde, associate editor

@mollyelizalde

At the Metropolitan Museum, most people beeline for the Egyptian wing, or the ever-popular Impressionist paintings—but my favorite spot in the museum is gallery 217, or Astor Court. Hidden in the back end of the Asian Art wing is this Ming Dynasty-style courtyard that gets minimal foot traffic, and happens to be where I would take breaks when I was briefly an employee of the museum. The traditionally crafted garden is a great place to escape the crowds, but it's also an especially romantic place to steal away with a date on Friday or Saturday nights, when the museum stays open until 9 p.m.

1000 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan

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Sunny's Bar

Christian Storm, photo editor

@cstorm44

If you're game to venture to Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood, I can't recommend Sunny's on Conover Street enough. You'll know you're there when you see the green vintage pickup truck: it's permanently parked out front, emblazoned with the bar's logo. Opened in the 1890s, Sunny's has been through a lot (there's a handwritten mark on the wall noting the flood levels inside the bar during Hurricane Sandy), but still retains its no-frills warmth and hospitality, complete with a live Bluegrass Jam on Saturdays, starting at 10 p.m. They serve a killer Dark and Stormy, and keep a really well-edited vinyl collection behind the bar, manned by bartenders who grew up next door. I think I want to be buried there.

253 Conover Street, Brooklyn

6BC Gardens

Aimée Hunt, art director

@amh_hunt

The little "secret" gardens in Alphabet city are really great. They're managed by locals so it definitely has that nice neighborhood feel. And they're so beautiful; visiting them is like a mini-escape from the city. Sometimes you go in and you're the only one there, so it feels like your own private garden.

6th Street between Avenues B & C, Manhattan

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Arthur's Tavern

Laurel Pantin, senior fashion editor

@LaPantin

Arthur's Tavern in the West Village of Manhattan is a guaranteed good time. The opposite of scene-y, this tiny bar has been open since 1937 and hosts live music (blues, jazz, and Dixieland) every night of the week. The interior is seasonally festive and over-the-top in a way that could be called tacky by someone less tacky than I, and the clientele is varied—80-plus-year-old regulars, fashion types, NYU students, and everyone in between. It's a great spot for the weird, unexpected nights out in the city that visitors (and locals) dream about. I've had many, many insanely fun nights here.

57 Grove Street, Manhattan

192 Books

Louisa Holmberg, editorial producer

@Louissssa

Nestled in Chelsea's gallery district, 192 Books is my go-to for contemporary fiction, and to find out what to read next—the women who work there are so friendly and always have great recommendations. I like to spend my weekends checking out Chelsea's myriad art galleries (a personal favorite is David Zwirner, not just because my sister works there), and 192 Books is the perfect pit stop while gallery-hopping. It's charming, colorful, and filled with all your soon-to-be-favorite reads—just try not to walk out with more books than you can carry!

192 10th Avenue, Manhattan

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WNYC Transmitter Park

Chantal Strasburger, editorial coordinator

@chantagold

Tucked away in an industrial corner of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, WNYC Transmitter Park is my favorite breath of fresh air when the concrete starts wearing me down. While it's not far from Greenpoint institutions like Paulie Gee's pizzeria, it's not in a location you would just stumble across—which is exactly why I love taking friends there. Walking to it, you'll go deeper into the abandoned buildings and cobblestone streets, then—BAM!—a little patch of heaven appears right on the waterfront. The land used to be home to the WNYC transmitter radios (hence the name), and it's tiny, only about one-and-a-half acres, but a scenic pier stretches out onto the East River with amazing views of Manhattan. It has that secret and secluded feeling that's so hard to find in New York, which is why it's perfect for laying out with a picnic and soaking up the summer sun.

West Street, between Kent Street and Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn

Frank's Chop Shop

Josh Davis, associate editor

@Lurksny

My favorite spot in New York City is Frank's Chop Shop on the Lower East Side. It's where I got my hair cut for prom, and I've been going there ever since. There's always a bench to sit on outside, so it's a great place to meet up with friends before exploring the rest of the neighborhood. Everyone there is really friendly and great, but my barber Yuke is the best. He knows everything about music—so I'm always learning about new rappers and bands whenever I visit.

19 Essex St., Manhattan

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Streb

Maia Schoenfelder, social media editor

@maiaschoenf

When I feel like I need a break from my nonstop digital lifestyle, I like to schedule in an obscure activity. Streb is an aerial arts center and trapeze school located in a Brooklyn warehouse. The classes are small and there's always a first-timer present, which brings the intimidation factor down to zero. I don't think there's anything better than telling friends you spent Tuesday night flying through the air with the greatest of ease.

51 North 1st Street, Brooklyn

East Village Books

Stefan Marolachakis, senior editor

@stefanmymind

Somehow, in one of Manhattan's most popular neighborhoods, there sits East Village Books, a small used bookstore with perhaps the best selection—and prices—of the entire borough. In addition to breaking down its offerings into the most specific of subgenres, the store has a permanent sale section in the front of the shop, as well as one in the patio out back. So if you're ever in the mood to find a classic or two for $4 or less, this is the place for you; but be warned: entire afternoons have been known to disappear within those walls.

99 St. Mark's Place, Manhattan

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