The Luxury Channel delves into the glamorous underbelly of New York to bring you some of its secret cultural offerings.
Once a social club for Ukrainian socialists, the KGB Bar is now something of a New York literary institution. The cold-war chic, strong whiskey and impromptu readings all serve to attract the glittering stars of the literary scene, including New York Times bestselling author Kathryn Harrison and controversial novelist A.M. Homes.
Secret Science Club at The Bell House, Brooklyn
For self-professed science geeks, nature freaks and rogue geniuses, this club is a cerebral paradise, providing everything from astrophysical talks followed by cocktails, to taxidermy contests. Groove to celestial tunes and rub shoulders with ichthyologists, explorers and molecular primatologists on the dance floor.
Labeled the “crowning achievement of American museology”, The Cloisters is a branch of the Met Museum devoted to European medieval art. A peaceful paradise for those who like to contemplate art in a spiritual setting, the building incorporates elements from five separate medieval French monasteries. The gardens were planted according to information found in medieval poetry and tapestries, and offer an inviting place for contemplation, conversation and intrigue.
The Underbelly Project
There’s a huge art gallery beneath the teeming pavements of Manhattan, exhibiting works by several well-know graffiti artists. The only problem? No one is saying exactly where it is. But grab your subway pass, do some serious googleing and you’ll find it – a 100 year old, unfinished, unused subway station.
After a hard day of secret-culture scouting, where better to relax than at a secret bar? With Boardwalk Empire doing for the 1920s what Mad Men did for the 1960s, speakeasies are all the rage. Slip down a shadowy staircase and push the doorbell of an unmarked door. A doorman appears, takes your number and tells you to wait for his call. Once you’re in, Raines Law Room whisks you straight back to the prohibition era with candle light, velvet curtains and, of course, fabulous cocktails.
Or for a little Latin flair, head to Carteles, an unassuming Cuban sandwich shop on East 6th Street. Make your way past the counter and up the back stairs and you’ll step straight into the dimly-lit, candy-coloured parlour that is Cienfuegos, where you can indulge in rum cocktails and revolutionary talk.