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Atlas Obscura Vale of Cashmere

In the northeast corner of Prospect Park is a divot of land carved out 17,000 years ago by the melting of a glacier. This valley was the perfect type of terrain for Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s ideal of a naturalistic park, and their original plan for Prospect Park placed a small pool, gardens, and a children’s playground there. The name, granted by Mayor Chapin’s wife, came from a Thomas Moore poem.

When the park was redesigned in the 1890s, the pool was replaced with a granite balustrade and a fountain populated by Victoria amazonica, a water lily with pads large enough for children to sit on. The playground just east of it became a rose garden with three fountains. The entire area was populated with rare plants, nearly 20 years before Brooklyn would have its own botanical garden across the street.

Keep track of the places you have been, log in.
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Atlas Obscura 2019
2.55km
Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument

Discover Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument in Brooklyn, New York: This beautiful Brooklyn monument over a crypt memorializes a grim and largely unknown story from the American Revolution.

Atlas Obscura 2020
7.57km
Electric Lady Studios

Discover Electric Lady Studios in New York, New York: Jimi Hendrix's legendary recording studio in Greenwich Village.

Atlas Obscura 2019
5.72km
Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos

Discover Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos in Brooklyn, New York: A B.Y.O.B. Mexican cantina lives inside one of the last tortilla factories in Brooklyn.

Audio Guide
6.72km
Audio Guide
How Dutch is New York? – The Stuyvesant Tour
en nl
Atlas Obscura 2019
8.55km
Poster House Museum

Discover Poster House Museum in New York, New York: The first museum in the United States dedicated entirely to posters.

Atlas Obscura 2017
6.6km
REI’s Wall of Litho Stones

A trove of century-old litho stones discovered behind a cellar wall are now on display in the SoHo REI.

Atlas Obscura 2019
6.47km
Catacombs of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Discover Catacombs of Old St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, New York: Historical figures from New York City's Catholic community lie within the crypts.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.39km
Govinda’s Vegetarian Lunch

Discover Govinda's Vegetarian Lunch in Brooklyn, New York: Every dish is blessed in this basement eatery beneath a Hare Krishna temple.

Atlas Obscura 2018
8.49km
Saint Vartan Armenian Cathedral

Discover Saint Vartan Armenian Cathedral in New York, New York: A replica of a 7th-century church hides in plain sight in the middle of the concrete jungle.

Atlas Obscura 2017
6.52km
Houston Bowery Art Wall

Discover Houston Bowery Art Wall in New York, New York: This wall on a street corner in Lower Manhattan has been a blank canvas for a rotation of renowned artists since the 1980s.

Atlas Obscura 2020
3.35km
Le Boudoir

Discover Le Boudoir in Brooklyn, New York: Just your average Marie Antoinette–themed speakeasy in an abandoned 19th-century subway tunnel.

Atlas Obscura 2017
7.58km
Kingsland Wildflowers

Discover Kingsland Wildflowers in Brooklyn, New York: Thriving meadows span a rooftop in one of Brooklyn's most heavily industrialized neighborhoods.

Atlas Obscura 2019
10.96km
Indonesian Food Bazaar at St. James Episcopal Church

Discover Indonesian Food Bazaar at St. James Episcopal Church in Queens, New York: Once a month, an Indonesian feast appears inside an Elmhurst church hall.

Atlas Obscura 2019
0.46km
‘The Dinner Party’

Discover 'The Dinner Party' in Brooklyn, New York: This enormous banquet-themed artwork honors over 1,000 notable women throughout history.

Atlas Obscura 2019
4.34km
Gottlieb’s Restaurant

Discover Gottlieb's Restaurant in Brooklyn, New York: One of the few Glatt kosher delis in the United States is a cornerstone of its Hasidic neighborhood.

Atlas Obscura 2019
8.52km
Self-Taught Genius Gallery

Discover Self-Taught Genius Gallery in Queens, New York: An exhibition space dedicated to American outsider art created between the 18th and 21st centuries.

Atlas Obscura 2017
6.52km
Brooklyn’s Old Trolley System Is Buried in a Forgotten Graveyard Under Canarsie

The tracks led right to the edge of the pit, and from there the retired trolleys would topple to the bottom.

Atlas Obscura 2017
6.18km
The Oldest Dutch Colonial Stone House in New York City

Built in 1709, this tiny farmhouse is a hidden gem on the border of Brooklyn and Queens.

Atlas Obscura 2017
7.16km
The Museum of Interesting Things

Discover The Museum of Interesting Things in New York, New York: A hands-on traveling collection of the innovative devices of yesteryear.

Atlas Obscura 2017
5.5km
The Oldest Eastern European Synagogue in the U.S.

The Eldridge Street Synagogue provided the immigrants of crowded Lower East Side tenements a space of sanctuary.

Atlas Obscura 2017
3.7km
Brooklyn Brewery’s Secret Beer Bunker

A beer-aging barrel room hidden in an unsuspecting warehouse at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Atlas Obscura 2019
1.95km
David’s Brisket House

Discover David's Brisket House in Brooklyn, New York: A Jewish deli run by Yemeni Muslims in an Afro-Caribbean neighborhood is quintessential Brooklyn.

Atlas Obscura 2017
6.74km
A Brick-and-Mortar Matchmaking Club

Discover Modern Love Club in New York, New York: This narrow shop in the East Village hosts a matchmaking service for the new millennium.

Audio Guide 2013
8.25km
Audio Guide
NEW YORK CITY Midtown
en
Atlas Obscura 2019
6.82km
Gem Spa

Discover Gem Spa in New York, New York: For almost a century, this East Village newsstand has served egg creams to beats, hippies, punks, and everything in between.

Atlas Obscura 2020
1.06km
Cleft Ridge Span

Discover Cleft Ridge Span in Brooklyn, New York: This elaborate tunnel is the first structure composed of cast concrete in the United States.

Atlas Obscura 2019
6.7km
Russian and Turkish Baths Cafe

Discover Russian and Turkish Baths Cafe in New York, New York: Have a steam and some blini at this cafe in a century-old bathhouse.

Atlas Obscura 2020
3.74km
Love Lane

Discover Love Lane in Brooklyn, New York: Love is in the air along the small street in Brooklyn.

Atlas Obscura 2022
2.5km
William Beard’s Grave

Discover William Beard's Grave in Brooklyn, New York: The painter who popularized "bulls" and "bears" as symbols for the stock market didn't get a proper headphone for over a century.

Atlas Obscura 2018
8.68km
Patent Pending

Nikola Tesla's former home contains an homage hidden from plain sight.

Atlas Obscura 2020
3.48km
Brooklyn Savings Bank Subway Branch

Discover Brooklyn Savings Bank Subway Branch in Brooklyn, New York: Before online banking and smartphone apps, there was "commuter banking" in the subway in Downtown Brooklyn.

Atlas Obscura 2018
5.39km
Daredevil Tattoo Museum

Discover Daredevil Tattoo Museum in New York, New York: This iconic tattoo shop has its own onsite museum with artifacts from the early history of modern body art.

Audio Guide
6.05km
Audio Guide
Urbirun New York – Brooklyn Classic
en fr
Atlas Obscura 2017
8.14km
A Punk Video Game Arcade Gallery in Chelsea

Discover Babycastles in New York, New York: A DIY art gallery/music venue/lecture hall dedicated to video game culture.

Atlas Obscura 2019
6.87km
Zaragoza Mexican Deli and Grocery

Discover Zaragoza Mexican Deli and Grocery in New York, New York: Behind a grungy bodega facade, a Poblano family serves rich, home-cooked meals.

Audio Guide
5.65km
Audio Guide
A Walking Guide to Chinatown, NYC
en
Atlas Obscura 2019
6.08km
Bluestockings Bookstore

Discover Bluestockings Bookstore in New York, New York: New York City's only radical feminist independent bookstore.

Atlas Obscura 2019
4.31km
Wonderville

Discover Wonderville in Brooklyn, New York: An arcade packed with a rotating collection of unique independent video games.

Atlas Obscura 2019
5.76km
Museum of Food and Drink

Discover Museum of Food and Drink in Brooklyn, New York: Here, exhibits come with a side of edible history.

Audio Guide
6.63km
Audio Guide
A Walking Guide to Soho, NYC
en
Atlas Obscura 2018
6.93km
New York City’s Hidden Taxidermy Studio

There’s no sign of the studio to be seen from the street except the people carrying dead critters in and out of the building.

Atlas Obscura 2017
2.81km
Abolitionist Place in Brooklyn

This block downtown was a hotbed of antislavery activism along the Underground Railroad.

Atlas Obscura 2020
0.36km
Site of the Dongan Oak

Discover Site of the Dongan Oak in Brooklyn, New York: The site of a fallen tree that protected Americans from British forces during the American Revolution.

Atlas Obscura 2018
6.53km
Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks

Spiral-bound community recipes and antiquarian gems mingle at this East Village shop.

Atlas Obscura 2019
11.22km
5 de Mayo Food Market

Discover 5 de Mayo Food Market in Queens, New York: Head past the aisles of tropical fruit and imported candy at this bodega to discover a hidden, weekends-only taco stand.

Atlas Obscura 2019
7.31km
Antonin Dvorak’s Home

Discover Antonin Dvorak's Home in New York, New York: The place where Dvorak composed some of his most famous works.

Audio Guide
8.22km
Audio Guide
The Fifth Avenue
en
Atlas Obscura 2021
3km
The Only Landmark Tree in New York City

A century-old magnolia tree a point of pride for Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.

Atlas Obscura 2020
2.73km
Charles Feltman’s Tomb

Discover Charles Feltman's Tomb in Brooklyn, New York: The inventor of the Coney Island hot dog rests in a grand mausoleum in Brooklyn.

Atlas Obscura 2018
7.15km
Riot Grrrl Collection at NYU

Discover Riot Grrrl Collection at NYU in New York, New York: A collection of fanzines, recordings, and documents detailing the rise and influence of the feminist punk movement.

Atlas Obscura 2017
2.23km
Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding 1994 Museum

From humble origins in a Brooklyn apartment to what "may be the most important museum ever created."

Atlas Obscura 2012
5.11km
City Reliquary

Discover City Reliquary in Brooklyn, New York: Behind a bodega is a small museum of relics and ephemera showcasing the history of New York.

Atlas Obscura 2021
0.62km
Brooklyn-Flatbush Border Line

Discover Brooklyn-Flatbush Border Line in Brooklyn, New York: One of the remaining markers of an era when Brooklyn and Flatbush were separate cities.

Atlas Obscura 2022
7.09km
Ridgewood Reservoir

Discover Ridgewood Reservoir in Queens, New York: This former water source for the City of Brooklyn is now a thriving natural wetland.

Atlas Obscura 2017
1.27km
Lesbian Herstory Archives

Discover Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn, New York: The world's largest collection of materials relating to lesbian history is housed in a Brooklyn townhouse.

Atlas Obscura 2017
1.01km
Ebbets Field Apartments on the Birthplace of the Brooklyn Dodgers

The "Pigtown" field where Jackie Robinson made his major league debut was replaced with a huge apartment complex.

Atlas Obscura 2019
9.6km
Geographic Center of New York City

Discover Geographic Center of New York City in Queens, New York: This mysterious marker puzzles pedestrians and infuriates geographers.

Audio Guide
5.42km
Audio Guide
A Walking Guide to Williamsburg, Brooklyn
en
Atlas Obscura 2019
11.14km
La Esquina del Camarón Mexicano

Discover La Esquina del Camarón Mexicano in Queens, New York: An everyday Jackson Heights bodega conceals a Mexican seafood paradise.

Atlas Obscura 2019
1.77km
Washington Park Wall

Discover Washington Park Wall in Brooklyn, New York: The unassuming structure was part of a Major League Baseball stadium.

Atlas Obscura 2020
1.78km
Abu’s Homestyle Bakery

Discover Abu's Homestyle Bakery in Brooklyn, New York: This family-owned bakery is one of the last places in Brooklyn to sell the Nation of Islam–inspired bean pie.

Atlas Obscura 2017
2.5km
Tomb of Secrets at Green-Wood Cemetery

A way to take your deepest secrets to someone else's grave.

Atlas Obscura 2018
8.75km
The World’s Largest Collection of Tiffany Glass

The colossal cache of colorful glass sits in a warehouse in Queens.

Atlas Obscura 2019
10.67km
Warung Selasa

Discover Warung Selasa in Queens, New York: Shop while you wait for a table in this tiny Indonesian eatery within a mini-mart.

Atlas Obscura 2017
5.98km
The Durian Stall in New York City’s Chinatown

The best place to pick up the rare, notoriously foul-smelling Asian "king of fruits."

Atlas Obscura 2019
9.68km
Weekender Billiards & Bar

Discover Weekender Billiards & Bar in Queens, New York: Amid the clacking of snooker balls, diners tuck into fiery Bhutanese fare.

Atlas Obscura 2019
5.61km
Turk’s Inn

Discover Turk's Inn in Brooklyn, New York: A Wisconsin kitsch palace from the 1930s lives its second life in 21st-century Brooklyn.

Atlas Obscura 2020
8.66km
Stationary Figures Mosaics

Discover

Atlas Obscura 2019
6.83km
Streecha

Discover Streecha in New York, New York: A Ukrainian church canteen doles out hearty fare in an East Village basement.

Atlas Obscura 2019
7.79km
Camilo Egas Mural at The New School

Discover Camilo Egas Mural at The New School in New York, New York: After surviving abandonment, this powerful Latin American mural is alive again.

Atlas Obscura 2021
3.56km
Taste of the Tropics USA

Discover Taste of the Tropics USA in Brooklyn, New York: Try ice cream in Caribbean-styled flavors like soursop, Irish moss, and "greatnut.".

Brutalism
4.68km
Ocean Hill Intermediate School
Atlas Obscura 2021
2.12km
‘Civic Virtue Triumphant Over Unrighteousness’

Discover 'Civic Virtue Triumphant Over Unrighteousness' in Brooklyn, New York: This controversial statue has migrated twice in its life.

Atlas Obscura 2019
5.64km
538 Johnson

Discover 538 Johnson in Brooklyn, New York: This 100-year-old former factory is now a DIY punk venue and hub for outsider art.

Atlas Obscura 2018
5.63km
Edward Mooney House

Discover Edward Mooney House in New York, New York: Built just after the American Revolution, the oldest row house in New York City still stands in Chinatown.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.5km
Spritz Cookie Gravestone

Discover Spritz Cookie Gravestone in Brooklyn, New York: This recipe is set in stone.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.37km
Albemarle-Kenmore Terraces

Discover Albemarle-Kenmore Terraces in Brooklyn, New York: These century-old townhouses contain some of the first car garages built in the United States.

Brutalism
3.49km
Rutland Road Houses
Atlas Obscura 2018
0.46km
Steinberg Sculpture Garden

Discover Steinberg Sculpture Garden in Brooklyn, New York: A beautiful collection of architectural ornaments rescued from demolished New York City buildings.

Atlas Obscura 2019
8.04km
The Best Persian Food in New York Comes From the Front Window of a Pizza Shop

Taste of Persia NYC serves up fragrant soups and stews from a tiny counter.

Atlas Obscura 2021
1.67km
The Leaning Brownstone

Discover The Leaning Brownstone in Brooklyn, New York: This unusual apartment building may be Brooklyn's own version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Atlas Obscura 2021
3.8km
Newkirk Plaza Mural and Mosaic

Discover Newkirk Plaza Mural and Mosaic in Brooklyn, New York: A mosaic made of materials gathered from this Brooklyn community adorns the walls of this tunnel.

Atlas Obscura 2019
10.91km
Khampa Kitchen

Discover Khampa Kitchen in Queens, New York: Chefs from Tibet's Kham region offer steaming meat pies and noodle soups in this nook behind a jewelry store.

Atlas Obscura 2019
10.85km
Lhasa Fast Food

Discover Lhasa Fast Food in Queens, New York: A hidey-hole sandwiched between cellphone, DVD, and jewelry stores features Tibetan delights.

Atlas Obscura 2016
2.91km
Grave of John Matthews: The Soda Fountain King

Discover Grave of John Matthews: The Soda Fountain King in Brooklyn, New York: Final resting place of the immigrant who brought artificial seltzer water to America.

Atlas Obscura 2018
3.28km
The Hidden ‘Fliers and Explorers’ Globe Is Incredible

Signed by Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh, this might be the most impressive globe you've never heard of.

Atlas Obscura 2017
1.34km
Crown Heights Cheese Caves

Underground vaults of a former brewery in Brooklyn are now used to ripen cheese.

Atlas Obscura 2017
6.48km
Tompkins Square Temperance Fountain

Discover Tompkins Square Temperance Fountain in New York, New York: A reminder to choose water over wine since 1888.

Atlas Obscura 2017
3.71km
Do the Right Thing Way

Spike Lee's provocative film is officially honored right where it was made.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.45km
Smith-9 Street Station

Discover Smith-9 Street Station in Brooklyn, New York: The highest rapid transit station in the world.

Atlas Obscura 2021
0.24km
A Brooklyn Park’s Wood-Paneled Arch

Endale Arch, one of the first architectural elements constructed in Prospect Park, was recently restored to its original glory.

Atlas Obscura 2019
1.21km
Leroy’s Place

Discover Leroy's Place in Brooklyn, New York: This interactive gallery makes you feel like you've stepped into a fantasy world filled with whimsical monsters.

Atlas Obscura 2019
3.1km
Kane Street Impaled Pumpkins

Discover Kane Street Impaled Pumpkins in Brooklyn, New York: For 20 years, local pumpkins have met their fate on the iron fence surrounding this Cobble Hill home.

Atlas Obscura 2019
4.39km
Avenue H Station House

Discover Avenue H Station House in Brooklyn, New York: This unusual subway stop was originally a real estate office.

Atlas Obscura 2017
6.4km
Vintage Trains Run on the NYC Subway Once a Year

From Manhattan to Queens, with a detour through the 20th century.