With more than 50 unique neighborhoods, Manhattan is filled with hidden streets and quiet enclaves that remain unexplored, even among lifelong New Yorkers. The Upper West Side’s Pomander Walk hides in plain sight, its narrow alleys unnoticed by passersby. Gramercy Park, famous beyond the gates and a mystery inside, made exclusivity part of their appeal. The Upper East Side’s Henderson Place remains hidden without gates, its tree-lined sidewalks kept under-the-radar by residents happy to keep the secret.
The communities below offer a peek inside New York's “secret” neighborhoods with five homes on the market, each a rare opportunity to become part of these private communities.
Printing House Mews
A landscaped, gated block in the West Village, Printing House Mews pays homage to historic New York, offering a private enclave with pagoda trees and shaded benches in the heart of Manhattan. Maisonette-style townhouses offer luxurious amenities, including commercial-grade elevators and landscaped rooftop gardens.
On the market: 37 Clarkson Street
The 45’-wide single-family townhouse, newly constructed and never-lived-in, offers 5,517 square feet of living space with a private garden, gas fireplace, spacious entertainment areas and a full-height basement with a projector-screen theater.
One of Manhattan’s first landmarked historic districts, Henderson Place might not spark recognition even among lifelong New Yorkers, but for residents of this quiet slip of a street beside East End Avenue, just below 87th, they wouldn’t have it any other way. Steps from Charles Schurz Park, the private, dead-end street has become a haven for families seeking a retreat from the bustle of Manhattan -- now with the convenience of the Q train steps away.
On the market: 550 East 87th Street
A private entrance through a gated, landscaped garden connects this charming limestone townhouse to Henderson Place, which lies just two doors from the red-brick house that inspired Harriet the Spy. A sweeping rooftop deck overlooks the park and East River promenade and Gracie Mansion.
On the market: 514 East 87th Street
A short stroll from Henderson Place with the same quiet atmosphere and tree-lined streets, this 5-story townhouse offers a feeling of Old New York with three grand fireplaces, hardwood floors and a walnut-paneled library. An elevator, custom chef’s kitchen and heated floors add modern convenience.
Hotel Des Artistes
Many New Yorkers have walked right past the iconic Hotel Des Artistes without taking note, but this 18-story, Gothic-style building on “Artists’ Row” has a rich history and surprising amenities for a century-old residence. Once home to Norman Rockwell, the co-op building steps from Central Park offers has two swimming pools, a fitness suite, and an on-site restaurant, The Leopard at des Artistes.
On the market: 1 West 67th Street, #909
This 3-story, 5-bedroom residence is defined by is entertaining spaces, including a dramatic great room with South-facing windows and 17’9” ceilings. A landscaped terrace with a gas fire pit and room for al fresco dining provides generous outdoor space in the heart of Manhattan.
Ask young New Yorkers for directions to Sutton Place and they might need to reach for their phones, but this tree-lined block along the East River, just steps from the United Nations, is regaining favor among families and solitude-seeking Manhattanites who are drawn to its quiet streets and friendly atmosphere, many of whom are happy to keep this enclave their secret.
On the market: 31 Sutton Place
A 5-story townhouse with suburban space and a landscaped garden, the newly renovated 31 Sutton Place offers a quiet retreat within strolling distance of Midtown Manhattan. Quaint shops and restaurants, Sutton Place Park and the East River are steps away.
Read More: 12 Townhouses Made for Entertaining