With over 52 million tourists visiting the Big Apple each year (and a peak during the holiday season), now's the time to explore the city's most prevalent urban legends – and the unique tourist attractions they uncover. Happy travels!
1. Pennies Thrown From the Top of the Empire State Building Can KillFALSE. Tests have shown that air resistance wouldn't allow for a tiny, flat penny to travel beyond its max velocity, which is a non-lethal speed. The coin could give someone below a bit of a shock, but it certainly wouldn't lead to anyone's demise.
Tourist Attraction: The Empire State Building is a top tourist destination for a reason; the view from 102 floors up is worth the elevator ride. And you can get one degree closer to Kevin Bacon by going on the SkyRide simulator, narrated by the actor.
2. Alligators Live in the City Sewers
Tourist Attraction: Still curious what's under all that concrete? Get a peek by visiting the old City Hall subway station, or take a tour of the underground trolley stations left abandoned in the Lower East Side.
3. There's a Secret Train Platform Beneath the Waldorf-Astoria
Ben Hider / Getty
Tourist Attraction: The train from this secret spot leads to to another New York oddity. Grand Central's Whisper Gallery is situated in the middle of the bustling travel hub, but most pass right by it. The nondescript archway near the Oyster Bar is shaped to provide the perfect acoustics for amplifying whispers, allowing visitors to softly speak to their friends on the other side of the room.
4. The Yankees Wear Pinstripes Because Babe Ruth Wanted to Look Slimmer
Tourist Attraction: Baseball season is over, but it's still thriving at Chelsea Piers. Keep your swing in top shape by visiting the sports facility's batting cages. From rock climbing to ice hockey, Chelsea Piers is bound to have a sport that entices everyone in the family.
5. The Restaurant One if by Land, Two if by Sea is Haunted
One if by Land, Two if by Sea / Facebook
Tourist Attraction: You can make your evening a haunted affair to remember by dining at One if by Land, Two if by Sea, followed by a show at the Belasco theater (possibly seated next to an undead audience member), then a nightcap at the Algonquin Hotel, which is rumored to have a whole gaggle of ghostly guests.
6. The City's Gargoyles Come to Life at Night
FALSE. You may have been prepared for this one. While the TV series Gargoyles and the movie Ghostbusters show the statues springing to life, in reality, the gargoyles stay put 24/7.
Tourist Attraction: Still in the mood for a little ghost-busting? Channel your inner Slimer and visit the New York City Fire Museum. This historic firehouse isn't the one used in the film, but it is full of interesting artifacts from the FDNY's long history of saving lives.
7. The Poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" was Inspired by N.Y.C.
Tourist Attraction: Greenwich Village has been an inspiration to all kinds of artists. Get an idea of the bohemian-turned-barhopping scene – and a few sparks of genius for yourself – by taking a walking tour of the neighborhood.
8. There Are Ghosts in Central Park
Tourist Attraction: Visit the Van der Voort sisters for yourself. Wollman Rink is just one of the many places to stop and skate in Manhattan.