What the guidebooks won't tell you

Our editors chose the city's most vital places, people and things-and then tracked down un-Googleable, ultra-valuable tips about each. Plus some quizzes to see what you already know.

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Photo: Joshua Kristal

Hayden Planetarium



WHY ESSENTIAL:
We’re dorks. Gifted with a major face-lift in 2000, the American Museum of Natural History’s astronomical amphitheater dazzles audiences with stellar productions, like the current Robert Redford–narrated “Cosmic Collisions,” which reveals the explosive encounters that created the Milky Way and altered the course of life on Earth.

The secret:
On the model of Jupiter, you’ll find a little black circle, which represents where a comet struck. “I left it in there to remind us all of how tenuous life is, how it could all disappear,” says planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson. Central Park West at 81st St (212-769-5100)

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