A good friend of mine describes NYC as the “Best place on earth. She spent 8 years living in the city as an actor, singer and performer and misses it terribly now that she lives in Atlanta. Here’s her list, in her own words and in no particular order, of why New York City is great.
Better in so many ways than any other mass transit of any other city: financially, volume of trains, sheer availability of schedule at all hours, best coverage of neighborhoods – you can get anywhere at any time you want for a relatively small fee. In NYC, I became a reader. Never really cared much for books before the obvious way to spend the commute presented itself. Such a huge part of my undying love of the MTA Subway.
Walkability of the City
The grid street system, the safety of the city streets, the incredibly interesting terrain of every neighborhood you walk through. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opted to walk after work from Columbus Circle to Union Square (some 40+ blocks) just to unwind. Discovered amazing new places that way.
The best I’ve had anywhere. Anywhere. New Mexico, LA, Wyoming, Atlanta, Colorado…. Of course, I haven’t been to Japan. Luis (my husband) has. Aside from Japan, I’m pretty sure he’d agree that the best sushi is in NYC. He might say San Fran. Might.
There are theatre productions in any city you go to. Denver has the Denver Center, DC has the National Theatre, Atlanta the Alliance. None of them compare to the sheer volume of insanely high caliber of talent on the Broadway stage in NYC. And the number of different shows available at any time with amazing stars and stars on the rise! The best thing to hope for is to go see a show in its early days and get to see the performance that wins a Tony before anyone even hears about it. It’s pure magic.
However, for the ticket prices of Broadway shows, one might shun theatre altogether if it weren’t for TDF’s TKTS Booth. TDF (Theatre Development Fund) is a non-profit service organization for the performing arts that offers discounted tickets for theatre all over Manhattan and the adjoining Burroughs. Becoming a TDF member (paying a yearly due as a performer) and getting to see shows for such a discount (as low as $9 at times) was the only way I could see theatre. But for the every day frugal price seeker, they have the half off booth called TKTS. So many visiting friends and relatives have camped out there bright and early in the morning to get tickets for huge Broadway shows. It’s a NYC must.
Off Broadway Theatre
There is ALWAYS something in production somewhere. Stuff you know, stuff you don’t know. Stuff you just find out about. Stuff that’s so new and vibrant and experimental you don’t understand it just yet. AND it’s affordable – most of it. A lot of it is crap. A lot of it is Equity Showcases (blargh), but every now and then you’ll stumble upon a diamond in the rough before it gets picked up for Broadway. And you didn’t pay Broadway prices to see it with its original cast either.
As for the music scene in NY, there are tons of venues all over Manhattan and in every burrough and there is something booked every night. Everywhere. As a former band member, the rule was you don’t book yourself twice within two weeks. The reason is there is sooooo much music going on that unless you’re a sought after ticket, all your fan base will likely go see you once in that two week period but not twice. Imagine how many bands are playing and following that two week rule and STILL there’s somebody playing somewhere every night. Insane amount of music in NYC.
Email lists that actually WORK for meet-ups in a wide range of categories. There is so much going on in New York that you can always find a group to meet up with that shares your interests. This is a great way to also get to know the locals and not just the popular tourist destinations.
Amazingly vast amounts of awesome foods & restaurants to try, unmatched by any other city by accessibility or quality and availability. New York also has restaurant week which is a great way to try new places.
Both open bars and private rooms. Also karaoke contests with celebrity judges. Super fun for a night out on the town with friends.
All of them. They each have so many different features that make them each so great: Riverside Park summer movies, Bryant Park summer movies, so many concerts in many different parks (Brooklyn Bridge, Prospect, Central, etc), bike paths, running paths, forests, lakes, food festivals, like Prospect Park’s amazing summer festival that introduced us to jerk chicken made by Jamaicans while drum circles and tons of art and textiles surround you.