Epicenter of the arts. Dining and shopping capital. Trendsetter. New York City wears many crowns, and spreads an irresistible feast for all.
There’s never been a better time to dine in New York. The city has become a hotbed of seasonal and locally sourced cuisine – with restaurants raising vegetables on roof gardens or their own upstate farms, sourcing meats and seafood from sustainable outfits nearby, and embracing artisanal everything – from coffee roasting and whiskey distilling to chocolate- and cheese-making. Bars have also taken creativity to new heights, with pre-Prohibition-era cocktails, served alongside delectable small plates – indeed gastropubs are some of the most creative places to get a meal these days. Though of course, you can also hit the gourmet food-truck scene, or dine more traditionally at one of NYC’s 20,000-plus sit-down restaurants.
Nexus of the Arts
The Met, the MoMA and the Guggenheim are just the beginning of a dizzying list of art-world icons. You’ll find museums devoted to everything from fin de siècle Vienna to immigrant life in the Lower East Side, and sprawling galleries filled with Japanese sculpture, postmodern American painting, Himalayan textiles and New York City lore. For a glimpse of current and future greats, delve into the cutting-edge galleries of Chelsea and the Lower East Side, with their myriad exhibition spaces, and festive opening-night parties (usually Thursday night if you want to join in).
The Night Is Young
When the sun sinks slowly beyond the Hudson and luminous skyscrapers light up the night, New York transforms into one grand stage. Well-known actors take to the legendary theaters of Broadway as world-class soloists, dancers and musicians perform at venues large and small across town. Whether high culture or low, New York embraces it all: in-your-face rock shows at Williamsburg dives, lavish opera productions at the Lincoln Center, and everything in between. This is a city of experimental theater, improv comedy, indie cinema, ballet, poetry readings, burlesque, world music, jazz and so much more. If you can dream it up, it’s probably happening in NYC.
With its compact size and streets packed with eye-candy of all sorts – architectural treasures, old-world cafes, atmospheric booksellers and curiosity shops – NYC is an urban wanderer’s delight. Crossing continents is as easy as walking over a few avenues in this jumbled city of 200-plus nationalities. You can lose yourself in the crowds of Chinatown amid brightly painted Buddhist temples, steaming noodle shops and fragrant fishmongers, then stroll up to Nolita for enticing boutiques and coffee-tasting among the craft-minded scenesters. Every neighborhood offers a dramatically different version of New York City – from the 100-year-old Jewish delis of the Upper West Side to the meandering cobblestone lanes of Greenwich Village. And the best way to experience this city is to walk its streets.
Best Time To Go
Year-round. Central Park is as beautiful in full bloom as it is blanketed in snow. Each season offers something just a bit different—and equally worth seeing.
With more than 650 miles of subway track and the largest fleet of busses in North America, NYC’s public-transit system is the easiest way to get around. A single MetroCard ride (good for all subway and bus routes, plus access in and out of New Jersey on the efficient PATH train) costs $2.75; a seven-day unlimited MetroCard costs $31.
January is the coolest month with an average temperature of 36°F (2.2°C). July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 83°F (28.9°C).
Know Before You Go
Snag considerable deals on hotels—and experience NYC when it’s not packed to the brim!—just after New Year’s and in summer. These seasons offer easy access to what would otherwise be crowded exhibitions, activities, and restaurants.
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