Introducing New York
From Wall Street's skyscrapers to the neon of Times Square to Central Park's leafy paths, New York City pulses with an irrepressible energy. History meets hipness in this global center of entertainment, fashion, media, and finance. World-class museums like MoMA and unforgettable icons like the Statue of Liberty beckon, but discovering the subtler strains of New York's vast ambition is equally rewarding: ethnic enclaves and shops, historic streets of dignified brownstones, and trendy bars and eateries all add to the urban buzz.
The cultural and financial capital of the USA, if not the world, New York City is an adrenaline-charged, history-laden place that holds immense romantic appeal for visitors. Its past is visible in the tangled lanes of Wall Street and tenements of the Lower East Side; meanwhile, towering skyscrapers serve as monuments of the modern age. Street life buzzes round the clock and shifts markedly from one area to the next. The waterfront, redeveloped in many places, and the landscaped green spaces – notably Central Park – give the city a chance to catch its breath. Iconic symbols of world culture – the neon of Times Square, the sculptures at Rockefeller Center – always seem just a stone’s throw away. For raw energy, dynamism and social diversity, you’d be hard-pressed to top it; simply put, there’s no place quite like it.
Epicenter of the arts. Dining and shopping capital. Trendsetter. New York City wears many crowns, and spreads an irresistible feast for all.
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.
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 growing 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. 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, 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).
With its compact size and streets packed with eye-candy of all sorts – architectural treasures, Old World cafés, atmospheric booksellers and curio 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.