New York City is exploding with traditional tourist stops, historical markers, and timeless events. But to truly experience the depth of this city, consider going off the beaten path. Not only will you beat the crowds, but you’re going to experience a side of NYC that only the locals see.
Governor’s Island used to be a military base, but it’s been saved from deterioration and turned into a public park. It’s a five-minute ferry ride from Manhattan, and it’s the perfect place to sprawl on massive green lawns (sans the crowds of Central Park) and soak in the history of the island by way of the preserved historic mansions. You’re also treated to killer views of the Statue of Liberty without masses of people! Pay attention to their calendar of events so you don’t miss things like the summer Jazz Age lawn party and food truck rotations.
The Tenement Museum
The era of tenements is an overlooked part of New York City’s history, but this museum is keeping it alive. The building was an actual tenement, and the organization running the museum painstakingly researched the families that lived here. The apartments are decorated to depict how the tenants lived at the time, and the exhibits and guided tours tell you about the fascinating lives these families lived. The house has no elevators, so tours cannot accommodate wheelchairs or strollers.
Fort Greene Flea
Mingle with actual locals at this hip Brooklyn flea market instead of swanky Manhattan bars. You’ll get to see what NYC is made of with a variety of handcrafted goods and locally owned businesses. Plan accordingly on the weekends, especially if you’re taking part in any sort of city tour like Open Look New York. Saturday markets offer the best shopping opportunities and you can end your shopping spree at the General Greene where you can indulge on local fare. Sundays have the Smorgasburg, a lineup of over 100 local food trucks that gather along the river and offer plenty of goodies as well as epic skyline views.
McSorley’s Old Ale House
This itty bitty pub claims the title of NYC’s oldest continually operated saloon. The bar serves up a great pint, but it’s the history that will really get you. Old photographs line the walls, and dried-up wishbones left by soldiers heading off to war are scattered throughout the building. The secret is out with locals on this one, so expect heavy crowds if you go in the evening. Try to go in the afternoon to snag a table, and remember the pub only accepts cash and their food offerings are minimal.
New York City has endless sightseeing possibilities! Remember you’re going to get more deeply into the heart of the city if you manage to make it off the well-traveled trail and go where the locals go.
New York is famous for many things: landmarks, attractions, entertainment, and an energy unlike any other city on Earth. New York is also famous for fiercely devoted residents – and there are over eight million of them – who love their city. People from all over the world have relocated to New York City and call it home. Despite the high cost of living and population density of New York City (Manhattan is the most expensive and densely populated urban area in the United States), residents understand that the benefits of living in the city far outweigh the challenges.
So what makes New York such a great place to live? Every resident might have a unique answer, but there are some characteristics that set New York apart from any other city in the world:
- Cultural Diversity – New York City has long been an initial destination for immigrants from around the world. Around the turn of the 20th century, millions left hardship in Europe for the promise of a better life in America. Many of them stayed in New York, settling ethnic enclaves whose cultural roots are still visible today. Over the course of the 20th century, immigrants from other parts of the world – Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia – have settled in and made New York their home. Today, about a third of the population of New York City is foreign-born. The result of this steady stream of newcomers is evident in every corner of the city. Ethnic restaurants, shops, neighborhoods and celebrations contribute to a rich and diverse identity for the city and its residents.
- Economic Diversity – As a center of the global economy, New York City is major hub of many industries. Employment opportunities exist in industries such as banking and finance, media and advertising, entertainment and hospitality, fashion and the arts, world trade, and many more. In addition, thousands of workers are needed in the trades and services industries to keep such a big city running smoothly. New York is home to individuals at every level of education and income bracket, and this economic diversity is reflected in the housing market and economy of the city.
- Entertainment Diversity – It’s hard to imagine being bored in New York City, because there are virtually limitless opportunities for entertainment in every neighborhood. Venues like the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the theaters of Broadway, and many more make New York a premiere destination for the performing arts. Sports enthusiasts can tour, and maybe even catch a game, in the new Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden. Foodies can choose from the thousands of restaurants throughout the city, offering everything from a slice of New York style pizza to some of the most highly-rated cuisine in the world. No matter what you like to do, you can find it in New York.
When you’re ready to become a New Yorker, let Manhattan Management Group find the perfect place for you to call home.
Harold Mabugest loves New York, coffee, and writing. He is currently a content creator for Manhattan Management Group.