It's summer, you've got a free weekend, and you want to visit the city. That's great! But please, for the mutual good of visitors and locals, don't fall into the wrong NYC traps.
1. Avoid Times Square
Don’t get sucked into to the world's largest tourist trap. As is our typical judgmental style, we city folk don’t even consider Times Square to be a part of the metropolis. It’s more like the opposite of an oasis, where tourists and shysters meet to exchange their pedestrian sweat.
If you are not there to see a play, make no mistake, you are in a vacuum for the lowest common denominator. Don’t stay in a hotel there, don’t walk around there, don’t even think about it. Part of the experience of traveling is the “when in Rome” approach to cultural visitation. If this philosophy is at all important to you, you will stear clear of the bright lights, and the faux rolex watches and find the less beaten path. You may also want to …
2. Blow a huge amount of money on one meal
You can’t afford it, and neither can I, but I still do it. We millennial New Yorkers basically burn money that we desperately need to survive and pay rent. And why not? What’s the point of living in New York if you can’t experience the lifestyle? People go out to restaurants here, nice ones, that’s what they do. At thenoteworthy places you may have read about: Momofuku, Del Posto, Roberta’s, Per Se, Minetta Tavern or any of the classics, you cannot sneeze without having a fortune shoot of your nose. Its worth it. Abundance is an American tradition, and a readily available one in New York. You can find a good find a good meal on the cheap, and you should for the majority of your vacation. Save the real dining experience for when you’re ready to go for broke.
3. Seize your local friends, all of them
Everyone knows somebody in New York, send the message out good and early to any all people; start spreading the news, so to speak. Create a gathering at a bar, have your friends show you around their neighborhood and their homes, exchange gifts or whatever. People in New York want to show off their metropolitan lifestyle, and you should exploit that. We would do it to you.
4. Skip the big museums
Unless its convenient, or there is a specific exhibit you need to see, I suggest you hone your inner philistine. Museum can be a expensive, tiring, and time consming schlep through a bunch of art and artifacts you could have googled in your bathtub. Moreover, Museum patronage and sightseeing have a catch-22, if you’re interested in a given attraction, you probably know what it looks like, and then, what’s the point. Research pop-up exhibits and art studios are will try much harder to interest you on a base level. Plus, the studios have wine, and nice The NYC art world has a ridiculously inaccurate stereotype in this last regard.
5. Go to house parties
Bars are great, don’t get me wrong, but even the well drinks can run you dry quickly. House parties with the essentials: a roof or terrace, packed fridge, air conditioning, good music, chill neighbors, are worth the cost of a cab ride, or two, or three. My preference in a Saturday night is to surf through the residences of my extended network of peripheral friends and, eventually, randos, until I’m good and spent, and then I go home feeling properly tired and not too sloppy, having parsed my intake with several commutes.
This is my home, my point of origin, and, in the past ten years, a name that inspires polarized reactions better fitted to a brand name than a big, residential borough. Brooklyn is a gigantic melting pot with 2.5 million people comprising the communities of 88 ethnic groups.
It is the music capital of the world, and the only place where you can scream “Ey, Fuck You!” at a random person, and they might actually admire you. Go to Sunset Park and eat dim sum. Stroll from Brooklyn Heights, to Dumbo, to Vinegar Hill and marvel in the architectual mélange. And yes, go to Williamsburg, Green Point, and Bushwick and check out the crazy outfits, and eat pickled vegetables at brunch. Have three brunches in one day. North Williamsburg should change its name to “Brunchlyn.”