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33 things I love about New York City

33 things I love about New York City

Last Updated on May 7, 2023

On the east coast of the United States there is place called New York City…oh, you’ve heard of it, have you?

If you’ve never been, you need to go at least once. If you have been, you know you need to go back. What started for me as a little crush turned into such an intense love that I ended up moving to New York City! Your list might look entirely different than mine, but in line with my Things I Love About… series I wanted to share 33 random things I love about New York City.

1. The vibrant energy of Midtown Manhattan. There’s a busy energy in the city that we have never felt in any other city we’ve visited on our travels to over 70 countries. There’s so much life in Manhattan, and there’s so much going on at all times. It’s electrifying and it is infectious.

2. The innovative parking spaces.

nyc parking3. And the ways NYC tells you where not to park.

parking sign new york city
Watching the neighborhoods change as we walk Broadway all the way from the Financial District to Harlem.

5. Laying in the sun chairs on the rails of Highline Park – New York’s most exciting urban renewal project.

Highline Park New York City

6. Running straight into a mid-morning model photo-shoot in the Meatpacking district.

7. Union Square
Especially the buzz and bustle here from right after the sun goes down until way late into the night.

8. The sheer endless amount of mouthwateringly delicious pizza slices. Our hunt for the best pizza in NYC seems to have turned into a lifelong quest.


9. Reading the paper or people watch in Bryant Park

10. Ordering coffee off a Russian menu at Starbucks in Brighton Beach, near Coney Island, while listening to the Russian chatter around you, and realizing that even though you’re in an English-speaking country, you’ve just entered a completely different world and you have no idea what is going on.

russian starbucks in brighton beach new york11. Standing in Grand Central station and imagining where everyone is going to and coming from in such a hurry.

12. The anonymity
On any given day, celebrities and world leaders join millions of locals and tourists, rich and poor, going about daily life on the streets of New York. Unlike in any other U.S. city, in New York City you, or the person next to you, could be just about anybody in the world.

13. The walk over the Brooklyn Bridge

thing I love about New York City

14. Brooklyn Pride
Black, white, old, young, American or ex-pat, residents of Brooklyn, better known as Brooklynites, are proud in a way unlike any other New Yorker.

15. The Street Art – especially in Bushwick.

things I love about NYC

16. The food. I don’t think there’s a cuisine that you CAN’T get in NYC, and the amount of amazing restaurants is unrivaled anywhere in the world. This city is a food lover’s paradise.

17. World class art museums. Not only does New York City have an unparalleled food scene, but also the art scene is one-of-a-kind, spanning from major world-class art museums such as the MoMA or the MET to small galleries in Chelsea and cutting-edge contemporary art in art spaces such as the MoMA PS1. Not to mention the open studio days throughout he different neighborhoods where artists open their workspaces to the public and let strangers peek over their shoulders while they’re creating.

things I love about NYC

18. The changing cultures in Central Park throughout the day
The pet-owners and joggers in the morning, before the nannies and professional dog-walkers invade in the afternoon.

19. Looking back at the skyscrapers of Battery Park from the Staten Island Ferry.

Manhattan Skyscrapers from Ellis Island

20. The gravity-defying break dancers in Times Square Subway Station, and the eclectic “It’s Showtime!” dancers on the subway.

21. Observing locals fishing in possibly polluted waters of the East River, or off the Coney Island pier.

coney island fishermen

22. The many green spaces throughout the “Concrete Jungle”, which range from giant parks such as Van Cortlandt Park and Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx to tiny oasis like the Elevated Acre or Greenacre Park in Manhattan.

23. Observing the Orthodox Hasidic Jewish families in South Williamsburg or Crown Heights.

orthodox jews staten island nyc

24. The ever-changing skyline of the city, with skyscrapers trying to outdo each other in terms of height and interesting architectural features.

25. The love New Yorkers have for their city.


26. Exploring the unique architecture of the Cast Iron district

cast iron district nyc

27. The hot dog vendors, and the street food culture in general. This includes the breakfast & coffee carts in Midtown Manhattan, the pretzel guys in Central Park, the Latin American street food carts in Queens, and the Mexican tamales ladies in Brooklyn.things i love about New York City

28. The pictures plastered on the walls at the uber-kitsch restaurants in Little Italy.
So many restaurants here have pictures of either well-known celebrities who ate there, or loads of ‘regular joe’ diners from throughout the years. As cheesy, faded and curled up around the edges as some of the pics can be, it still gives that feeling of ‘When you’re here, you’re family’. What else would you expect in Little Italy!

29. The opportunities for perspective
The views from the Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building let you get such a good feeling for this dense city. If you’re interested in seeing New York City from a bird’s eye view, I compared the best observation decks in New York City.

manhattan skyscrapers from top of the rock

30. Spotting film crews and trailers on location filming the next great NYC movie or TV show.

31. Contemplating what constitutes a New Yorker
Contrasting people who live out near Coney Island to those on the Upper East Side, and marveling at the fact that no matter their differences, they are all still New Yorkers.

32. Mariachi bands on the subway

mariachi band subway new york city

33. New York is within everyone’s budget
With the exception of accommodation, hanging out in New York City can be cheap as chips and exhilarating at the same time. It might be testing out a highly-recommended hole in the wall and people watching in the park rather than Michelin-starred dining and a Broadway show, but no matter your budget, you will have a distinctly authentic New York time.things i love about New York City


Tuesday 28th of February 2012

People either absolutely love NYC or don't like it at all. So far I haven't heard anyone saying 'NYC is ok'.

This city has so many different faces and some are easy to catch, like the things that you can find in the guide books. But there are also wonderful places that don't fit into the guide books because there are just way too many.

The good thing about this is, that the locals know their city by heart. So here comes my idea for your next expedition to the city :-) Check out You'll find plenty of couchsurfers in each borough. There are 514 Williamsburg locals, some host, some would meet for a coffee. So even if you don't want to stay at someone's place for a night or two, you could still meet for coffee, lunch, dinner or go to one of the many events. Get tons of insider tips :-)


Friday 2nd of March 2012

Hi Inge, you're right - you either love NYC or hate it. We are really into couchsurfing, definitely, and considered it for New York when we were there. The problem was we had a short amount of time and couldn't guarantee our dates in town until shortly before. but we have done couchsurfing meet-ups in places around the world, including in Lisbon, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, etc, and it helped us immensely to get to know the 'real' city!


Monday 27th of February 2012

You act like you know everything about NY. Honey, I LIVE here.


Tuesday 28th of February 2012

Hey there offense intended to you 'real' New Yorkers. If you read the post in a bit more detail, we make it pretty clear we've only been to NYC twice, and that these are just thirty-three (33) things we happen to love - so far. If you want to provide us with any insider tips or more information, we'd love to incorporate them into our next trip to your city.


Wednesday 28th of December 2011

Number 34 - Carnegie Deli

I was in NY a few years ago and come across this deli, I have never seen anything quite like it....looking forward to tasting the treats of the Big Apple again soon.


Friday 30th of December 2011

AJ that's awesome, thanks for the advice. It's right near Hotel Casablanca, where we stayed! Shame we missed it. The menu seems a bit pricey, but I think I need to re-orient myself to New York prices :-) The website has the entire menu online, and it does look to be New York classics at their finest:


Tuesday 20th of December 2011

I love New York and your list was wonderful... however, the horse drawn carriage rides should be taken off this list. Horses have been dying because of poor treatment and unsanitary conditions and it's extremely dangerous and tiring for the horses to breathe in car fumes and constantly carrying the carriages and people. People should experience and all aspects of New York, but the horse drawn carriages should not be one of them.


Wednesday 21st of December 2011

Hi Jennifer - Duly noted. You're definitely right, and I suppose there may have been a couple of newlyweds who diverted our attention away from that. Thanks for stopping by and glad you like the rest of the list :-)

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures

Tuesday 13th of December 2011!!! Awesome post ladies! :)